How to deal with high-risk pregnancies?
I’m 35 and planning to conceive. How can I be screened for a high-risk pregnancy?
arundhati ramanan, bangalore Maternal risk is assessed at the first meeting with the doctor. All high-risk factors such as obesity and older age are noted, and diseases like anaemia, heart disease, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, thyroid, kidney disease or high blood pressure are ruled out. Family history for genetic disorders are also identified. All pregnant women are advised blood tests to rule out infections like Hepatitis B, HIV and Syphilis and tests to ensure immunity to Rubella. To rule out fetal abnormality, two ultrasound examinations should be done. One at 11 to 14 weeks to see the thickness of the nuchal fold (neck) and a detailed one at 18 to 22 weeks to see detailed fetal structures. A blood test, double or triple marker at 11 to 14 weeks and 16 to 18 weeks is done in all cases to rule out chromosomal abnormalities.
What steps can one take to stay healthy and calm during a high-risk pregnancy?
binjal shah, mumbai The label of high-risk should not be used as an emotional pressure to undergo expensive tests and treatments, or used to justify the current rate of Caesarean sections which have reached epidemic proportions. All counselling should be non-alarmist and reassuring to ensure a happy healthy pregnancy. A balanced diet with vitamins, minerals and animal proteins, which come from fruits, vegetables, nuts and white meat at the time of conception and throughout pregnancy, is essential. This determines not only the fetal health but the long term health of the baby. Vitamin D3 and folic acid is also prescribed to women planning a pregnancy.
I am two months pregnant and so far my pregnancy has been going good. Can I skip getting tests done in the future?
ridhi mehta, delhi Tests and treatments advised these days cost a lot and lead to undue anxiety, but are essential. While only 10 per cent pregnancies require close medical supervision, it is important to visit the doctor regularly to rule out any risks. During the course of pregnancy, the fetus may be at risk because of infections, exposure to smoking, alcohol, and drugs, therefore it is vital to get regular check-ups done.