In an interview with GN Focus, Dr Prashanth Hegde, Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Gynaec Laparoscopic Surgeon at Thumbay University Hospital, emphasises the need for regular prenatal checkups.
How can a woman know whether her pregnancy is high-risk or not?
Ideally all pregnancies need to be planned. A pre-pregnancy consultation with an obstetrician is desirable and recommended to know the risk profile of the couple. Preconception screening followed by counselling should help expectant mothers to know their risk status. This also provides an opportunity for the doctor to advise preventive measures to eliminate or reduce these risks.
The best advice I have for women planning a pregnancy is to visit an obstetrician and have a preconception checkup. This is all the more important and highly recommended for women who had bad outcomes due to prior high-risk pregnancies. This helps them make appropriate lifestyle modifications before conceiving such as quitting smoking and getting rid of alcoholism and addictions, working towards maintaining optimal body weight to avoid obesity- and overweight-related risks and ensuring vitamin replenishment. It is equally important to confirm the pregnancy at the earliest and undergo regular prenatal checkups with a specialist.
This is all the more important and highly recommended for women who had bad outcomes due to prior high-risk pregnancies.
In the UAE, maternal obesity, advanced maternal age (pregnancies in late 30s and early 40s), higher prevalence of diabetes, higher birth orders (multiple children), and higher maternal request for caesarean or repeat caesarean are some of the common reasons for pregnancy-related risks.
What are the high-risk pregnancy services available at your hospital?
Being a tertiary-care university hospital, Thumbay University Hospital deals with all types of high-risk pregnancies on a day-to-day basis. Starting from preconception consultation and screening, we provide appropriate advice and support to women prior to and throughout every stage of pregnancy and delivery.
We have facilities such as specialised targeted ultrasound scan, laboratory essays for detection of chromosomal abnormalities, aneuploidy markers, and cell-free DNA analysis for genetic screening, to name a few, in addition to the routine investigations needed for the evaluation of high-risk pregnancies. Added advantage is the availability of multidisciplinary team of doctors to handle complicated pregnancies. Level 3 advanced neonatal intensive care unit in the hospital enables our efforts to salvage extremely premature babies.
Tell us about the latest advances in high-risk pregnancy care available at your hospital.
Technological advances combined with evidence-based approach in managing high-risk pregnancies have revolutionised our care with improved outcomes for these mothers and their babies.
A low-risk pregnancy in the early months can turn into a high-risk one due to factors such as gestational hypertension and diabetes. An emphasis on the need for regular prenatal checkups, coupled with modern preventive and curative specialised obstetric care of global standards in a world-class setup through our highly experienced and skilled team, endorses our commitment towards healthy mothers and babies.
For more information call 06 770 5555 or 056 411 6555 or visit Thumbayuniversityhospital.com