Perinatology is a subspecialty of obstetrics that is concerned with the care of the fetus during high-risk pregnancies. Women who are a higher risk of developing problems or complications during pregnancy are often sent to a perinatologist to ensure the pregnancy is as healthy as possible.
Factors that Increase the Chance of a High-Risk Pregnancy
Conditions that result in a pregnancy being considered high risk include:
- Preeclampsia – Preeclampsia is when a pregnant women has dangerously high blood pressure and large amounts of protein in her urine. The condition typically occurs around week 32 of pregnancy. A perinatologist will be able to help a woman suffering from preeclampsia stay healthy throughout the remaining weeks of her pregnancy.
- Preterm Labor – Preterm labor is when labor starts between weeks 20 – 37. The earlier the delivery, the greater the chance the baby’s organs will be underdeveloped. Preterm labor is often stopped with medications and women are usually allowed limited mobility until after week 37.
- Slowed growth for the baby – Fetal growth restriction can be caused by placental abnormalities and hypertension during pregnancy.
- Maternal age – If a woman is under 17 or more than 35, they are at a higher risk of pregnancy complications and will be monitored throughout pregnancy.
- Weight – If a person is classified as underweight or obese, a pregnancy can be considered high-risk and dangerous. Please check with your physician prior to trying to conceive in order to ensure you’re at a healthy weight for pregnancy.
For more information on high risk pregnancy care contact our office in Ventura, CA or call us at: (805)-643-8695.