What Classifies a Pregnancy as High Risk?

What Classifies a Pregnancy as High Risk?

So much excitement surrounds pregnancy and finally meeting your little one after nine months. You make sure you’re eating right, getting enough rest, and taking good care of your health, as well as doing fun things like choosing a name and decorating your nursery. 

We wish for a pregnancy that goes smoothly, of course, but there are some factors that make a pregnancy high risk. This means there’s a higher likelihood for problems to arise that put you or your baby at risk. About 6-8% of women’s pregnancies can be labeled “high risk.” 

If you fall into this category for any reason, your doctor will want to address any pregnancy-related concern as quickly as possible. 

Dr. Peter Khamvongsa provides a wide range of gynecologic and obstetrics services and has expertise with treating high-risk pregnancies. Our entire team at The Miami Institute for Women’s Health partners with you during your pregnancy and treats you with dignity and compassion. 

What factors make a pregnancy high risk?

We break down the various reasons that Dr. Khamvongsa may classify your pregnancy as high risk. These include:

Existing health conditions

If you live with certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, Dr. Khamvongsa will monitor you more carefully, specifically within the context of your pregnancy. 

This isn’t just relevant for physical health conditions, either. If you suffer from any mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, you should discuss this with Dr. Khamvongsa as well as any medications you’re taking. He will also want to know if you’re under an unusual amount of stress and where you’re at emotionally throughout your pregnancy. 

Dr. Khamvongsa also takes genetic disorders into account as he cares for you, such as sickle cell disease if you’re African American, or cystic fibrosis, and monitors you and your baby appropriately.

Maternal age 

Being under 17 years of age or over 35 puts you in a higher risk category when you’re pregnant. Dr. Khamvongsa watches you more carefully, checking for signs of complications that can occur more frequently in those age groups. Preterm labor is one example. 

Medical issues that arise while you’re pregnant

Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) are conditions that can negatively impact your pregnancy and birth. Even though they resolve after you have your baby, Dr. Khamvongsa is quite careful about watching for and appropriately treating them. 

Expecting more than one baby

If you’re expecting twins or triplets, your need to be cared for with a watchful eye increases exponentially. For example, with multiple babies, you have a higher chance of giving birth prematurely. 

With increased awareness around the unique risks that having multiple babies presents, Dr. Khamvongsa ensures your safety and your babies’ with close observation and intervention if necessary. 

Prior miscarriage

If you experienced one or more miscarriages or stillbirths, this makes your pregnancy high risk. Dr. Khamvongsa will want to take every precaution to make sure you have a healthy baby. 

Lifestyle factors 

If you struggle with alcohol or substances, you should talk to Dr. Khamvongsa about this. His awareness allows him to support you appropriately and, if necessary, refer you to services and treatment that can help with these problems. 

Handling high-risk pregnancy

If your pregnancy is considered high risk for any reason, you’re in the best hands with Dr. Khamvongsa. He will use tools like ultrasound and blood and urine tests, as well as frequent visits, to ensure your and your baby’s safety.

As your partner in care, Dr. Khamvongsa addresses any challenges throughout your pregnancy with deep knowledge and the most advanced treatments available. He also listens to your concerns, which is critical for building trust. 

Call The Miami Institute for Women’s Health office at 786-220-8664 to book an appointment, or schedule one through our website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

I Have Uterine Fibroids: Will I Need Surgery?

Uterine fibroids — noncancerous tumors that grow on the uterus — affect 77% of women, most often during their childbearing years. Learn about fibroid symptoms, risk factors, and whether surgery is always required for treating them, here.

Do This Now If You Want to Avoid Diastasis Recti Later

Diastasis recti is a condition many pregnant and postpartum women deal with, thanks to their “six pack” abdominal muscles separating from stretching over nine months and pressure during labor. Learn about symptoms and how to head it off here.

Common Genetic Abnormalities We Can Screen For

You’re excited beyond measure to be pregnant, but concerns fill your mind as well, including the possibility of abnormalities with your baby. An important part of your prenatal care is getting screened for common genetic disorders. Learn more here.

5 Exercises You Can Do Safely in Your Third Trimester

Staying active during your pregnancy is great for expectant moms and their babies. As you enter your third trimester, you may wonder what activities are still safe. Learn why movement remains important and some safe exercises to do, here.

Over 35 and Pregnant? Here Are a Few Things to Consider

More women are getting pregnant after 35, but the risk of certain complications increases. Learn about complications you should be aware of, and why excellent prenatal care and mindful self-care can help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Stretching: Your Best Friend During Pregnancy

Physical activity is known to combat common pregnancy discomforts and even supports a smoother labor experience. Stretching offers a multitude of benefits, including easing back pain and relieving foot and leg discomfort. Learn more here.