High-risk pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy is one in which the mother or her fetus is at increased risk for health problems. The determination of a high-risk pregnancy is based on the mother's current health status, age, and pregnancy history as well as the presence of a genetic condition in either parent.

Specifically, a pregnancy is considered high-risk when a woman:

  • Has a genetic disease (such as cystic fibrosis), chronic disease (such as diabetes), chronic infection (such as HIV), brain disorder (such as epilepsy), heart problems, or high blood pressure.
  • Is overweight or underweight.
  • Is younger than 17 or older than 35.
  • Has had problems with previous pregnancies, such as repeated miscarriages, preterm labour, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, or difficult births.
  • Has an abnormality detected during the pregnancy.
  • Has multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets).

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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