High Risk Obstetrical Care
In addition to our general obstetrical services, we also provide care for high risk pregnancies, including women with pre-existing medical conditions, multiple births or abnormal pregnancies that carry an increased risk of complications. Our doctors strive to develop strong, trusting relationships with their patients to help them experience a smooth pregnancy.
Some conditions that may increase the risk of complication during pregnancy or delivery include diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, heart disease, cancer and more. Complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, premature birth, pre-eclampsia and recurrent miscarriages can also be treated by our specialists. For these women, we provide frequent exams and ultrasounds to ensure a healthy pregnancy. We often work with maternal fetal medicine specialists to ensure you are receiving the highest quality of care.
What is PreEclampsia?
Has your blood pressure been recently elevated? This may be chronic hypertension, but it may be among the first signs of a condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia usually develops in the last three months of pregnancy and is diagnosed in patients after 20 weeks of gestation. Preeclampsia shows up as high blood pressure, swelling of your hands, feet and/or face and protein in your urine. Preeclampsia is a serious health condition because it can cause, among other things, poor growth of your baby, not enough fluid around your baby, early separation of the placenta, stillbirth or seizures if you are not treated.
Who can get PreEclampsia?
Women who are at risk for preeclampsia at those with diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure before pregnancy, lupus, sickle cell anemia, young women having their first baby, women carrying multiples and women over 35. However, anyone can develop preeclampsia. While we know who has a higher chance of getting preeclampsia, we do not know the cause.
How is PreEclampsia treated?
While there is no treatment for preeclampsia, the cure is delivery. Preeclampsia only happens during pregnancy. However, if it is too early for your baby to be born and the signs are only mild, bed rest and close observation may be prescribed by your doctor. We may schedule appointments as often as twice weekly to monitor the baby's health. Blood tests can help your doctor determine how bad the preeclampsia is and whether it is safe to wait for delivery. Early delivery of your baby may be needed if the signs are bad enough and you are in danger. During labor and after delivery, medication can be given to the mother to prevent seizures and to control high blood pressure.
What can I do?
If bed rest and close observation are prescribed by your doctor, lie on you left side as much as possible. This position will lower your blood pressure and get more blood flow to you baby. You can take your own blood pressure at home; blood pressures above 160/110 are abnormal. If you have sudden significant swelling or weight gain, you may need to get your blood pressure checked. Keep all of you scheduled appointments with you doctor. If medication is prescribed, take as directed without skipping doses.
IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING, CALL YOUR DOCTOR'S OFFICE IMMEDIATELY:
- SEVERE HEADACHE not relieved by TylenolBlurry vision, spots before your eyes or sudden changes in your vision
- Dull, constant pain under your right breast (liver pain)
- Four or more contractions in a 1 hour period if you are less than 34 weeks pregnant
- Vaginal bleeding like a period
- Decrease in your baby's normal movement pattern