Vol. 5 Num 835 Sun. October 01, 2006  
Star Health

Keeping safe high risk pregnancies

When a woman becomes pregnant, she herself and all her family members eagerly wait for a beautiful and healthy baby. But it is difficult to say that both the mother and baby will certainly be safe just even before delivery.

Sometimes serious complication arises at delivery despite uneventful full term pregnancy. In this sense every pregnancy is risky.

In many circumstances, pregnancy becomes highly risky. It may cause death of the mother as well as of the baby. Risky mothers should be diagnosed as early as possible. They need appropriate attention and proper treatment. A fetomaternal medicine specialist (who deals with the health concern of mother and upcoming baby) is capable of dealing with this high risk mothers. In our country, only Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) has Fetomaternal Medicine Department. For the last two years this department has been serving the high risk mothers taking special care.

What is high risk pregnancy?
There are several mothers who suffer from hypertension before conception. These high risk mothers suffer from preaclampsia, eclampsia, preterm delivery etc. They even may die for these complications. But with simple measures we can avoid this unwanted death.

Pregnancy impasses a heavy burden to the patient who is diabetic. Diabetic women have a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia, abortion, preterm deliveries. In consequences, these upcoming babies are in more risk than mother. Such as fetal congenital abnormalities, intrauterine death, growth retardation, macrosomian (a newborn with an excessive birth weight). These mothers need frequent monitoring, strict therapy and highly regulated life style.

Cardiac disease and pregnancy
Pregnancy causes significant changes in cardiovascular physiology. The haemodynamic changes that occur during pregnancy have a profound effect on the patient with cardiovascular disease.

Renal disease and pregnancy
Mothers with pre-existing kidney disease suffer from severe hypertension. Their pregnancy become complicated with kidney failure. It may cause death , preterm delivery. The majority of infant have low birth weight.

Repeated abortion
Mothers who have experienced repeated abortion need more extensive investigations. After finding the specific cause, proper treatment and precaution should be ensured.

Birth defect of babies
It is a very common problem in our country. In most cases babies born with severe birth defect and die just after their birth. Among them, which babies survive need sophisticated and expensive treatment. In most cases parents cannot avail the cost and in some cases treatment is not available in our country. So mothers who are at high risk of having babies with birth defects need through medical examinations and special precautions before conception.

A beautiful healthy baby is women's ever dream. But there are many women who are deprived from even having a child. Giving birth of a defected baby is more painful than pain during pregnancy. Fetomaternal medicine unit in many respect can reduces the risk of those high risk mothers and takes responsibilities of giving birth a healthy baby and keep the mother fit.

Prof Dr Firoza Begum is a Professor of Fetomaternal Medicine Department of BSMMU and Dr Kaniz Fatema is a fellow physician of the same department.
Prof Dr Firoza Begum (left) with other doctors examining a patient at the Fetomaternal Medicine Department of BSMMU