Identifying potential risks of a pregnancy is an important part of preconception care. Some women have increased chances for having a high-risk pregnancy because of genetic background, existing medical conditions, their lifestyle, or factors that may develop with the pregnancy.
Pregnancy risk factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
Mother is younger than 18 years old or older than 35
Mother is underweight or overweight for height
Mother has anemia (low red blood cell count) and poor nutrition status
Low socioeconomic status
Previously given birth more than four times
Previous preterm birth (birth before 37 weeks gestation)
Previous birth of a very large or very small baby
Previous pregnancy loss
Family history of genetic disease or previous baby with a birth defect
Substance use (cigarettes, alcohol, drugs)
Pre-existing medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease
Infertility medications or treatments (more likely to result in multiple births)
There are many external risk factors, including alcohol, drugs, smoke, high temperatures, radiation exposure, and high altitudes that can pose a serious threat to a developing fetus.
Listed in the directory below, you will find some additional information regarding risk factors for pregnancy, for which we have provided a brief overview.