If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you or your baby might be at increased risk of health problems before, during or after delivery. Typically, special monitoring or care throughout pregnancy is needed. Understand the risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy, and what you can do to take care of yourself and your baby.
Sometimes a high-risk pregnancy is the result of a medical condition present before pregnancy. In other cases, a medical condition that develops during pregnancy for either you or your baby causes a pregnancy to become high risk.
Specific factors that might contribute to a high-risk pregnancy include:
If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, consult your health care provider. Your provider might counsel you to start taking a daily prenatal vitamin with folic acid and reach a healthy weight before you become pregnant. If you have a medical condition, your treatment might be adjusted in preparation for pregnancy. Your health care provider might also discuss your risk of having a baby with a genetic condition.
Seek regular prenatal care. Prenatal visits can help your health care provider monitor your health and your baby’s health. You might be referred to a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine, genetics, pediatrics or other areas.
Avoid risky substances. If you smoke, quit. Alcohol and illegal drugs are off-limits, too. Talk to your health care provider about any medications or supplements you’re taking