A variety of factors, maternal and fetal, can classify a pregnancy as high risk.
Pre-existing health conditions in the mother, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, can cause complications during pregnancy. Fetal anomalies (abnormal development of the fetus), such as heart and neural tube defects, can also classify a pregnancy as high-risk.
Proper prenatal care can actually lower a woman’s risk of having complications during her pregnancy. Women should begin taking daily multi-vitamins containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid as soon as they enter their maternal ages. Folic acid has been proven to help prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, which are extremely serious, and sometimes life-threatening, health conditions.
As soon as a woman begins to consider becoming pregnant, she should establish an OB/GYN who she likes and trusts to provide care throughout her pregnancy. There are also many prenatal screening options available that can provide families with important information about the baby’s health, such as identifying any chromosomal or developmental abnormalities. It is important to identify high-risk pregnancies, as the expectant mother’s care plan may need to change to ensure her and the baby’s health and safety. Cone Health Women’s Hospital has an exceptional team of women’s health experts who specialize in caring for high-risk pregnancies, offering the latest in prenatal screening and treatment options.
Jeanne Miklos is the clinical ultrasound supervisor at Cone Health Women’s Hospital, and manages the general sonography unit and fetal care center. Miklos received an Associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography from Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2005. She also recently earned a Bachelor’s degree in applied sciences from Adventist University in 2013.