High Risk Pregnancy Specialist

Providence Women's Healthcare

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Roswell, Suwanee, & Atlanta, GA

Women over 35 or who have pre-existing health conditions may have a pregnancy that is more likely to lead to complications. If you're having a high-risk pregnancy, the obstetrics experts at Providence Women's Healthcare in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, Georgia, can help. They provide additional care and more frequent health checks for any woman with a high-risk pregnancy to optimize the chances of successful delivery. To discuss your needs, call the nearest Providence Women's Healthcare office today or book an appointment online.

High Risk Pregnancy Q & A

What is a high-risk pregnancy?

A high-risk pregnancy is one where there's an increased risk of complications due to a medical condition or other factor affecting your health.

High-risk pregnancies could result in problems for you or your baby before or during delivery, and may affect your ability to carry a baby to term. The OB/GYNs at Providence Women's Healthcare have extensive experience in supporting women through high-risk pregnancies and managing preterm labor.

Why would my pregnancy be classed as high-risk?

Age is one of the factors in determining high-risk pregnancies. Girls under 17 and women over the age of 35 are automatically considered high risk because they're more likely to develop complications.

Health conditions that you develop before becoming pregnant can also increase your risk of problems. Common examples include:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic infections
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disorders
  • Kidney disease

Other reasons you might have a high-risk pregnancy include having previously given birth to an underweight baby or a baby with congenital disabilities. If you've had a cesarean section to deliver a baby in the past and choose to give birth vaginally this time (known as VBAC – vaginal birth after cesarean), you are also considered high risk.

Could I develop a problem during pregnancy that makes it high-risk?

Certain issues can arise once you're pregnant that increase your risk of developing problems. For example, multiple births where you're expecting more than one baby are high-risk pregnancies.

Health conditions that affect you after conception and result in high-risk pregnancies include: 

  • Anemia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness)
  • Placenta previa
  • Viral or bacterial disease
  • Rh sensitization
  • High blood pressure and preeclampsia
  • Blood disorders

Smoking and substance abuse during pregnancy or having to take prescription medication could affect your baby's development, so these are also taken into consideration when determining if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

What care do I need if I have a high-risk pregnancy?

If your OB/GYN at Providence Women's Healthcare classes your pregnancy as high risk, they schedule more frequent prenatal exams and are likely to order additional blood tests and ultrasounds. That ensures they can detect any problems at the earliest possible stage and treat them accordingly.

You can still choose to have a midwife supporting you through a high-risk pregnancy, but they will work closely with your OB/GYN.

You might wish to undergo genetic testing in addition to routine prenatal screenings for health problems with your baby. Your OB/GYN can arrange genetic counseling where you speak to an expert about what testing involves and what it can tell you.

Other optional tests include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, which can detect conditions like Down syndrome that are more likely to affect older women's babies.

For exceptional care during your high-risk pregnancy, call Providence Women's Healthcare and schedule a consultation or fill in the online form to book your appointment.