Do You Have a High-Risk Pregnancy? Questions to Help You
High-risk pregnancies carry their own special set of challenges—and you should never face those challenges alone.
We care for women with high-risk pregnancies, working closely with high-risk OBGYN doctors who specialize in maternal fetal medicine. We consult with these doctors through the UNC or Duke health care system and work with them to co-manage these high-risk conditions.
But what constitutes a high-risk pregnancy?
We’ve compiled some useful information for you.
Do I Have a High-Risk Pregnancy? Answer These Questions
Am I considered at an “advanced maternal age?”
If you’re older than 35, your pregnancy risks increase, and you will need to work closely with us.
Do I have one (or more) of the following conditions:
- High blood pressure
- EpilepsyThyroid disease
- Heart or blood disorders
- Asthma that is poorly controlled
Any of these conditions can increase your risk.
Am I overweight or obese?
To get a good idea of your ideal weight and how you compare, measure your body mass index (BMI). You can use this useful BMI calculator.
If you are overweight or obese, talk to us! We would love to help you develop a treatment plan that will help you. We’ll also track your weight gain during pregnancy to ensure that it falls within healthy parameters.
Am I a smoker?
Smoking cigarettes places your baby at greater risk for preterm birth and low birthweight. If you smoke during your pregnancy, you’re also increasing the risk of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.
Have I used marijuana or illegal drugs?
These can also place you in the high-risk category.
The Centers for Disease Control has some useful, in-depth information about substance abuse and smoking during pregnancy.
Am I carrying twins or triplets?
Multiple pregnancies are considered higher risk.
Have I had previous pregnancy complications?
If you have had any medical history of pregnancy problems such as preeclampsia, you may be at risk of having similar diagnoses for your current pregnancy. This is one example of where you can benefit from our working partnership with local high-risk OBGYN specialists.
What Should I Do If I’m in a High-Risk Pregnancy Category?
We recommend these steps if you answered yes to any of the questions above:
Have a preconception appointment
Schedule a preconception appointment with us as soon as possible—preferably before you start planning on trying to get pregnant.
During this appointment, we’ll go through an entire preconception checklist, which includes topics such as genetic testing and current vaccinations. We know you have a lot of questions, and we promise that we’ll always take time to give you the answers you need.
Have regular prenatal care from your OBGYN doctor
Through these visits, we’ll keep a close eye on your health and the health of your baby. We’ll ensure that your child is developing as they should. By seeing you regularly, we’ll also be able to treat any potential problems before they become serious issues.
Depending upon your situation, we may want to see you more often than we would for a lower-risk pregnancy. We’ll also consult with high-risk OBGYN specialists through Duke and UNC to co-manage your health care plan.
Avoid risky behavior
Stop smoking and avoid alcohol. Don’t take illegal drugs. These have been known to have bad effects on pregnancies.
Check with us before taking medication
Whether you have a prescription or you’re taking an over-the-counter medicine, we want to know about it. You should also inform us if you’re taking any natural or herbal remedies.
Discuss screenings or tests with us
No two pregnancies are alike, and we may suggest certain tests or screenings depending upon your individual situation. These can include:
- Specialized fetal ultrasounds
- Prenatal cell-free DNA screening, where we look for chromosomal issues
- Lab tests to check for infections and screen you for diseases
- Ultrasounds to measure the length of your cervix
- Fetal heart rate monitoring
Associates in Women’s Health Are With You Throughout Your High-Risk Pregnancy
You’ve probably heard those words a lot. But have you really considered what they mean? For us at Associates in Women’s Healthcare, these words are the hallmark of all that we do. We create all our plans with your individual needs in mind.
We are conveniently located as OBGYN doctors near you in Raleigh. Our offices are at 901 Ridgefield Drive.
We know that every pregnancy is different, and that’s why we give you the same time, dedication and attention to detail, regardless of whether you’re in a high-risk pregnancy or not.
If you have questions about your risk level, would like to begin preconception planning or if you’re just looking for a new medical home, we’re here for you.
Scheduling an appointment is quick and simple. Just contact us today.