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How We Classify High-Risk Pregnancies

How We Classify High-Risk Pregnancies

If you’re pregnant, proper prenatal is vital for the health of your baby. Part of that prenatal care is managing the risk of high-risk pregnancy. Of the 3,747,540 U.S. births we had in 2019 alone, 8.31% of births were low birth weight and 10.23% were preterm. 

Generally, around 8% of all pregnancies have some complication that if not treated could be harmful to both mother and child. So knowing the factors that can increase complications during pregnancy can make a huge difference in the comfort and safety of childbirth. Let’s look at what is considered a high-risk pregnancy, and the factors that we use to determine your risk level.

Pregnant women in the Las Vegas, Nevada area looking for help can rely on the comprehensive expertise of Dr. Staci McHale and the experienced team at New Beginnings OB-GYN. Our individualized, compassionate care will ensure your child will be cared for from pregnancy to childbirth.

What is considered a high-risk pregnancy?

Any time you and your child have any issues that increase the danger of problems during pregnancy, you’re at high risk. Your pregnancy can start out normal when these kinds of problems present themselves, and the term high risk mainly indicates that extra care will be necessary to ensure a safe birth. Whether the issues are minor or severe, knowing what can increase the risks will make it easier to manage problems as they arise.

What factors classify you as high risk?

We gauge your risk during pregnancy based on the following issues:


This refers to either being outside of the normal age it is considered healthy to be pregnant, either younger (under 17) or older (35 or older). And the older you are, the higher the risk for miscarriage and birth defects.


Drinking, smoking, and illegal drug use can all create a risk of complications during pregnancy. Being overweight and having sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) while pregnant can also carry a higher risk of problems for your child.


Surgical procedures in your reproductive system, such as in your uterus, on uterine tumors, or from multiple cesarean sections can make things more difficult while pregnant.


A variety of medical conditions can create problems with having a child, including hyperemesis gravidarum (severe nausea leading to weight loss), gestational diabetes, placenta previa (when the placenta covers the cervix), preeclampsia, and other heart and blood disorders. Many things that endanger your health during pregnancy can be very dangerous for your child.


Carrying multiple children (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.) increases prenatal problems.


Problems during pregnancy, such as abnormal placenta position, fetal growth restriction (where the fetus is growing less than the 10th percentile for gestational age), and rhesus (Rh) sensitization (where your blood is Rh-negative and your child’s blood is Rh-positive).

These issues may sound scary, but regular screenings and checkups during pregnancy can make all the difference for making sure that we stay on top of every complication and help you bring your child into the world. 

So, regardless of any prenatal complications, you may be dealing with, make an appointment with Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today to get the care you and your child needs.

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