If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you and your baby are at a higher risk of developing certain conditions, or you’re more likely to deliver early.
Your pregnancy may be considered high-risk if you fall into the following categories:
- Younger than 17 or older than 35 years old
- Underweight or overweight
- Smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol
- Suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease
Women who’ve had previous pregnancies that involved delivering early or who’ve given birth to children with genetic defects are also at a higher risk of developing complications.
Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate the risk and ensure the safety of you and your baby.
Dr. John Macey specializes in helping women navigate the stress of a high-risk pregnancy for patients in and around Nashville, Tennessee. Below, we asked him to explain how to decrease your risk of complications.
Lower your stress
Certain practices such as prenatal yoga have been shown to decrease stress levels and reduce discomfort during pregnancy and labor.
Reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals
Researchers found that chemicals such as food preservatives, cleaning products, cosmetics, and medications can cross the placenta and reach babies in the womb.
Some studies that looked at the long-term exposure of these chemicals, even in small quantities, found they can potentially cause endocrine disorders, cognitive issues, and immune issues in infants.
Cooking from scratch and opting for natural cleaners and personal care products may help lower the number of chemicals you’re exposed to daily.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Nutritional deficiencies are a serious concern during pregnancy, as they can lead to developmental problems, severe birth defects, and premature delivery.
During pregnancy, the most important nutrients are folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega 3, and iodine.
Many healthy foods contain these nutrients. However, not all forms of these nutrients are easily absorbed by the body. In general, the human body has a harder time absorbing nutrients from plants due to the rigid plant cell walls.
Studies show that pregnant women who eat vegetarian and vegan diets are more likely to develop nutritional deficiencies.
Therefore, a balanced approach to dieting — which includes the consumption of lean meats, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates — is more likely to provide you with all the nutrients your baby needs.
Get medical help on your side
No matter how diligent you are about keeping your stress levels low, avoiding toxins, and eating a healthy diet, without the guidance of a specialist, your pregnancy can still pose problems.
To ensure you’re well, Dr. Macey may order blood tests and ultrasound exams, and he may also recommend certain supplements.
Get peace of mind by contacting us to schedule an appointment and get guidance for your pregnancy.