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Is Your Pregnancy High Risk?

Your Health During a High-Risk Pregnancy

Pregnancy can take a toll on your body. It’s important to follow the basics of good prenatal care:

  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Keep all your medical appointments.

These will go a long way toward ensuring that your baby is born healthy.

In some cases, you may need extra medical care to help prevent preterm birth or manage other problems.

Gestational diabetes: Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause your blood sugar to get too high. That makes it more likely that your baby will grow larger than usual. Gestational diabetes can also raise your risk of high blood pressure. You may need a C-section instead of vaginal birth to prevent injury to your baby for these and other reasons.

Your risk of gestational diabetes goes up if you are over 25, are pregnant with multiples, are 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.

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