A high-risk pregnancy is one in which the mother or her fetus is at increased risk for health problems. The determination of a high-risk pregnancy is based on the mother's current health status, age, and pregnancy history as well as the presence of a genetic disorder in either parent.
Specifically, a pregnancy is considered high-risk when a woman:
- Has a genetic disease (such as cystic fibrosis), chronic disease (such as diabetes), chronic infection (such as HIV), brain disorder (such as epilepsy), heart problems, or high blood pressure.
- Is overweight or underweight.
- Is younger than 17 or older than 35.
- Has had problems with previous pregnancies, such as repeated miscarriages, preterm labor, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or difficult births.
- Has an abnormality detected during the pregnancy.
- Has multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets).