Every pregnancy is stressful. It becomes even more so when your doctor tells you are in the high risk category. Perhaps you have high blood pressure or diabetes. It could also be your age –the risk is higher for teen moms and women over 35. Or maybe, you have more than one bun in the oven.
Once you hear high risk, your anxiety levels would be out of control. While you may blame it partly on the raging hormones, being in this category will strike fear in any person’s heart. At this stressful time, the last thing you want to do is lock yourself in the room and cry your eyes out. To help you get through this tough time, here are five tips to help you out.
1. Stick to a Healthy Diet and Watch Your Weight
High risk or not, sticking to a healthy diet is a must for anyone who is expecting. When you are pregnant, you need more calcium, iron, folic acid, and other essential nutrients to support your growing baby. Upping your water intake at this time is also necessary. While you may take vitamins to fill the nutrition gap, you can only do so if your doctor gives you a prescription.
Never take any medicine without asking your doctor –this rule is even more important since you have a high risk pregnancy. Aside from eating healthy, you also need to watch your weight. Gaining a lot of weight can add more complications to your pregnancy.
Aim to do some light exercise regularly, and make sure you are as close to the normal weight as possible.
2. Aim for Nine Hours of Sleep
Sleep is a highly prized commodity when you are expecting. Since a lot of nutrition goes to your baby, the only way to compensate is to sleep more.
One study revealed getting less than six hours of sleep increases your chances of having Caesarian delivery by 4.5 times. Meanwhile, interrupted sleep increases your chance of Caesarian delivery by 5.2 times and it makes you more likely to have a longer labor.
Unfortunately, all trimesters pose major challenges which will make it impossible to get as much shut-eye as you want. In a survey, 78 percent of women reported disturbed sleep when they were expecting. In the first trimester, morning sickness and constant bathroom visits make it hard to stay sleep continuously.
When the second trimester rolls in, the queasiness might say goodbye but heartburn could keep you up at night. With some hacks, you can find a way to keep acid reflux under control but sleep might evade you if you start getting leg cramps.
During the third trimester, those leg cramps may become worse and you are back to constant bathroom breaks. Even with all of these struggles, you need to plan your sleeping routine especially when you have a high risk pregnancy.
To avoid having to go to the bathroom all the time, limit your liquid intake by 6 p.m. To reduce cramping, have an evening walk and massage your legs or better yet ask someone to do it for you before you call it a night.
Since getting eight hours of sleep can be a real struggle, aim to be in bed by 8 p.m. Whether you are sleeping or not spend at least nine hours in bed.
3. Undergo Prenatal Screening
If it’s a high risk pregnancy, it would be best to go for a prenatal screening. Tests conducted between the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy can reveal if your baby has any abnormalities.
Knowing what to expect ahead of time will play a crucial role in your prenatal care. Many birth defects may be prevented or mitigated during early pregnancy through proper supplementation. There may be further tests if there is an indication of greater risks.
While prenatal screenings are not out of the ordinary, be sure to ask your spouse or someone to accompany you. You never know what the test results could say –it would be better to have someone to lean on if you receive some bad news. Touchwood!
4. Treat Pre-Existing Medical Issues
If it’s a high risk pregnancy because you have diabetes, high blood pressure or another health issue, you need to treat your present condition first.
Diabetes is a major concern since high blood sugar levels can harm your unborn child, especially during the first eight weeks. There’s also a chance the baby will be born early and there’s a higher likelihood of getting preeclampsia.
While there are risks involved, you can still give birth to a healthy baby by paying attention to your health. Make sure your blood glucose is as close to normal levels as you can.
You also need to choose an obstetrician who treats women with diabetes, and other professionals to help you with prenatal care. Better yet look for a perinatologist –these professionals are better equipped in handling high risk pregnancy cases.
5. Relax and Offload Your Stress
No matter how calm your doctor delivers the news about your high risk pregnancy, it’s hard to relax. All the stress you are feeling would be of no help. Rather than getting obsessed over your worries, find ways to relax. Anxiety will be the biggest foe at this point, so you need to train those drunken monkeys in your head to behave.
Listen to calming music or audiobook, shop for the things you like if it makes you feel better, and don’t be guilty about not being as productive as you used to be. Keeping your stress bottled up will not help you, so reach out to your loved ones. Your partner, friends, and family members could be your sounding board during this stressful time.
If you have major concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. If your doctor can’t understand your needs, feel free to look for someone who knows what you are going through and is willing to assuage your fears.
Surviving a High Risk Pregnancy
A high risk pregnancy should not burst your bubble. Low risk pregnancies are just as difficult as high risk pregnancies. When the doctor determines you are high risk, pay more attention to your health and make sure you follow your doctor’s advice.
Taking all the precautions is best to make your delivery safer and easier. More monitoring and tests are required for high risk pregnancies to ensure mother and child will stay safe.
Rather than brood over your condition, keep a positive mind and visit your doctor on a regular basis. All the worries and struggles will be worth it once you see your newborn.
Hi, my name is Jade Hong, founder of HiGlamour. Having worked for a large nutraceutical company in Canada for years, I became well-versed on the relevant subjects and have produced many articles on health, beauty and Relationship since. Visit http://higlamour.com/ for more information.