High-risk pregnancies include pregnancies where the mother has a health condition prior to pregnancy, such as cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and those who develop health problems during pregnancy. It also includes women who smoke, who have had miscarriages or who have had problems in previous pregnancies. Mothers who are carrying multiple babies are also considered to be at high risk, as are those who may have specific physical conditions such as problems with the placenta or uterus. Older mothers and mothers who are very overweight may also be considered to be high-risk since there is an increased chance of birth defects and pregnancy issues.
You care will vary based on your condition, your health and the risks you and your baby may face. In general, Dr. Bickman will see you a bit more frequently and may order tests or monitoring throughout the pregnancy to make sure you and your baby are healthy.
No, a high-risk pregnancy does not mean you will not be able to have a vaginal delivery. Delivery options will be based on your health and your baby's health when your due time rolls around.
As with any pregnancy, eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise are important in ensuring both you and your baby stay healthy. Depending on your condition, Dr. Bickman can provide guidance regarding diet and exercise choices. She may also advise taking supplements like folic acid. Of course, you should not smoke or drink alcohol while pregnant, and you should always be sure to keep all your doctor appointments so you and your baby can be properly monitored.
Older women may be having an easier time bearing children now because contemporary doctors are more adept in managing pregnancy-related medical conditions than their predecessors. Many of today’s gynecologists have undergone considerable training in order to deal with high-risk pregnancies. They do not just provide optimal prenatal care for later mothers but also assist in their safe birthing through vaginal, c-section, or vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC).
But while medical experts say that advanced-age motherhood is no longer as dangerous because of better health care and living conditions, it can still be difficult because women produce fewer healthy eggs as they age. Moreover, later pregnancy puts them at high risk for miscarriages and pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Their children might also have birth defects. Hence, it is very important for them to seek medical assistance from doctors who provide a full range of obstetric and gynecologic services, like Santa Monica OB-GYN Dr. Tristan Emily Bickman, M.D.
In these modern times, there are lots of safe pregnancy options to choose from that it becomes easier for women to conceive even beyond their 30s. They do not have to give up their promising careers at a young age just to have a child and raise a family. With doctors who provide them adequate information on maternity and child-rearing, loved ones who encourage them to pursue their passion and financial security to establish their families, they can embrace late motherhood with a sense of fulfillment.
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