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What's a "High-Risk" Pregnancy?
I'm pregnant and my doctor says my pregnancy is "high-risk." What does this mean?
A "high-risk" pregnancy means that you have one or more things that raise your — or your baby's — chance for health problems or preterm (early) delivery.
Some of these things are:
- being 17 years old or younger
- being 35 years old or older
- being underweight or overweight before becoming pregnant
- being pregnant with twins, triplets, or other multiples
- having high blood pressure, diabetes, depression or another health problem
- having problems with a previous pregnancy, including premature labor or having a child with a genetic problem or birth defect
Because your pregnancy is considered high-risk, it's important to work with your doctor or care team to get any health problems that can be managed under control.
Other tips for a healthy pregnancy include:
- See your doctor early on and throughout your pregnancy for prenatal care.
- Eat a healthy diet (getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc.) and exercise if your doctor says it's OK.
- Gain a healthy amount of weight (not too much or too little).
- Protect yourself from infections (including Zika). Be sure to wash your hands well and often; not eat raw meat, fish, or unpasteurized cheese; get any immunizations your doctor recommends; and use condoms to protect against STDs.
- Reduce stress in your life.
Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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