Some women experience pregnancy problems that put them into the high risk category. High risk pregnancy problems include, but are not limited to, multiples, placenta previa, high blood pressure, a history of high risk pregnancy problems, incomplete cervix, HIV, amniotic fluid issues, various bacterial/viral infections and drug/alcohol use during pregnancy. Many of these high risk pregnancy problems are manageable with good care. In addition, though yours may be classified as a high risk pregnancy, you can still have a healthy pregnancy. For example, you may be pregnant with multiples and have no complications at all, or you may be pregnant with multiples and have many complications. It all depends on your body, your care provider and your baby or babies. If you've reached a high risk pregnancy classification, you may be wondering how best to manage your pregnancy.
- Start your prenatal care early. The earlier you start your prenatal care, the earlier pregnancy complications might be discovered, thereby allowing proper treatment to begin. The severity of many pregnancy complications can be lessened with early detection.
- Listen to your care provider. Follow your care provider's instructions. If she recommend bed rest, then stay in bed. If she recommends you take a leave of absence from work, then go on disability.
- Ask questions. Don't hesitate to ask your care provider for clarification and more information about your complication. Understand why your doctor insists you take particular steps or undergo certain tests. Ask how your condition can affect your birth, or if it will affect your birth at all.
- Do research. Look at articles, consult books and study the statistics. Learn about the common, recommended methods of treatment for your condition. If you find research that disagrees with your care provider's recommendation, discuss the topic with him. Have your care provider explain his views to you. If your care provider won't speak to you about your treatment, threatens you with dire consequences if you disobey his orders, or only reluctantly responds to your concerns, then find another care provider.
- Go to your tests. If your care provider determines extra tests are necessary, do not avoid them. If you have an issue with the testing, or find research that suggests the test is unnecessary, talk to your care provider.
- Take care of yourself. Drink plenty of fluids (at least eight glasses of water a day). Eat healthy foods, take your prenatal vitamin and try to cut junk food from your diet. Get plenty of rest. If you have other children and/or experience difficulty keeping up with errands and chores, seek the help of your friends and family or hire an antepartum (before birth) doula.
- Maintain a positive outlook. It's very easy to become depressed if you have to leave work early or be on bed rest due to pregnancy complications. Try to keep your spirits up by staying in touch with friends, family and co-workers through e-mail and phone calls. Ask friends and family members to visit you. Stay busy with fun activities that you can enjoy at home and in bed. Take up a new hobby like embroidery or knitting, or develop a new skill that you will enjoy long after your pregnancy. Become a computer geek or take up video games. Give yourself a treat for each day until you deliver. Treats can be as simple as a pedicure, buying yourself a new novel on the Internet, or having someone bring you ice cream.
- Seek professional help. If you or your baby's health is in serious jeopardy, it may be hard to maintain a positive outlook. Ask your care provider for referral to a counselor so you and your family can process some of your emotions and prepare for the future. If you are unable to go to a counselor, your care provider may refer you to someone who does house calls or can talk to you over the phone. If you belong to a church, a clergy member may also be able to help you.