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What Constitutes a High-Risk Pregnancy?

It doesn’t matter if this is your first pregnancy or fourth, hearing those scary words “high risk” from your obstetrician can be nerve-wracking. For most women in the United States, pregnancy follows a routine schedule of events. 

For 6%-8% of women, though, they find themselves facing a high-risk pregnancy. The best way to ease your mind is to educate yourself about what constitutes a high-risk pregnancy. 

If you already know your pregnancy is going to be high risk, you should look for a doctor who specializes in high-risk obstetrics. Dr. Staci McHale at New Beginnings OB-GYN specializes in treating women whose pregnancies pose a higher risk for complications. 

Reasons to consider a pregnancy high risk 

There are a few factors that can make your pregnancy high risk. If you’re unsure of your specific situation, schedule an appointment today with Dr. McHale. 

Medical conditions 

If you have a medical condition going into your pregnancy, it can cause complications. This could be a condition such as diabetes, where your blood sugar needs close monitoring. Other chronic conditions that can make your pregnancy high risk are heart disorders, high blood pressure, respiratory issues, blood clotting disorders, or infections. 

You might also develop a medical condition during your pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. 

Pregnancy complications 

Mothers who had complications with their previous pregnancies are automatically considered high risk for subsequent pregnancies. 

Sometimes, your pregnancy won’t be classified as high risk until later in the pregnancy. Several complications can develop during your pregnancy, including: 

Because complications can develop during your pregnancy, you need a team that can recognize problems early on. This way, you and your doctor can develop an effective treatment plan. 

Multiple pregnancies 

If you’re pregnant with more than one child, the pregnancy is treated as high risk. Having twins or triplets increases the likelihood of pregnancy complications. 

Advanced age 

If you’re over 35, your pregnancy is considered high risk. Of course, women over 35 deliver happy, healthy babies every day, but your risk for developing complications is higher. The risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, for example, increases as you get older. At age 25, the risk is 1 in 1,250. At age 35, it’s 1 in 400. By age 45, the risk increases again to 1 in 30. 

You’re also at greater risk of having a miscarriage in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. As you get older, the risk continues to rise. At 35, the risk is about 20%. By the time you reach 45, the risk is 80%. 

Poor lifestyle choices 

For some expectant mothers, poor lifestyle choices can put their pregnancy in the high-risk category. These include smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs. 

Previous surgeries

If you’ve previously had surgery on your reproductive organs, then you’re at greater risk for complications. This could be multiple cesarean sections from previous pregnancies. It could also be surgery not related to pregnancy, such as the removal of uterine tumors. 

Put your pregnancy in expert hands 

If one or some of these conditions apply to you, then you already know that your pregnancy may be considered high risk. It’s best to seek out a doctor who’s knowledgeable in high-risk pregnancies to give you the best advice about your pregnancy. 

By working with the caring team at New Beginnings OB-GYN, you can take comfort knowing that your pregnancy is in good hands. They monitor your condition throughout the pregnancy and take quick action should any complications develop. 

Call our Las Vegas office or request your appointment online today. 

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