A Closer Look at High-Risk Pregnancies


Although having a baby is a natural process, not all pregnancies run smoothly. Complications during pregnancy could affect the mother, the baby, or both. It is crucial to receive comprehensive care to manage your pregnancy better. Dr. Coppa is your trusted specialist for high-risk obstetrics in Providence.

Conditions That May Cause High-Risk Pregnancies

Some of the factors causing high-risk pregnancies include:

  1. Maternal Age – Women in their early teens and below or over age 35 are at greater risk of high-risk pregnancies than those who get pregnant between their late teens and early thirties. Genetic defects and the risk of having a miscarriage are even higher after age 40.
  2. Certain medical conditions, for example, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc., can cause pregnancy complications. A family history of genetic disorders and a personal medical history of previous miscarriages also contribute to high-risk pregnancies.
  3. Certain medications – It is essential to inform your doctor of medications you might be taking during your pregnancy because some can harm your baby and lead to still-births or miscarriages. You should avoid taking alcohol or any illegal recreational drugs during pregnancy, as they may also cause complications.
  4. Multiple pregnancies – Carrying more than one fetus makes a pregnancy high-risk due to the complex nature of sharing a womb.
  5. Other times pregnancy complications develop without a specific cause and have no relation to the mother’s health. For example, gestational diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

Diagnosis of High-Risk Pregnancies

As soon as you realize you are pregnant, it is essential to visit the doctor for routine monthly checkups until week 28. In the third trimester, the checkups increase to bimonthly.  These checkups help your care provider keep track of your pregnancy and your baby’s development. The checkups make it easier to identify any complications and treat them before they become serious. The tests used to diagnose high-risk pregnancies during your routine visits include blood tests and ultrasounds.

If your doctor identifies your pregnancy as high-risk, he/she will recommend more visits to monitor your pregnancy further and in rare cases may even suggest admittance to the hospital.

Symptoms of High-Risk Pregnancies

Some of the signs and symptoms of complications during pregnancy include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Persistent headaches
  • Severe morning sickness
  • Blurred vision

Prevention and Treatment of High-Risk Pregnancies

Some of the ways your doctor will recommend to care for your pregnancy include:

  • Going for regular checkups
  • Getting at least 400 micrograms of folic acid throughout your pregnancy
  • Maintaining your weight and eating a healthy diet
  • Staying hydrated by drinking enough water
  • Avoiding taking recreational drugs like cigarettes and alcohol or any other medications not approved by your doctor
  • Getting proper immunizations
  • Staying active and doing light exercises to promote blood flow.

Your obstetrician will recommend that you limit strenuous activity and may even recommend bed rest for severe complications. Sometimes you will be advised to terminate your pregnancy if it poses a risk to your life.

To learn more about high-risk pregnancies and to receive the best prenatal and postnatal care, contact Dr. Coppa today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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