High-Risk Obstetrics CareHigh-risk obstetrics, or high-risk pregnancy care, is a necessary treatment for women who are at risk during gestation. Pregnant women and their unborn babies who have a higher risk for health problems before, during and after delivery are considered high-risk pregnancies. Maternal-fetal medicine doctors and specialists provide the targeted obstetrics care required to monitor and treat any conditions that may arise during an atypical pregnancy.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With High-Risk Obstetric Care?
Women who are pregnant and considered to be high risk may have or develop the conditions below:
- Preterm labor
- Premature labor
- Gestational diabetes
- Placenta previa
- Multiple gestation (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.)
- Amniotic fluid disorders
- Multiple miscarriages
- Autoimmune diseases
- Organ transplant
- Congenital fetal anomalies
In addition, pregnant women under the age of 18 or over the age of 35 are considered to be high risk.
High-Risk Obstetric Care Details
When a women is considered to be high risk during pregnancy, a variety of treatments and procedures may be a part of her care and treatment plan. From preconception planning and primary or consultative pregnancy management to delivery and post-partum care, the treatments recommended to a woman by maternal-fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists are tailored specifically to her and her baby’s needs.
Care and treatments can include:
- Specialized or targeted ultrasound
- Tests and screenings that identify and diagnose chromosome abnormalities and other genetic problems in the baby
- Sequential screening
- Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), or cell-free fetal DNA testing
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
- Genetic counseling
- Delivery planning
- Treatment and management of the mother’s preexisting chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure
What to Expect With High-Risk Obstetrics Care
The type and flow of care you receive for a high-risk pregnancy will likely involve more prenatal visits and closer monitoring of your condition compared to a regular pregnancy. A Maternal-fetal medicine doctor may work in tandem with your obstetrics and gynecology doctor (OB-GYN) to oversee your care. Your care team will help coordinate the various appointments, tests and screenings you may require. Ultimately, the care you receive throughout your entire pregnancy will depend on your overall condition and unique circumstances.
In addition, it’s possible that problems could arise during labor, so women with high-risk pregnancies typically give birth in a hospital rather than at home or alternative birthing locations. This ensures that if something occurs during labor, the proper equipment, specialists and medications are on hand to quickly address the issue.
How Effective is High-Risk Obstetrics Care?
While the risk for complications increases in a high-risk pregnancy, receiving good prenatal care increases the chances of delivering a healthy baby.
Tampa General Hospital offers world-class, comprehensive high-risk obstetrics care, with a wide array of services to care for mothers and their babies.