How to Lower Your Chances of Having a High-Risk Pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy involves your health as well as the health and wellbeing of your baby (or babies). There are some things you simply can’t change when it comes to lowering your chances of having a high-risk pregnancy.

Your age, for instance, plays a role as well as the number of babies you’re carrying. A history of previous miscarriages also puts on you the risk list. There are, however, many lifestyle and health-related factors you can alter that can greatly decrease your chances of falling into the high-risk category.

And if you’re already in the high-risk zone because of a medical condition such as diabetes, a few modifications in your diet and exercise habits can help you and your baby experience a successful pregnancy and delivery.

Dr. Richard Bardowell is a top-ranked obstetrician and gynecologist in Burbank, California, who has significant experience in caring for women undergoing high-risk pregnancies. He’s happy to share some tips for reducing your chances of landing in the high-risk pregnancy zone.  

Schedule a preconception visit

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is to see your gynecologist before you become pregnant. During a preconception appointment, your specialist can carefully evaluate your current health and medical history, consider pregnancy risks you might face, and make recommendations for improving your health before you conceive.

Make sure your immunizations are up-to-date

Although you may have received vaccinations and boosters during childhood, it’s always helpful to make sure you’re immune to serious illnesses such as rubella, which can cause miscarriage or birth defects if contracted during pregnancy. And if you do get the vaccine, you must wait for a month before becoming pregnant. If you aren’t sure, a simple blood test can determine whether you have immunity to rubella.

Maintain a healthy weight

Before becoming pregnant, reduce or gain pounds as necessary to put you at a healthy weight. Once you begin prenatal care, Dr. Bardowell will let you know how much you should gain during your pregnancy, and it’s important to stick within that range. Being underweight or overweight can complicate your pregnancy and risk your baby’s health.

Stick with a nutritious diet before, during, and after pregnancy

Nutritious diets include whole grains, lean proteins, leafy greens, and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you aren’t sure what’s healthy in this age of fad diets or lose-weight fast plans, check with your doctor. During pregnancy, women typically require more folic acid, protein, calcium, and iron as well as a daily prenatal vitamin to fill any gaps.

Exercise regularly

Having a baby is hard work, and pregnancy can strain muscles, joints, and tendons. Establishing an exercise routine before and during pregnancy, which includes strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular workouts, can make pregnancy as well as delivery easier on your body.

It also helps you maintain your weight and may aid in managing medical issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If you’re already pregnant, check with Dr. Bardowell before you start an exercise program.

Stop risky behaviors

If you haven’t already, stop smoking for your own health and the health of your baby. Other habits that risk the health of your pregnancy include drug and alcohol use. We’ll also provide you with a list of foods to avoid, such as raw fish or unpasteurized beverages, and activities that may endanger your pregnancy, such as contact sports.

Manage your current medical conditions carefully

If you have diabetes, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), or other ongoing medical conditions, it’s important to see your doctor if you’re planning to become pregnant. You may require changes in your medications or other treatment measures that help tighten your blood sugar or blood pressure control.

It’s also important to know whether the medications you take regularly are compatible with pregnancy. And though it’s easy to become distracted when you’re pregnant or give in to a craving or two, it’s more important than ever that you follow your diet carefully and take your medications faithfully as directed.

Don’t miss a single prenatal appointment

Prenatal visits are designed to monitor your and your baby’s wellbeing and help ensure optimal health throughout your pregnancy. Skipping even one visit can mean we miss an elevated blood pressure or other signs that might indicate a developing problem.

Whether yours becomes a high-risk pregnancy or not, you can rely on Dr. Bardowell’s expertise as a top-ranked OB/GYN specialist to deliver excellent healthcare for you and your baby. Schedule your visit today.

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