What is a “High-Risk” Pregnancy?

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Angela Chiodo, CNM Certified Nurse-Midwife: So there’s a number of things that can make a pregnant person high risk. So obesity, being over 35, if you have high blood pressure. If you’re coming into the pregnancy with other medical problems. Diabetes, or substance abuse issues.

Fonda Mitchell, MD OB/GYN: For your obstetrician what that means is we need to assess you a little closer and maybe a little bit more frequently. It does not mean that there is no potential for a healthy outcome and delivery with this pregnancy.

Leslie, 30 Weeks Pregnant: All of my pregnancies have been considered high risk. Because I was 35 when I had him. 38 when I had him. And now I’m 42.

Fonda Mitchell, MD OB/GYN: So age can be a factor. Because we’re dealing with an increased possibility of associated genetic abnormalities or birth defects.

Stella Dantas, MD OB/GYN: Sometimes when you’re over the age of 35 you have a higher risk of developing other medical conditions during pregnancy. Like diabetes of pregnancy, or hypertension of pregnancy, or preeclampsia.

Ebony, Nine Weeks Pregnant: I was concerned about being high risk when I decided to get pregnant, because of my age, I am 40. But my doctor did prepare me and let me know that there were different things that I could do to make sure that I had a healthy pregnancy. And I know several women who have had pregnancies late in life, and have had healthy children, and good pregnancies.

Stella Dantas, MD OB/GYN: We follow everybody very closely in pregnancy. We will let you know if there are things that are concerning. If you need extra tests during your pregnancy.

Julia Barnes, MD OB/GYN: Especially later in pregnancy, there’s something called a non-stress test, where it was specifically listen a little bit longer for the baby’s heart beat. And measure the fluid around the baby once or twice a week, depending upon the medical problem just to make sure everything’s going well.

Lissa Daimaru-Enoki, MD OB/GYN: We try to work with those moms so that they have the healthiest pregnancy possible. Looking at what they can do to improve their outcomes and have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

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