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High-risk pregnancy care

At Novant Health Flood and Harris OB/GYN, we are focused on the health of your unborn child. If you have risk factors that could harm you or your unborn child, your pregnancy might be considered high-risk. Typical reasons for pregnancies to be labeled as high-risk include:

  • Having a chronic health problem including cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, high blood pressure or epilepsy.
  • Being HIV-positive or having AIDS.
  • Using alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Smoking.
  • Being younger than age 17 or older than age 35.
  • Being pregnant with more than one baby.
  • Having a baby with a condition such as Down Syndrome or a heart, lung or kidney problem.
  • Having a problem in a past pregnancy such as preterm labor or preeclampsia.

If your pregnancy is determined to be high-risk, you might have extra doctor's visits or extra testing to monitor your health and the health of your child.

What can you do to prevent a high-risk pregnancy?

If you have a chronic health problem or are younger than age 17 or older than age 35, you might not be able to prevent your pregnancy from being considered high-risk; however, there are lifestyle changes that you can make TODAY to benefit both you and your baby, which will make your pregnancy much healthier:

  • DO NOT drink while pregnant. Even a little alcohol can hurt your baby. If you drink, STOP when you find out you are pregnant and DO NOT drink again until after your baby's birth.
  • DO NOT use illegal drugs. Drugs can cause birth defects or can lead to other lifelong medical problems for your child.
  • STOP smoking. Smoking during pregnancy can hinder your baby from gaining weight and can deprive your child of oxygen. This can lead to stillbirth, premature birth or other complications including underdeveloped lungs or asthma.
  • If you have a chronic medical condition such as high blood pressure that requires prescription medication, TAKE THAT MEDICATION AS PRESCRIBED. Some conditions are easily controlled with medicine but the medicine does not work if you don't take it!
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