The birth of a child is a defining moment in a mother’s life. There’s no greater joy than seeing a life you’ve created come into the world. For some women, the end of the pregnancy may be triumphant, but the pregnancy itself can be fraught with dangerous trials.
Many women have at-risk pregnancies due to prior miscarriages, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other pre-existing medical conditions. After becoming pregnant, the mother may develop preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.
There are a few basic steps a woman can take to navigate through the ordeal of an at-risk pregnancy and help ensure that her baby makes it safely into the world.
1. Find a specialist and ask questions
Seek out an obstetrician with extensive experience in dealing with at-risk pregnancies. List and present questions about any pre-existing condition you may have, and about any conditions you may develop as a result of your pregnancy. Get details about what you can do and should not do. Create a calendar to help you monitor your progress and report it faithfully to the doctor during each visit. What you know and when you know it can help guide you through the pregnancy successfully.
2. Ask the doctor about taking vitamins
While experts agree that an expectant mother should take between 0.4 and 0.8 mg of folic acid daily, it’s important that she apprise her doctor of all other vitamin choices. Physicians will likely prescribe iron, vitamins, and other prenatal medications, but anything not prescribed or endorsed by the doctor should be discontinued, pending the doctor’s approval—that includes those innocuous over-the-counter or daily vitamins taken prior to the pregnancy.
3. Eat a healthier diet
After the shock of learning that you’re pregnant, the next big shock to your system may be the need to change your diet. Eating a healthy diet is absolutely imperative during an at-risk pregnancy.
Appropriate diets should include fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and protein. And don’t play it by ear. Ask for your obstetrician’s recommendations. If need be, seek the advice of a dietician who can address your specific dietary needs during this period. Healthy diets can actually help reduce the risk level in some at-risk pregnancies. Make the commitment early in your pregnancy to eat your way to a healthier pregnancy.
4. Stay away from germs
As fond as you may be of your family, during an at-risk pregnancy you should avoid everyone—even loved ones—who are suffering from colds, infections, or contagious diseases. Limit your exposure to anything or anyone that can compromise your resistance to illness.
5. Be your own health advocate
Most doctors become their patient’s ally in dealing with any condition, and to be sure, you should heed all of the advice your obstetrician gives. But your own gut and your knowledge of your body should not be dismissed. Feel free to express your own intuitive concerns and ask questions until you’re satisfied that you have the information you need to make informed choices.
Note your doctor’s willingness to answer detailed questions. If the doctor is less than forthcoming, seek a second opinion, or even engage the services of another obstetrician altogether.
Medical malpractice lawsuits related to birth injuries in at-risk pregnancies are not uncommon. These unfortunate cases often involve doctors injuring children by not performing necessary C-sections, not recognizing pregnancies as at-risk, or failing to delay premature deliveries. For mothers living in Maryland, http://medicalmalpractice.maryland-injury-lawyer.com will provide the insight needed in dealing with such tragic cases.
Any pregnancy is an adventure. An at-risk pregnancy may be an ordeal, but with proper prenatal maintenance under the care of an experienced health care provider, the risks may be mitigated, and mother and child both can make it through safely.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell knows from personal experience how invaluable good obstetrical care can be. In the sad event of an injury or death after an at-risk pregnancy, the lawyers at Price Benowitz LLP, at http://medicalmalpractice.maryland-injury-lawyer.com, can help ensure that an injured infant and family receive the legal and financial support they need.