For pregnant women or those who are looking to conceive, there are many factors that can increase the risks involved for both the mother and child. Although the woman may be able to conceive successfully, certain elements will determine how smooth the delivery will be and if the child is healthy once it is born. To learn if you’ll have a high-risk pregnancy, there are a few things to consider before talking to your doctor:

photo credit: via Swangerschaft

photo credit: via Swangerschaft

Your Age

For women who are over the age of 35, their pregnancy is immediately considered high-risk, especially if it’s the first pregnancy for the woman. The age alone can lead to having a cesarean delivery, prolonged labor, an infant who suffers from a genetic disorder, and excessive bleeding that occurs during labor. The older the woman, the higher the risk for both the mother and child.

Carrying Twins or Multiples

For pregnancies that involve twins or multiples, the risk of the pregnancy increases due to potential complications that can arise. 60 percent of all twins are delivered prematurely with 90 percent of triplets born before their due date. Multiples are often unable to reach a healthy weight in the womb and can struggle to breathe on their own once born. Other risks with the pregnancy include gestational diabetes, placental abruption, and preeclampsia.

Pre-existing Conditions

If you suffer from any pre-existing conditions before conception, it can put your pregnancy at a high risk. According to Dr. Gilbert Webb of, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune diseases in the mother can all cause complications and birth defects. It’s important to find an obstetrician and gynecologist who specializes with high-risk pregnancies and can offer advice with their experience if you have a pre-existing condition you are worried about.

Prior Miscarriages

For those who have suffered from miscarriages in their previous pregnancies, their current pregnancy is considered at risk. This increases fetal death and preterm deliveries, making it important to be closely monitored by their OBGYN every two weeks. The pregnant woman will be given an evaluation with an ultrasound, tested for bacterial vaginosis, and also be measured for fetal fibronectin throughout the pregnancy.


While having a high-risk pregnancy isn’t desirable, there are many signs that can indicate a high-risk pregnancy, therefore allowing doctors to take extra precautions. If you do have a high-risk pregnancy, there are many things your doctor will do to make sure both you and the baby are safe. By understanding your risks (and their causes), you can better equip yourself for a safer pregnancy and the safe delivery of a happy baby.


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