Pregnancies that are high-risk have potential complications with either the health of the mom, the developing baby or both. If your pregnancy is high-risk, you will see a specialist and receive additional prenatal care to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.
Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy
There are a number of high-risk pregnancy causes:
- Age: There is a higher risk of complication if you are 35 or older
- Lifestyle: Smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs
- Past pregnancy issues: Preterm birth or previous miscarriage
- Known or suspected fetal abnormality: Problems with the baby’s heart, gastrointestinal organs, kidney, brain or spine
- Health conditions: Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, epilepsy or lupus
- Conditions in pregnancy: Placenta previa, preeclampsia or preterm labor
- Multiples pregnancy: Twins, triplets or other multiples
If you have any risk factors that may lead to a high-risk pregnancy, we recommend talking to your primary care or OB-GYN provider before you get pregnant. Rush providers can recommend lifestyle or medical changes that could increase your chances of a routine pregnancy.
High-Risk Pregnancy Care at Rush
If you are pregnant with any of the high-risk factors, or have a condition that puts your health or pregnancy at risk, your Rush provider will create a care plan personalized to you and your baby. Often, your OB-GYN will partner with a maternal-fetal medicine provider who completed advanced training to care for high-risk pregnancies.
- Prenatal care and testing: At Rush, our advanced prenatal testing allows us to better diagnose, treat and monitor you and your baby for the most healthy pregnancy possible.
- Genetic screening and counseling: In addition to your prenatal tests, we offer genetic screenings for pregnancies that are at an increased risk of genetic conditions. If a birth defect or genetic condition is suspected, our maternal-fetal medicine team will collaborate with your OB-GYN to provide the best care to you and your baby during pregnancy and after delivery. You will also have access to a genetic counselor who can answer any questions you may have about your baby’s medical condition.
- Labor and delivery planning: A critical part of your prenatal care will be planning your labor and delivery. Our high-risk obstetricians will develop different scenarios to best prepare for a safe delivery. We will also create a plan for immediate medical care for your baby after delivery, if needed.
Rush Excellence in High-Risk Pregnancy Care
- Nationally ranked for gynecologic care: U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Center’s gynecology program among the nation's best. You'll feel confident that you and your baby are receiving the best in care — particularly important for a high-risk pregnancy.
- Specialists care for the complex: From the routine to the most complicated, Rush specialists care for you with expertise. Our maternal-fetal medicine providers — physicians who complete extra training to care for high-risk pregnancies — are part of our OB-GYN teams at Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley Medical Center. At Rush University Medical Center, we also offer the Rush Fetal and Neonatal Medicine Center that brings together a group of subspecialists, including our maternal-fetal medicine team, to evaluate and treat babies facing rare and unique medical challenges. This expert care begins during your pregnancy and continues after delivery.
- Expertly-trained to care for multiples: If you're carrying multiples, your pregnancy is considered high risk. Our high-risk pregnancy experts have experience caring for multiples, including those with fetal abnormalities or complications due to having more than one fetus. For the most complex cases, including twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, our OB-GYN providers partner with pediatric experts through the Fetal and Neonatal Medicine Center at Rush University Medical Center.
- Family Birth Center designed for high-risk delivery: At Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley Medical Center, our Family Birth Centers offer dedicated space for moms who need hospital care because of pregnancy complications. These rooms allow for closer monitoring of high-risk pregnancies and immediate care if you go into labor.
- Highest level of care for your baby after delivery: Both Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley Medical Center offer the highest level of care for babies in need after delivery. Our level III neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are located near our Family Birth Centers so your baby receives expert care when seconds matter most. Our NICU respiratory therapists can also attend high-risk deliveries to care immediately for babies who have breathing problems when they’re born.