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Is Your Pregnancy High Risk?

Your Health During a High-Risk Pregnancy continued...

Your risk of gestational diabetes goes up if you are over 25, overweight, have had gestational diabetes or a very large baby in the past, or if someone in your family has diabetes.

Depression: Between 14% and 23% of women get depressed during pregnancy. If you've been depressed before, your odds of getting depressed during pregnancy are higher.

Pregnancy is linked with depression for many reasons. They include hormonal changes, exhaustion, stress at home, and a lack of support. In turn, depression may be linked with problems during pregnancy and delivery, low birth-weight, and preterm birth. After birth, depression can make it harder to care of yourself and your baby.

If you think you might be depressed, get help. Ask your doctor or midwife about treatment with talk therapy or medicine. Go over the risks and benefits of taking medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding. Getting treatment will not only help you feel better, it will also protect your baby's health.

Preeclampsia: This condition causes high blood pressure, swelling, and protein in your urine while you’re pregnant. It puts all of your vital organs under stress and can be serious. It can restrict your baby’s flow of oxygen.

No one is sure what causes preeclampsia. You have a higher chance of preeclampsia if you’re older, overweight, or had high blood pressure or diabetes before you got pregnant. Carrying more than one baby also raises your risk.

Preterm labor: Labor that starts sooner than 37 weeks is called preterm. About 12% of babies born in the U.S. are born too early. Preemies have greater odds of health problems or developmental delays throughout life. The earlier a baby is born, the higher the health risks. Early labor is more likely if you have an infection, a shortened cervix, or have delivered early in the past. Your doctor might try to delay labor or speed up the baby’s lung development with medicines.

Twins or triplets: Women carrying more than one baby tend to go into early labor. They’re also more likely to develop gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Keep in mind that most multiples are born healthy. But they do have a higher risk for long-term health problems such as delayed development or cerebral palsy.

Obesity: If you’re overweight or obese, you might have a higher risk of developing preeclampsia or gestational diabetes while you’re pregnant.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on January 29, 2013

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