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What Makes a Pregnancy High-Risk?

What Makes a Pregnancy High-Risk?

Every pregnancy is different — it’s normal for some women to go through their entire pregnancy from conception to delivery problem-free and for others to face a few challenges along the way. But if your doctor tells you your pregnancy is high-risk, you immediately enter a different category that requires a higher level of care. 

So, what exactly constitutes a high-risk pregnancy, and what precautions do you need to take? 

The first step is to seek the care of experienced specialists who understand the complexities of high risk pregnancies and are equipped to care for you and your baby. Mothers-to-be throughout Boise, Idaho, trust the providers at Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, to monitor their progress, detect and treat any potential problems, and guide them through a healthy, full-term pregnancy. 

Because there are many different reasons your pregnancy may be considered high-risk, here, Dr. Weyhrich explains the most common factors that contribute to high-risk pregnancies.

What are some factors that contribute to high-risk pregnancy?

High-risk pregnancies are not necessarily a sign of poor health. Some of the factors that contribute to high-risk pregnancies include:

These are general circumstances that may contribute to high-risk pregnancies. However, even if none of these apply to you, you may notice symptoms that indicate a high-risk pregnancy and require immediate attention. 

Next, we take a look at some specific conditions that require closer monitoring during pregnancy.

Preexisting health conditions

If you have preexisting health conditions, you may already be used to receiving extra medical care. Some of the conditions that may require more frequent monitoring throughout your pregnancy include:

Other health conditions that may cause complications with your pregnancy include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), autoimmune disorders, kidney disease, and even obesity.

Conditions that develop during your pregnancy

Many conditions can also develop during your pregnancy that put you at a higher risk. Some of them we screen for in advance, like gestational diabetes. Every pregnant woman, whether she has a history of diabetes or not, will get a routine screening for gestational diabetes, usually around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Other health conditions that can develop during your pregnancy include:

Having Rh factor

A condition called rhesus sensitization occurs when you have Rh-negative blood and your baby is Rh-positive. This condition can be potentially serious because your baby’s blood doesn’t mix with yours. 

It’s usually not a problem with your first pregnancy because you don’t get much exposure to your baby’s blood. However, your body makes antibodies, which can cross the placenta and damage your baby’s blood cells. This can cause anemia, which means that your baby won’t have enough healthy red blood cells. 

This is a common screening test during pregnancy. If you test negative for Rh antibodies, you may have to get an injection of Rh immune globulin.


Preeclampsia is dangerously high blood pressure, usually after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It also causes kidney damage, which can lead to potentially fatal complications. You’ll be monitored closely throughout your pregnancy. If your blood pressure remains high, you may have to deliver your baby early. 

Other testing

We conduct frequent testing to monitor your health and the health of your baby. Some of the tests may include the following:

If you have any type of high-risk pregnancy, you can rest assured that we’ll detect it as soon as possible and take excellent care of you and your baby. Contact the providers at Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, or request an appointment online.

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