High Risk Pregnancy

High risk pregnancies are those pregnancies that have an increased likelihood of developing complications during pregnancy, labor, birth, or the post-partum period. High risk pregnancies can still be healthy pregnancies, but they often require more medical supervision that normal pregnancies. Approximately 20% of all pregnancies are classified as high risk. However, the classification of ‘high risk’ or ‘low risk’ is merely a tool for obstetricians to determine the likelihood of complications. Most high-risk pregnancies have normal outcomes, and some low risk pregnancies can have unexpected complications. Not all problems are predictable, but even with challenges in pregnancy, both low risk and high risk mothers can experience healthy deliveries and healthy babies.

High Risk Pregnancy

High risk pregnancies are those pregnancies that have an increased likelihood of developing complications during pregnancy, labor, birth, or the post-partum period. High risk pregnancies can still be healthy pregnancies, but they often require more medical supervision that normal pregnancies. Approximately 20% of all pregnancies are classified as high risk. However, the classification of ‘high risk’ or ‘low risk’ is merely a tool for obstetricians to determine the likelihood of complications. Most high-risk pregnancies have normal outcomes, and some low risk pregnancies can have unexpected complications. Not all problems are predictable, but even with challenges in pregnancy, both low risk and high risk mothers can experience healthy deliveries and healthy babies.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several factors that can contribute to a pregnancy being classified as ‘high risk.’ Examples include:

  • Being over age 35 or under age 15
  • Pregnancies carrying multiple babies
  • Prior pregnancy complications, such as pre-term birth or postpartum hemorrhaging
  • Lifestyle habits, such as using tobacco, drugs or drinking alcohol
  • Pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure

If your pregnancy is deemed ‘high risk,’ you can expect more frequent prenatal appointments than women experiencing low risk pregnancies. You may also need additional testing and monitoring.

Your prenatal care may vary from that of low-risk pregnancies, and it is possible that we will make special recommendations for care. Be sure to discuss your concerns about your high-risk pregnancy care prior to becoming pregnant or at your initial prenatal appointment.

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