What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?
If a mother or baby have an increased chance of developing a health problem, the pregnancy is considered high risk. While high risk might sound intimidating, it is just a way for your doctor to make sure that you have the attention you need throughout your pregnancy to protect your health and the health and development of your baby. Some of the conditions that cause high-risk pregnancies include:
- High blood pressure or diabetes (either pre-existing or developing during pregnancy)
- Being overweight or obese
- Alcohol or drug use
- Being over the age of 35
- History of miscarriage or difficult pregnancy
- Being pregnant with more than one baby
How Is Care Different for High-Risk Pregnancies?
Women with high-risk pregnancies will see their OBGYN more often throughout the pregnancy and will have more frequent ultrasounds to monitor fetal development. You will also have more frequent blood work and blood pressure checks as well as urine tests to check for preeclampsia and urinary tract infections. If you are over the age of 35, you may have more genetic tests to check the health of your baby as the risk of a genetic disorder increases with the mother’s age.
If I Have a High-Risk Pregnancy, What Can I Do to Protect My Baby?
The most important thing you can do is to attend all of your prenatal visits so that your obstetrician can closely monitor your health, the health of your baby, and the baby’s development. You should follow a healthy diet and take any vitamins or supplements recommended by your doctor to support your health and the development of your baby. Avoid using tobacco products and alcohol. If you have questions about your pregnancy or if you notice a change in your health and wellbeing, contact your obstetrician right away.