What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

In essence, a high-risk pregnancy is one that presents a threat to the well-being of the mother or the child. These types of pregnancies require specialized care from highly trained physicians to decrease risk and create the best chance of a healthier outcome.

At High Risk Pregnancy Center (HRPC), our maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialists provide that extra measure of specialized attention through experienced and proactive care. After their respective OB/GYN residencies, our doctors completed several years of fellowship training in advanced ultrasound techniques, modern genetics procedures and testing, caring for medical conditions during pregnancy, and solving problematic medical conditions that can affect a mother or her developing baby.

Factors and conditions that put women in the high-risk pregnancy category

Many pregnancies become high risk as they progress, while other women are at increased risk for complications even before they get pregnant. Some reasons for a high-risk pregnancy include:

  • An older or younger maternal age – If you become pregnant in your teen years, or when you are over age 35, the risk of abnormal pregnancy is increased.
  • Being overweight or obese –A body mass index of greater than 30 (obese), increases the likelihood of complications during pregnancy and delivery. Obesity is also associated with increased fetal anomalies and requires frequent and detailed ultrasound exams. Advanced ultrasound is often exclusively available through MFM specialists like the professionals at HRPC.
  • Family history – If birth defects or genetic disorders have occurred in your immediate family history, your baby could be affected. At HRPC, we can provide information that assists you in understanding these risks.
  • Multiple births – Women who are giving birth to twins or triplets, etc. often have a higher risk of complications. Multiple births require advanced ultrasound to detect uncommon and preventable risks as early as possible in pregnancy. Also, medical care changes during multiple birth situations. The earlier care can be provided, the greater the chances are of reducing or eliminating some complications.
  • Fetal growth restriction – This condition is characterized by a fetus with small internal organs, or one with a weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age. FGR requires advanced follow-up of fetal blood flow to possible prevent harm.
  • History of previous abnormal pregnancy – Including preeclampsia, preterm birth, fetal growth restriction or stillbirth. If you’ve had a pregnancy with risks or complications, we can provide care and advice to help prevent problems in your current pregnancy.
  • History of thyroid disease – Hypothyroidism can put your baby at greater risk for neurological or developmental challenges. But if caught and treated early in the pregnancy, or even during pre-pregnancy, a thyroid condition can be managed so a healthy birth is possible.
  • History of asthma on medications
  • Use of prescription medications – Certain medications (such as those that treat epilepsy) may increase risks to your baby.
  • Substance use problems – Drinking or using drugs while you’re pregnant is harmful to your baby’s development. You can also cause your child to inherit the health problems associated with substance use and abuse. If you have a substance abuse problem, we are here to help.

Be proactive about high-risk pregnancy care

The earlier you seek care for a high-risk pregnancy, the greater the chances of avoiding problems. Early and frequent visits can also help you manage conditions and optimize the outcomes for your pregnancy. Also, a thorough check up with an MFM subspecialist may decrease your stress and set you up for a successful and healthy pregnancy.

Specialized, attentive care for every type of pregnancy

At HRPC, you don’t have to be a high-risk mom to benefit from the exceptional care we provide. In addition to our caring MFM specialists, we offer preconception counseling, ultrasound screenings, first trimester testing, genetics and diabetes treatment and more. With the HRPC team on your side, your healthy baby is on the way.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us toll-free at 702-382-3200 use our easy contact form.