What Pregnancies Are High-Risk?

Medically Reviewed on 12/21/2022
High-Risk Pregnancies
Despite pregnancy being a natural process, a number of complications can increase your risk of miscarriage.

Pregnancy is a natural process. After a full-term pregnancy, the person goes into labor and gives birth to a healthy baby if they have no pregnancy-related complications.

Pregnancy is considered high-risk when there are potential complications that affect both the mother and baby.

How to promote a healthy pregnancy

For a healthy pregnancy, here are a few basic tips:

  • Schedule a preconception appointment: If you are planning for pregnancy, visit your healthcare provider, who may suggest folic acid and vitamin supplements and prepare you for pregnancy. If you have any underlying medical condition, your healthcare provider may make slight changes in the treatment to avoid drug-induced complications. Your healthcare provider may discuss the risk of having a baby with genetic conditions.
  • Schedule regular prenatal care: Regular prenatal care during pregnancy may help check your and your baby's health.
  • Avoid harmful substances: Tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
  • Eat healthily and exercise daily: This may help you stay active during pregnancy.
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Protect yourself from infections
  • Do not have unprotected sex, especially when your partner is with history of sexually transmitted diseases

High-risk factors for pregnancy

The following are the factors that increase the risk of pregnancy:

  • Maternal age
    • One of the most important factors for high-risk pregnancy. A person older than 35 years tends to get more pregnancy complications.
  • Medical conditions before pregnancy
  • Pregnancy-related issues
    • Premature labor: Also called preterm birth and occurs when the baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm birth is associated with various health problems and developmental delays in children. The preterm birth rate in the United States in 2021 was 10.5 percent.
    • Multiple births: A pregnancy with twins, triplets, or quadruplets increases the risk of complications and may result in premature births, pregnancy-related blood pressure, and gestational diabetes. Multiple births are seen in people using infertility treatments. These babies may reach developmental milestones late or have cerebral palsy.
    • Placenta previa: The cervix is covered by the placenta and results in bleeding, especially when the woman has contractions. A cesarean section is usually performed to avoid bleeding complications in both the mother and the baby.
    • Fetal problems: Diagnosed via ultrasound. Some of the fetal problems are because of family history or unexpected.


The first sign of pregnancy is most often: See Answer

When to talk to your doctor about your pregnancy

Talk to your healthcare provider about how to manage health conditions during pregnancy.

If you have any of the following, consult your doctor immediately:

What are the diagnostic tests that help to check your health during pregnancy?

The following tests are recommended during pregnancy:

What diagnostic tests help to check a baby's health during pregnancy?

A few tests that help check the baby's health and well-being are

  • Nonstress tests
  • Biophysical profiles
  • Contraction stress tests
  • Fetal movement count
  • Ultrasound and doppler test
Medically Reviewed on 12/21/2022
Image Source: iStock image

High-risk pregnancy: Know what to expect. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/high-risk-pregnancy/art-20047012

Managing a High-Risk Pregnancy. https://www.webmd.com/baby/managing-a-high-risk-pregnancy

High-Risk Pregnancy: What You Need to Know. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/staying-healthy-during-pregnancy/high-risk-pregnancy-what-you-need-to-know