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It can be very scary to be told that you are classed as a high-risk pregnancy but this just means the doctors want to keep a closer eye on you to make sure you and the baby are happy and healthy every step of the way. So what makes a high-risk pregnancy?
There are certain conditions that put you in this category when you are having a baby such as if you have diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, you have had problems with past pregnancies, you are having a multiple birth or if your baby has been found to have a genetic condition, for example Down syndrome or a heart, lung or kidney problem.
However, it is important to remember that being classed a high risk pregnancy doesn’t mean that you or your baby will have problems. There are also other conditions to be aware of when you are having a baby that can be common to all women, whether high-risk or not. Here are some of them:
Iron deficiency in the body leads to the condition anaemia. This happens when your body doesn’t get enough iron, as iron is vital for supporting the blood supply to the developing baby. Symptoms of anaemia include a pale complexion, feeling weak, tired or breathless and at worst, fainting spells.
Meet your required intake of iron with foods rich in iron such as beef, duck, turkey, sardines, potatoes baked with the skin on, spinach, kale and other dark green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, oat bran, barley, wheat and quinoa, beans and peas, dried fruit and soy products.
Spotting is when you experience light bleeding that can be pink, red or brown in colour. It is not uncommon for women to have spotting when having a baby, and more often than not mother and baby are unaffected.
However it can be a sign that there is something wrong. You might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, which is when a fertilised egg implants itself somewhere other than the womb, or a placenta abruption, which is when the placenta pulls away from the uterine wall or even the first signs of a miscarriage.
In these cases, the bleeding is often heavier; more prolonged and can be accompanied by stomach cramps or sharp pain. If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact your GP immediately.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urine infections can be common in pregnancy and you might have an infection if you experience stomach, pelvic or lower abdominal pain, have discomfort passing urine, you have an uncontrollable urge to pee or your urine is cloudy and foul smelling.
Pre-Eclampsia causes problems with your circulation and is linked to raised blood pressure, protein in the urine and swelling of the hands and feet. While it is relatively symptomless in the early stages, women can experience bad headaches, blurring or flashing lights in the vision, pain below the ribs, vomiting and severe swelling of the face, hands and feet in severe cases.
Debra Aspinall is an experienced journalist and the editor and leading writer for the Emma’s Diary website, one of the UKs foremost pregnancy and baby websites.