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 a woman has one or more things that raise her — or her baby's — chances for health problems or preterm (early) delivery.
A woman's pregnancy might be considered high risk if she:
- is age 17 or younger
- is age 35 or older
- was underweight or overweight before becoming pregnant
- is pregnant with twins, triplets, or other multiples
- has high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or another health problem
- had 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 important tips for a healthy pregnancy include:
- See your doctor early in 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). Wash your hands well and often; do 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.
- A Guide for First-Time Parents
- Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy
- Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs
- 5 Ways to Prevent Early Labor (Slideshow)
- Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
- Exercising During Pregnancy
- Prenatal Tests: FAQs
- Why Are Babies Born Early?
- Medical Care During Pregnancy
- Treatments to Prevent Premature Birth
- What Is Gestational Diabetes?
- Preventing Premature Birth
- Pregnancy Center
- A Week-by-Week Pregnancy Calendar