There are many reasons why your obstetrician may class your pregnancy as high-risk. From your age through to complications such as gestational diabetes, each case requires extra care. Being told you are high risk can spark feelings of anxiety. However, there are lots of ways your obstetrician can support you through your pregnancy.
Depending on why your pregnancy is high-risk, you may feel lots of different emotions. Your OBGYN can support them in a variety of ways. Many will provide you with thorough explanations regarding your treatment options, and they will offer information about screening. If your anxiety is becoming problematic, you should ask your OBGYN if they can refer you to support services. Such services can range from support groups to professional counsellors.
All pregnant patients undergo diagnostic testing to ensure everything is okay with their pregnancy. However, if you're high-risk, then you'll need additional screening. Such screening could include ultrasound scans, periodic foetal ECGs or tests such as amniocentesis. It's worth remembering that additional tests are usually optional. However, your obstetrician would not recommend them if they did not believe they could benefit you and your baby. As such, it's wise to attend the appointments they suggest.
Your delivery options can sometimes feel limited when your pregnancy is high-risk. For example, your obstetric team may recommend that you avoid a home birth. However, many doctors will allow you to explore different delivery options within a hospital setting and may be able to offer the types of comforts that come with home births. For example, a birthing pool may be an option. In some cases, your delivery options could become more complex. For example, they may recommend inducing you early. Always maintain an open dialogue with the person providing your pre-natal care, as this will help them in offering you the right support.
High-risk pregnancies sometimes command additional post-natal support. For example, if you have gestational diabetes, then your baby may need greater input from a paediatric team. Or, if you deliver earlier than expected, then you may need further guidance with breastfeeding. Your obstetrician will discuss possible eventualities with you so that you both feel prepared. And if you do get a post-natal plan in place, always remember that you can make adjustments if things change.
Ultimately, excellent communication is the cornerstone of your relationship with your obstetric team. Always remember to ask questions as and when they arise so that you benefit from timely answers.