What is a high risk pregnancy?

There are many scenarios where your pregnancy may be considered high risk. Most pregnancies start off low risk but can become higher risk as new and unexpected issues arise. Below are some common ones, although your OB or midwife will discuss your personal and pregnancy health history with you. Your midwife or family doctor may refer you to an OBGYN (specialist) or even an MFM (maternal fetal medicine subspecialist) for a consult and/or to take over care.

  • You have a health problem such as: diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, kidney disease, epilepsy, etc.

  • You use alcohol, drugs, cigarettes

  • You are pregnant with more than one baby (multiple pregnancy)

  • You have had three or more miscarriages

  • Your baby has a genetic condition or an issue with an organ (heart, lung, kidney etc)

  • You have had health issues in a previous pregnancy, such as preterm labour, preeclampsia, etc

  • You have an abnormal placenta

  • You have an infection such as HIV or Hepatitis C

  • You are a young teen (<17) or of advanced maternal age (>35)

Being higher risk does not always mean you will have a difficult pregnancy or labour. Your care provider will monitor your health, take precautions, and suggest treatment options if applicable. Your care may be transferred to an OB when a higher risk situation is recognized during your pregnancy or labour.

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