What does the term high risk pregnancy mean?

Child birth is one of the most important moments for any mother. But not all women experience normal and smooth delivery process. In many cases, minor to life-threatening complications can often put the mother or baby or both of them at risk. The reasons behind complications can be some organ disorder or chronic illness. In such scenarios, life of the mother and/or baby could be at risk. The term high-risk pregnancy, therefore, refers to such cases of pregnancy where the hospital staff and parents themselves need to provide special care for a successful and safe delivery.

Emotional support for high-risk pregnancy diagnosis

Pregnancy is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Especially, in a high-risk pregnancy, mother may find herself coming under a lot of emotional stress and pressure. The stress caused to the mother can be from her constant doubts or worry over the chances of successful delivery or the health of the baby.

In such a case, it is important to believe in yourself and have confidence that your instincts and belief will guide you though. Having the right support in form of your partner or a close family member can make a difference as they can stand by your side throughout the pregnancy and labor.

It is important that you discuss all your worries with your doctor who can help you deal with the emotional stress by answering your queries. Prenatal childbirth classes can also prepare you well in advance to have everything go as per the plan. The classes will also provide easy labor tips.

It is essential that you take adequate sleep to keep your baby and yourself healthy and calm.

Causes of a high risk pregnancy

It is vital that you share the health concerns that you may have with the hospital staff so that they can provide the necessary care. There are many factors that can turn the pregnancy into a high-risk one, whether these are pre-existing health concerns or the complications that develop during your pregnancy.

Health Conditions

Conditions such as heart or kidney problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, HIV, etc. can lead to complications during the pregnancy.

Age of mother

Pregnancy in early teen age or post the age of 35 often include complications during child delivery.

Health complications during pregnancy

Health conditions such as gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during the pregnancy) or preeclamsia (leading to high blood pressure, urinary protein and swelling. Pregnancy complications also include premature labor (labor starting before 37 weeks of pregnancy), Placenta previa (a condition where placenta covers the cervix, leading to bleeding and often needing a cesarean section delivery) and multiple births.

Other factors

Obesity, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, thyroid, lupus, etc.

High-risk pregnancy environmental triggers

Most women lead a different lifestyle before and after getting pregnant. That is because, common lifestyle habits are known to have a big impact on the health of the mother as well as that of the baby. Some of these unhealthy lifestyle habits can trigger a risk or two during the pregnancy. The environmental triggers that lead to high-risk pregnancies include but are not limited to


It is known to cause direct harm to the mother and the baby. Excessive smoking during pregnancy can lead to birth of an unhealthy baby with weight lower than normal.

Consuming Alcohol

It is another lifestyle habit that must be given up the day you start planning for a baby. Alcohol abuse can create health complications that can put you at a high risk during the pregnancy.


It is also directly responsible for turning the pregnancy into a high-risk one. Excess weight leads to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease that in turn complicate the process of delivery.

It is therefore important for future mothers to educate themselves on various causative factors and lifestyle habits that can lead to minor or major risks during the delivery. Timely consultation with your doctor and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can minimize or control the risks to a large extent.