John Jeffery, MD

High Risk Pregnancy

What is high risk pregnancy?

A common issue we address during prenatal care is the concern for high risk pregnancy. A high risk pregnancy occurs when an expectant mother has a genetic predisposition, or at some point during her pregnancy develops a condition that could lead to complications. High risk pregnancy can sometimes be determined by an expectant mother’s age, medical and family history, as well as lifestyle choices. If you are deemed at risk for a high risk pregnancy, Dr. Jeffery will work closely with you to create a customized pregnancy plan that ensures the safest and smoothest pregnancy and delivery possible.*

What determines a high risk pregnancy?

Pregnancies can be determined as high risk by the following factors:

  • pre-existing conditions
  • age
  • pregnancy related problems
  • lifestyle choices
  • problems during a pregnancy

What are pre-existing conditions that can cause a high risk pregnancy?

There are many pre-existing conditions that can cause a high-risk pregnancy. These can include: diabetes, autoimmune diseases, thyroid issues, kidney disease, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, and HIV/AIDS. While it is not certain that each of these conditions will cause a high-risk pregnancy, they certainly enhance the likelihood for complications to arise.

How does age contribute to a high risk pregnancy?

Starting at age 35, a pregnancy can be considered high risk. Women in their mid to late thirties (and beyond) are more likely to have a miscarriage, develop complications or deliver a child with birth defects.

What are pregnancy-related problems?

Pregnancy-related problems are issues that specifically affect the development or health of the fetus. During the pregnancy, if your doctor notices anything abnormal with your baby’s growth or development, the doctor will closely monitor and assess the fetus, determine the cause of the problem, and create a customized treatment plan, if possible, to allow for a successful birth.*

What lifestyle choices can contribute to a high risk pregnancy?

Smoking and drinking alcohol are common lifestyle factors that can cause a high-risk pregnancy. It is recommended to stop these activities immediately after conception. Smoking cigarettes or marijuana, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to birth defects and other health risks for your child.*

What are problems during a pregnancy?

Some of the most common complications seen in pregnant women are high-blood pressure and gestational diabetes. If an expectant mother develops either of these conditions, the doctor should monitor her progress closely and create a customized treatment and birthing plan for a successful delivery. Pregnant women with high-blood pressure are at risk for developing preeclampsia.

Gestational diabetes can affect your baby’s health during birth or later in life. However, both of these conditions can be managed with constant monitoring by a skilled physician, regular exercise, and a healthy diet.

Schedule A Consultation

Dr. Jeffery takes on new patients by referral only. If you are an expectant mother seeking a new OB-GYN and want to find out if Dr. Jeffery and his Medicine Hat staff are right for you, please have your primary care doctor give you a referral to our office.

* Individual results may vary; not a guarantee