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High-Risk Pregnancy Conditions

The maternal-fetal specialists at our Women & Infants Center provide care for women with high-risk pregnancies. A high-risk pregnancy means the mother’s health, or the health of her unborn child, is at risk for serious health complications.

Causes of High-Risk Pregnancy

Your doctor may consider your pregnancy to be at-risk if you have one or more of these issues:

  • Pre-existing health conditions: Certain health problems increase your chances of delivering prematurely. These conditions include:
    • Diabetes, including gestational diabetes that develops during pregnancy
    • Kidney disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
    • Infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B and HIV
  • Placenta problems: The placenta partially or completely covers the cervix and may separate from the uterine wall during childbirth.
  • Cervical weakening: Pressure from the unborn baby’s growth may cause the cervix to open too soon.
  • Prior pregnancy complications: These complications include a history of late-pregnancy loss, stillbirth or preterm labor (before 37 weeks of pregnancy).
  • Advanced maternal age: Women age 35 and older may experience labor and delivery complications. They also are at a higher risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality like Down syndrome.
  • Fetal problems: Heart defects, neurological disorders, bladder obstructions and other fetal conditions may jeopardize the unborn baby’s health while in the womb, during delivery and after birth.
  • Multiple babies: Carrying and delivering more than one baby, such as twins, triplets, quadruplets or more, increases the risk of preterm labor and other complications.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the Women & Infants Center, call 855.925.0631.