What does it mean to be high risk?

Many factors can contribute to a high-risk pregnancy. Those can include pre-existing conditions such as obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes or other health conditions.

Gestational diabetes, or a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, can also put you and your baby at risk.

In addition, mothers age 35 and older or those carrying more than one baby have an increased risk for complications.

Finally, lifestyle factors such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs can lead to a high-risk pregnancy.

What can be done?

While it may sound frightening, high risk just means you and your baby will need to be monitored more closely. Your doctor may also prescribe a treatment plan with your specific condition in mind.

In addition, your healthcare provider may order certain tests to check the health and development of your baby.

What can I do?

Whether you are pregnant or considering pregnancy, there are steps you can take to ensure a healthier outcome while reducing the overall effects of a high-risk pregnancy.

Schedule an appointment. Whether it’s a preconception appointment or an appointment for prenatal care, your doctor is happy to discuss your condition and offer counsel.

Your doctor can offer advice on how to reach a healthy weight before becoming pregnant or refer you to a smoking cessation program.

If you have a pre-existing health condition, your doctor may provide you with a personalized treatment plan to better manage your pregnancy, labor and delivery.

Your doctor may also discuss the risks of having a baby with a genetic condition.

Whatever the case, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional so that he or she can help identify the best course of treatment for your needs.