High-Risk Pregnancy Management

We take care of many high-risk pregnancies. There are a variety of different conditions that can make a pregnancy high risk.

Examples of Pregnancies That Are High Risk

Some examples of high-risk pregnancies are:

  • Twins: Multiple births increase the risk of premature labor, gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
  • Preexisting medical conditions: High blood pressure, diabetes, or other health concerns like heart or kidney problems can present risks to mother and/or child.
  • Medical conditions that occur during pregnancy: Preeclampsia and gestational diabetes can develop during pregnancy and categorize it as high risk.
  • Pregnancy complications: Complications that develop during pregnancy, such as poor fetal growth or abnormal placenta position, are considered high risk. These conditions often have little to do with the mother’s general health.
  • Thyroid disease in pregnancy: Thyroid disease is the second most common endocrine disorder that may occur during pregnancy, and it is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and growth restriction.
  • Maternal age: Women under the age of 17 and over age 35 are at greater risk for complications.

Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy

There are some precautions you can take to promote a healthy pregnancy. Whether you already know it is high risk or you want to do whatever you can to lower the possibility, basic steps can be taken to prevent complications. These steps include: 

  • Schedule a preconception appointment. If you are trying to get pregnant, seeing a physician beforehand can help ensure a healthy pregnancy. They may assess your health or advise that you take prenatal vitamins.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in folic acid, protein, calcium and iron is essential for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Gain weight. Gaining the right amount of weight will support your baby’s health.
  • Avoid risky substances. Alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs are off-limits. Talk to your health care provider about prescription medication intake.

Managing a High-Risk Pregnancy

Our practice is unique in Rhode Island in that we have 30 different protocols to guide management of high-risk pregnancies. Protocols that we follow for each high-risk condition include specific blood tests, ultrasounds, frequency of visits, and more. Because all Lifespan providers follow these protocols, whichever doctor or midwife you see will be adhering to the same recommendations.

Learn about more obstetrics and gynecology services at the Women's Medicine Collaborative »