What is high-risk obstetrics?
High-risk obstetrics involve the possible medical problems or complications that arise during the course of pregnancy, putting the mother, the baby or both at risk.
Who can have a high-risk pregnancy?
Anyone can have a high-risk pregnancy, but certain women may be more likely than others.
- Moms who are of advanced maternal age (specifically 35 years or older)
- Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets or more)
Additional conditions that may lead to high-risk categorization:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Thyroid disease
- Excessive alcohol consumption
What types of tests are done during a high-risk pregnancy?
A number of different tests may be recommended to evaluate the health of the mother and the baby. Ultrasounds are commonly done several times during a high-risk pregnancy. An amniocentesis may be performed around the 15-week mark of the pregnancy. This procedure also allows for genetic testing to be completed, if desired. Other possible tests during the pregnancy can include chorionic villus sampling, cordocentesis, a biophysical profile, and a measurement of the cervical length.
How often should I see a doctor during a high-risk pregnancy?
For a typical pregnancy, the expectant mother will see her OB-GYN about once a month until the third trimester. At that point, she will generally transition into visits twice per month until the 36-week mark. At 36 weeks, the visits to the OB-GYN will likely move to once a week until the time of the birth.
A high-risk pregnancy differs from others because the mom and baby need closer monitoring, meaning additional doctor visits will most likely be recommended.
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