Your pregnancy may be high risk if you have a health problem such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Epilepsy
  • You use alcohol or illegal drugs, or you smoke
  • You are younger than 17 or older than 35
  • You are pregnant with more than one baby (multiple pregnancy)
  • You have had three or more miscarriages
  • Your baby has been found to have a genetic condition, such as Down syndrome, or a heart, lung, or kidney problem
  • You had a problem in a past pregnancy, such as:
    • Preterm labor
    • Preeclampsia or seizures (eclampsia)
    • Having a baby with a genetic problem, such as Down syndrome
    • You have an infection, such as HIV or hepatitis C. Other infections that can cause a problem include cytomegalovirus (CMV), chickenpox, rubella, toxoplasmosis, and syphilis
    • You are taking certain medicines, such as lithium, phenytoin (such as Dilantin), valproic acid (Depakene), or carbamazepine (such as Tegretol)
    • Other health problems can make your pregnancy high-risk. These include heart valve problems, sickle cell disease, asthma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis

Talk to your doctor about any health problems you have.

How will your doctor care for you during your pregnancy?

You will have more visits to the doctor than a woman who does not have a high-risk pregnancy. You may have more ultrasound tests to make sure that your baby is growing well. You will have regular blood pressure checks. And your urine will be tested to look for protein (a sign of preeclampsia) and urinary tract infections.