What to Expect in a High-Risk Pregnancy
What is a High-Risk Pregnancy?
All pregnancies carry the risk for complications. But some pregnancies have a higher risk for potential problems that can affect the mother, baby or both. High-risk pregnancies can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, present before pregnancy
- Medical conditions that develop during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes
- Young or advanced maternal age
- Mothers being overweight or underweight
- Problems with previous pregnancies
- Delivering multiples
- Labor that starts before 37 weeks gestation
- Genetic abnormalities or other problems that affect the baby
Complex high-risk pregnancies involving a birth defect or genetic syndrome usually require consultation with several specialists, a variety of diagnostic tests and/or therapeutic procedures over multiple visits.
You should expect one-on-one support, convenient care with a personally tailored program for you, and the best possible advice from physicians and specialists.
After Your Initial High-Risk Pregnancy Consultation
After your initial consultation at The Fetal Center at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, each patient is thoroughly discussed at our weekly Maternal-Fetal Treatment Conference, attended by the entire multidisciplinary team of physicians and specialists. Results from diagnostic tests, consultations and expert opinions are reviewed. Individual pregnancy plans are outlined as well as treatment plans for your baby after birth are discussed. This collaboration optimizes patient management and improves care.
Second Opinions and Your Obstetrician
Some patients come to The Fetal Center for a second opinion and return to their doctor for delivery at their local hospital. Our physicians and specialists will continue to work closely with your obstetrician to provide you and your baby the best and smoothest pregnancy possible. Other mothers may transfer their care as necessary to The Fetal Center to ensure receive specific specialized care at the time of birth and in the immediate neonatal period only available at the Center.
At the Center, we fully support our patients and we believe families should make decisions that are right for them. Decisions on treatment plans are at the discretion of the patient, her family and referring physician. Our goal is to provide accurate, comprehensive information to empower our patients to confidently make informed decisions.
A Convenient, Integrated and Family-Oriented Approach
Our convenient, integrated, family-oriented approach sets The Fetal Center apart. We offer comprehensive care all within the Center that includes:
A full-time clinical care coordinator partners with each mother and guides her through each step of their treatment plan such as scheduling appointments, following-up with physicians, explaining diagnostic information and providing moral support.
A personally tailored program of diagnostic testing and consultations with expert specialists conveniently scheduled on one day to reduce travel time and multiple visits. Our team also coordinates follow-up with the patient's referring physician and works closely with your obstetrician to provide you and your baby the best care possible.
The Best Advice:
Our patients benefit from counseling from physicians and specialists who meet regularly to ensure mothers and families are receiving the most up-to-date diagnostics and treatment. An individual Comprehensive Care Conference summarizing the result of the day's consultations gives patients a complete and accurate summary of their treatment plan.