Categories of Risk in Pregnancy


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Since 1988, Dr. Keith Reisler has served as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Plano, Texas (TX). Keith Reisler, MD, comes to his work with diverse experience in caring for women with both normal and high risk pregnancies.

A high-risk pregnancy involves one or more factors that may affect the health of the mother, her unborn child, or both. Some potential risk factors relate to the mother’s age, lifestyle, or health status, while others stem from conditions of the pregnancy itself. Women expecting multiple babies are at higher risk, as are those who develop pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.

Women with nongestational diabetes are also more prone to pregnancy complications, and so blood sugar control before pregnancy is essential. Women with kidney, thyroid, or autoimmune disease must also ensure that their conditions are well-controlled and that their pregnancies are closely monitored by an experienced gynecologist. The same holds true for women with HIV/AIDS, who require careful treatment and often a cesarean section to minimize the chances of transmitting the virus to the baby.

Teenage mothers and first-time mothers over the age of 35 are at higher risk as well. Younger mothers are more prone to high blood pressure, anemia, and early labor, while older mothers may have more trouble with labor and are statistically more likely to give birth to a child with a genetic condition.

Women of any age and any health status can reduce the risk to the baby by avoiding cigarettes and alcohol during pregnancy. Both increase the fetus’s chance of birth defects, while alcohol increases the risk of stillbirth and smoking predisposes a woman to preterm labor.