What is a High Risk Pregnancy?

By James A. Scales, MD
November 13, 2017
Category: Pregnancy Care

Learning that you're pregnant often brings with it a mixture of excitement and concern. Hearing from your obstetrician that your pregnancy high risk pregnancyis considered "high-risk" can add even more emotions! Dr. James Scales, your obstetrician in Texarkana, TX, reminds his patients that often this diagnosis means that you need to make some alterations to your lifestyle or visit his office more frequently throughout your pregnancy for tests such as ultrasounds and urinalyses. To discover what might determine your high-risk status, read on.


Women at any age can experience challenges in their pregnancies, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, but the likelihood of a difficult pregnancy increases as you age. The chances of your developing baby having genetic issues such as Down syndrome are also slightly increased. Women who are pregnant at the age of 35 or older are labeled as "advanced maternal age," or AMA. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a baby once you turn 35 years old, but it's important to work with your obstetrician to make sure you're healthy before, during, and after pregnancy.

Health conditions

If you've been diagnosed prior to your pregnancy with a condition like diabetes, epilepsy, or cancer, your Texarkana obstetrician will likely consider you to be high-risk. This is due to a number of factors; the way pregnancy alters your body's systems and the medication you are taking can have serious effects without close monitoring.


There are several habits that can put you and your developing baby at risk for health problems. The negative effects of smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, and poor diet are all well-documented. However, finding out that you're expecting can be a great motivator to help you stop, but being upfront with your obstetrician is key to improving your odds for a healthy pregnancy.

Certain medications, prior pregnancy issues, and carrying multiples (twins, triplets, or more) can also put you in the high-risk category. As soon as you think you might be pregnant, or if you're planning to become pregnancy, contact the office of Dr. Scales, your obstetrician in Texarkana, TX, as soon as possible!