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A pregnancy is considered high-risk when a medical condition or pregnancy-related complication threatens the well-being of you or your baby. Unfortunately, your healthcare provider can’t always predict high-risk pregnancies, but if complications should arise, you will be monitored very closely. Special testing may be performed in order to appropriately monitor your condition and to determine the best time for your baby to be born. More frequent visits may be required or referral to a high-risk specialist.

High-Risk Pregnancy

If you now have or should develop any of the following conditions, your pregnancy may be considered high-risk:

• Viral illnesses like Herpes, Hepatitis B, AIDS, German Measles, Cytomegalovirus, Chicken Pox • Bleeding late in pregnancy • Post-date pregnancy

• Breech birth or other abnormal presentations • Nicotine, alcohol or other substance abuse • Incompetent cervix

• Age 40 or older; age 15 or younger

• History of miscarriages, stillbirths or previous neurologically impaired infants • Rh disease

• Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.) • Diabetes • Heart disease • High blood pressure • Preterm labor

Pregnancy is a normal state for women, but sometimes complications arise that require immediate attention. Almost all complications give some kind of warning sign, and you may be the frst to notice a symptom that needs attention. Your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure, urine, weight, fetal heartbeat and uterine growth at each appointment because changes in these vital signs could signal a problem. Complications that are detected early have the best chance of being treated and eliminated.

Danger

Signs

Call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the symptoms listed below.

• Bleeding from nipples, rectum, bladder or coughing up blood • Vaginal bleeding, no matter how slight (unless small amount after a pelvic exam)

• Swelling of hands or face • Dimness or blurring of vision • Severe or continuous headaches

• Abdominal pains that do not go away with heat and rest or a bowel movement

• Chills or fever over 100º F • Persistent vomiting • Painful or burning urination • Decrease in fetal movement

• Sudden or slow escape of fuid from the vagina

These symptoms may indicate serious complications of pregnancy that need immediate attention:

Great Expectations – 25

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