High Risk Pregnancy

Pregnancy Resources

A high risk pregnancy is one that is complicated by factors requiring additional care during pregnancy. 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 mom or baby causes a pregnancy to become high risk. Specific factors that might contribute to a high-risk pregnancy include:

  • Advanced maternal age: Pregnancy risks are higher for mothers age 35 and older.
  • Lifestyle choices: Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can put a pregnancy at risk.
  • Medical history: A prior C-section, low birth weight baby or preterm birth — birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy — might increase the risks for subsequent pregnancies. Other risk factors include a fetal genetic condition, a family history of genetic conditions, a history of pregnancy loss or the death of a baby shortly after birth.
  • Underlying conditions: Chronic conditions — such as diabetes, high blood pressure and epilepsy — increase pregnancy risks. A blood condition such as anemia or clotting disorders, or an infection can increase pregnancy risks.
  • Pregnancy complications: Various complications that develop during pregnancy pose risks, such as problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta. Other concerns might include too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) or too little amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios), restricted fetal growth, Rh sensitization, or gestational hypertension or diabetes.
  • Multiple pregnancy: Pregnancy risks are higher for women carrying more than one baby.
  • Overdue pregnancy: You might face additional risks if your pregnancy continues too long beyond the due date.

Once it is determined you have a high risk pregnancy, your provider will follow your pregnancy  more closely, and you will likely undergo additional screenings for the wellness of your baby. The most common of these, in addition to lab tests, are NST’s and ultrasounds. For more information on these evaluations, see Prenatal Testing .

Valley has High Risk Nurses in our American Fork and Provo clinics that will follow your pregnancy and will be able to answer any questions you may have.

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