Everyday we make risk assessments usually without even knowing or really thinking about it. How often do we cross the road 30 meters away from a zebra crossing because we have subconsciously assessed that the risk outweighs the benefits of having to walk that little bit further. In actual fact the statistical change of injury crossing away from the crossing is probably only marginally more than making the additional journey.
In honesty pregnancy is no different. The majority of recommendations given to us are based on risk assessments. The balance of probability. Understanding what the risks are is what helps us make decisions about our pregnancy, labour and birth.
So, you have had your antenatal appointments or scans and suddenly you are advised that you fall into a "high risk" category. What does this mean? In actual fact in most cases this means that to keep you and your baby healthy you just need a little extra help or monitoring.
If you have had a pre-existing condition this news may not have come as a shock or you have just been advised that your pregnancy is not textbook and so the information is more of a shock.The key to continuing to enjoy your pregnancy is to understand your situation and what measures need to be taken to keep your risks to a minimum. This may be regular blood sugar testing if you are diabetic, understanding warning signs if you have high blood pressure, what happens if your placenta is low? All of these questions can be answered by engaging with your care provider and antenatal education classes. We all know that sadly, things do occasionally go wrong and that people experience poor outcomes however, even with a "high risk" pregnancy - just like crossing the road - if we watch where we are going and understand the risks the vast majority of us will get to the other side. Unlike the poor guy chopping down this tea who clearly didn't research the risks or get educated properly!