Testing and Preventing Pregnancy-Related Issues
The last thing an expectant mother wants to think about is the possibility of a medical complication during pregnancy, but unfortunately, they do occur from time to time. These medical complications could lead to premature birth, complications during labor and in some instances, infant death, so it’s extremely important to undergo careful evaluation for such issues if you find yourself at risk. Medical complications during pregnancy include, but are not limited to, miscarriage, preeclampsia, low amniotic fluid, placenta previa, gestational diabetes and an ectopic pregnancy.
For those men and women who have a complicated family history and pre-existing medical issues that could potentially be hereditary, it’s important to receive preconception counseling prior to trying for a baby. This consists of preconception testing, counseling, and appropriate medical care. Not everyone may absolutely need to undergo preconception counseling, but it’s extremely important if a woman or her partner have any medical issues such as diabetes, hypertension, an autoimmune disorder, an infectious disease of any kind or thyroid disease. Obstetrical issues that call for counseling include mature maternal age (35 years or older), recurrent pregnancy loss or stillbirth and a history of preterm labor and birth.
Risk Assessment and Planning
When there is a risk of complication during pregnancy, it’s important to assess and plan to prevent those from becoming harmful to the mother and baby. While complications can arise that are not life or death, it’s still crucial to tell your doctor of any pre-existing health issues that could lead to a complication. Common conditions that are found during pregnancy, which could lead to a serious complication, include anemia, which may be treated with an iron supplement; urinary tract infections, which are dealt with by taking antibiotics; gestational diabetes, which may be managed by a proper diet, exercise and occasionally medication. If untreated, these risks may lead to early birth or issues with breathing in a newborn. Risk assessment and planning allows a physician to sit down with a couple who is serious about conceiving a child, reviewing specific medical issues, discussing the risks and possible complications, and planning accordingly.
Assessment During Pregnancy
Unlike preconception counseling and risk assessment and planning, assessment during pregnancy takes place when a woman officially has a confirmed pregnancy. Even though expectant mothers are still going to visit their regular obstetrician at least once a month during the first 7-8 months of her pregnancy, either she or her doctor may notice some serious changes throughout the course of this time frame. Our team of perinatal doctors have the most advanced technology, combined experience and provide the best, all-inclusive care, and will make sure that we assess an expectant woman during her pregnancy to diagnose, monitor and treat any complications that she might have. Some will refer to this as a “high-risk pregnancy”, meaning that the pregnant woman and her child must be watched and cared for more than the average expectant mom and baby so that the risk of complications and negative outcomes will be minimized.
At New Jersey Perinatal Associates, we take medical complications of pregnancy very seriously, and will work with a mother to help her receive the proper assessments, care and treatment. With offices in five New Jersey locations, you can contact us by phone to schedule an appointment or speak with a doctor.