High Risk Pregnancy

doctor examining pregnant woman.Being called “High Risk” may sound scary but it’s just a way for your obstetrician to make sure that pregnant women under specific circumstances receive special attention during their pregnancy.

A patient’s past or current medical history may have its own list that make the pregnancy high risk. Some high risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • A previous preterm labor
  • History of preeclampsia or seizures (eclampsia)

Other situations that may be considered high risk include when a pregnant mother:

  • Is carrying more than one baby
  • Has had 3 or more miscarriages
  • Uses alcohol, illegal drugs, or smokes
  • Is younger than 17 or older than 35.

When an unborn baby has specific conditions, the pregnancy may be considered high risk including:

  • A baby that has a genetic condition such as Downs Syndrome
  • A baby with heart or lung problems
  • A baby with kidney problems

When a patient is considered to have a high-risk pregnancy they will have more visits with their obstetrician than a woman who does not have a high-risk pregnancy. The patient will have more ultrasound tests to make sure baby is growing well and sometimes they will be referred to a maternal-fetal specialist or perinatologist to help them through their pregnancy.