Being called “High Risk” may sound scary but it’s just a way for an obstetrician to make sure that a pregnant woman, under specific circumstances, may receive special attention during their pregnancy.
A patient’s past or current medical history may include indicators that make the pregnancy high risk. Some high risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- 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.