Am I "High-risk"?
A "high-risk" pregnancy means you are at a higher risk for complications. Specifically, you are at a higher risk of developing preeclampsia, diabetes, having issues with baby's growth and needing a c-section.
You are considered a "high-risk" pregnancy if:
1. You have more than one baby in there (twins, triplets)
2. You are more than 35 years old, or younger than 20
3. You are overweight, with a BMI > 30 BMI calculator
4. You have or develop high blood pressure
5. You have or develop diabetes
6. You have any known medical condition requiring medication and management (asthma, thyroid disorder, lupus, etc)
7. Chronic or excessive alcohol, narcotic, or illegal drug use
8. Placental issues such as previa or accreta
9. Genetic, anatomic, or growth issues are found with baby
10. Preterm labor
11. Premature ruptured membranes
12. Cervical insufficiency
What if I've had a c-section before?
Having a previous c-section doesn't make your pregnancy high-risk, but if you want to try to have a vaginal delivery with next baby, then the labor itself can be risky. We just recommend monitoring you and baby closely during labor.
Recommendations for high-risk pregnancies:
Your pregnancy should be managed by an OBGYN. It's OK to see a midwife who works with OBGYNs (as all reputable ones do), but you should see the OBGYN directly as well.
You are not a good candidate for a home birth.
We may have you see a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist (high-risk OB) doctor if they're available in your area.
You will be offered a very detailed 20-week ultrasound, if available
You will likely be seen more often in the 3rd trimester
You may get weekly NSTs (non-stress tests) in the office, or do daily kick counts
We'll recommend delivery by the due date, sometimes earlier.
You should consider delivery at a hospital with higher-level neonatal care (Level 3 NICU) if available in your area.
Getting routine prenatal care is the best thing you can do to prevent complications. OBGYNs are used to dealing with all of these high-risk conditions on a regular basis, and we make recommendations to avoid complications whenever possible. Preventing complications in the first place is always the goal, but we're well-trained to deal with the unexpected as well.