What Causes a Pregnancy to Be High Risk?

You have a million concerns to juggle once you learn that you’re expecting a baby, from eating right and refraining from alcohol to learning how much and what types of physical activities are considered safe during each trimester. 

“High risk” is a term you hear often about certain pregnancy conditions and problems that can develop, but did you know that even factors that aren’t medical conditions can throw your pregnancy into the high risk category? 

Dr. Kevin Hooker and his caring staff at Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care are comforting, knowledgeable supports during your entire pregnancy, and before you’re pregnant as well. We approach your pregnancy holistically by looking at your unique medical history, family medical history, current health, and any special concerns you have.

Your pregnancy and birth experience inform the early days with your baby, and we want every part of your care journey with us to be filled with joyful anticipation and a feeling of calm.

How do I know if my pregnancy is considered high risk?

In the broadest sense, we consider your pregnancy to be high risk if you’re dealing with any issue that might put your or your baby’s health or life in peril. 

There are factors you can’t control, like if you’re living with a chronic condition such as diabetes or have had uterine surgery in the past. If you’re a very young or older mother-to-be, either in your teens or age 35 or above, that also puts you into the high-risk pregnancy classification, as does being pregnant with more than one fetus or having a history of miscarriage.

If you struggle with alcohol or drugs, or use tobacco products, your pregnancy becomes more complex.

Finally, a range of complications can elevate your pregnancy’s risk level. These include placental problems like placenta previa, when your placenta attaches itself to your uterine wall and in the process, blocks your cervix either just a bit or completely. 

We monitor these problems carefully because your placenta is the delivery system for all nutrients to your baby, and it serves as a filter for waste as well. 

If your baby’s growth is hindered for any reason (caused either by an unhealthy habit or health problem of yours, or a situation with the baby like an infection or if they’re a twin or triplet), this is also cause for concern and special attention by Dr. Hooker. 

If your pregnancy is high risk — Don’t panic

If Dr. Hooker tells you that he considers your pregnancy high risk, try to resist the urge to catastrophize. This label does not mean disaster. With proper care from Dr. Hooker, you can achieve a full-term pregnancy, a successful birth, and a healthy baby. In fact, the measures he takes to safeguard your birth increase the likelihood of having a positive, healthy experience.

Tools to ensure a successful high-risk pregnancy 

Fortunately, Dr. Hooker has an array of tests and safety measures he can use to carefully watch your baby’s progression. 

These include frequent ultrasounds so he can monitor your baby’s development in real time with the most advanced technology available — 3D and even 4D ultrasounds, which provide Dr. Hooker with more visual clinical data. Ultrasounds can even closely monitor the condition of your cervix, which is critical prior to giving birth. 

Potential genetic problems can be investigated with tests like chorionic villus sampling, which can reveal conditions such as Down Syndrome and cystic fibrosis, and amniocentesis, a test that helps Dr. Hooker identify whether a baby has spina bifida or another neural tube defect. 

Cordocentesis is yet another test that can provide important information about genetic disorders, blood conditions, and infections that may be affecting your baby. Other lab tests can safeguard your baby against many types of infections. 

Again, try to think of these medical capabilities as powerful systems that deliver critical information, rather than sources of worry.  

The Lake Havasu team walks your pregnancy path with you, offering support from beginning to end. 

Lean on us throughout your pregnancy — and after your birth

We do everything in our power to provide the best prenatal care for you and your baby and address any concerns about your or the baby’s health throughout your pregnancy. Remember, too, that our concern and care doesn’t end when you have your baby.

Call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hooker or book one through our website,  whether you’re expecting a little one or just considering it. 

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