A pregnancy can place additional strains on the body throughout each trimester. It’s important to maintain a healthy diet and ensure appointments are made on each milestone with a licensed OB/GYN. However, some pregnancies fall outside this spectrum and require extra care. Issues related to problems with the placenta and potential distress with the expecting mother can happen occasionally.
5 Ways to Help Your Spouse go Through a High-Risk Pregnancy
Know and Encourage Healthy Habits
Some of the most common health problems in higher risk pregnancies can be mitigated to an extent. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels can be monitored and a comprehensive diet can keep those levels from fluctuating. Cooking healthy meals and providing resources for your spouse can be beneficial throughout the pregnancy. Make it low stress by incorporating new recipes and getting involved together in making healthier choices.
Make an Appointment with a High Risk Obstetrician
Obstetricians that specialize in high risk pregnancies have extra training and experience in a variety of complications that arise throughout each trimester (Source: Dr. Gilbert Webb, USNews). This type of obstetrician will obtain a thorough family and personal medical history. They may also order specialized tests such as a targeted ultrasound or an amniocentesis to check for abnormalities after 15 weeks, among other things. Early prenatal testing can provide a strong battery of baseline data to carry throughout the pregnancy for better prevention. Spouses are encouraged to attend each appointment.
Understand Early Warning Signs
There are many types of pregnancies that can be considered high risk. Everything from having multiples to the risk of gestational diabetes can be considered a factor in developing a high risk pregnancy. Learning the warning signs early on for distress can allow a spouse to engage quickly. You can help your spouse keep track of things such as baby movement during the day and levels of pain throughout the week. Your spouse may be more likely to subscribe to early bed rest if needed.
Provide Emotional and Physical Support
A high risk pregnancy can carry some high emotions at times. The pregnancy may be a second chance after a previous miscarriage. It may be a first time pregnancy at a later age that carries extra risks and responsibilities. You can provide emotional support by remaining a cheerleader for your spouse. Remain realistic about options and also take into consideration on what your spouse feels is best in a situation. Physical support may require you to be available for appointments and provide relief by taking over certain chores.
Keep Yourself Healthy
A common response in airline accidents is to put your oxygen mask on before putting the child’s mask on. This logic is based on the notion that you simply cannot help someone else out effectively if you aren’t prepared yourself. High risk pregnancies can be elevated if you engage in unhealthy activities such as smoking or discouraging a healthy diet by keeping poor food choices in the home. Secondhand smoke can be just as hard on mother and child. It’s also important for you to maintain a supportive role by staying healthy. When you’re sick, it’s vitally important to wash your hands and get treatment as soon as possible for colds or viruses that may spread in the home. Keeping your stress level down can create a space of calm in the home and lower associated risks of high stress onto the mother.
A high-risk pregnancy is not without its challenges. However, becoming aware of the signs and being proactive are some of the best ways you can support a spouse. As a spouse you have the opportunity to remain a mentor and support role to the mom-to-be. Just be sure to take care of yourself and encourage stress relieving techniques throughout the pregnancy.