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High-Risk Pregnancy

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  • Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy

    Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy What is acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP)? Acute fatty liver of pregnancy is a rare, but serious, condition of pregnancy in which there is an excessive accumulation...

  • Alcohol and Pregnancy

    Alcohol and Pregnancy The risks involved with alcohol use during pregnancy Alcohol consumption by the mother is a leading cause of preventable birth defects in the fetus and is the only known cause o...

  • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)

    Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) What is an alpha-fetoprotein screening (AFP)? Alpha-fetoprotein screening is a blood test that measures the level of alpha-fetoprotein in the mothers' blood during pregnancy. ...

  • Amniocentesis

    Amniocentesis What is an amniocentesis? An amniocentesis is a procedure used to obtain a small sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus to diagnose chromosomal disorders and open neural ...

  • Anemia in Pregnancy

    Anemia in Pregnancy Blood is the life-maintaining fluid that circulates through the body's heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries. It carries away waste matter and carbon dioxide, and brings nourish...

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome (aPL)

    Antiphospholipid Syndrome (aPL) What is antiphospholipid syndrome (aPL)? Antiphospholipid syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body produces large amounts of antiphospholipid antibodies. Ph...

  • Asthma and Pregnancy

    Asthma and Pregnancy Having asthma does not necessarily mean having a complicated pregnancy. With proper management of asthma and appropriate medical care during the pregnancy, most women who have as...

  • Autoimmune Diseases

    Autoimmune Diseases Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the body makes antibodies against one's own normal body chemicals. The skin and connective tissues (cartilage, bone, tendons) are most ...

  • Biophysical Profile (BPP)

    Biophysical Profile (BPP) What is a biophysical profile (BPP)? A biophysical profile (BPP) is a test that combines a nonstress test with ultrasound. A nonstress test (NST) measures the fetal heart ra...

  • Care and Management of Multiple Pregnancy

    Care and Management of Multiple Pregnancy Management of multiple pregnancy: Specific management for multiple pregnancy will be determined by your physician or midwife based on: Your pregnancy, overal...

  • Cholestasis of Pregnancy

    Cholestasis of Pregnancy What is cholestasis of pregnancy? Cholestasis of pregnancy is a condition in which the normal flow of bile in the gallbladder is slowed or stopped resulting in itching and ja...

  • Chorioamnionitis

    Chorioamnionitis What is chorioamnionitis? Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the membranes (placental tissues) and amniotic fluid. It occurs in about 1 to 5 percent of all pregnancies, but is much ...

  • Chorionic Villus Sampling

    Chorionic Villus Sampling What is chorionic villus sampling (CVS)? Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a prenatal test that involves taking a sample of some of the placental tissue. This tissue contai...

  • Chronic Hypertension

    Chronic Hypertension What is chronic hypertension? Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. Each time the heart beats, it is pumping blood into these arteries--resul...

  • Complications of Multiple Pregnancy

    Complications of Multiple Pregnancy Why is multiple pregnancy a concern? Being pregnant with more than one baby is exciting and is often a happy event for many couples. However, multiple pregnancy ha...

  • Diabetes and Pregnancy

    Diabetes and Pregnancy What is diabetes? Diabetes is a condition where sufficient amounts of insulin are either not produced or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced. Insulin is the ...

  • Digestive and Liver Disorders

    Digestive and Liver Disorders Many digestive and liver conditions may complicate a pregnancy and require clinical care by a health care provider. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we ...

  • Digestive and Liver Disorders Overview

    Digestive and Liver Disorders Overview What is digestion? Food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients to be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body. Di...

  • Doppler Flow Studies

    Doppler Flow Studies What is a Doppler flow study? Doppler flow is a type of ultrasound that uses sound waves to measure the flow of blood through a blood vessel. Waveforms of the blood flow are show...

  • Ectopic Pregnancy

    Ectopic Pregnancy What is ectopic pregnancy? About 2 percent of all pregnancies develop outside the uterus, called an ectopic pregnancy. These are nearly always in the fallopian tube. Rarely, an ecto...

  • Epilepsy and Pregnancy

    Epilepsy and Pregnancy What is epilepsy? Epilepsy, also called a seizure disorder, is defined as a neurological disorder that involves recurrent seizures. According to the National Institute of Neuro...

  • Fetal Blood Sampling

    Fetal Blood Sampling What is fetal blood sampling? Fetal blood sampling is a procedure to remove a small amount of blood from the fetus during pregnancy. In the past, fetal blood sampling was used on...

  • Fetal Monitoring

    Fetal Monitoring What is fetal monitoring? During late pregnancy and during labor, your doctor may want to monitor the fetal heart rate and other functions. Fetal heart rate monitoring is a method of...

  • Fetal Movement Counting

    Fetal Movement Counting What is fetal movement counting? Fetal movement counting, often called kick counting, is a way a mother can help monitor the movements of her unborn baby by counting the numbe...

  • First Trimester Screening

    First Trimester Screening What is first trimester screening? First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing performed during the first trimester of pregnanc...

  • Genetics

    Genetics What is genetics? Genetics is the study of the patterns of inheritance--how traits and characteristics are passed from parents to their children. Genes are formed from segments of DNA (deoxy...

  • Gestational Diabetes

    Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) What is GDM? Gestational diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the glucose level is elevated and other diabetic symptoms appear during pregnancy in a woman who...

  • Gestational Hypertension

    Gestational Hypertension What is gestational hypertension? Gestational hypertension is a form of high blood pressure in pregnancy. It occurs in about 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies. Another type o...

  • Glossary - High-Risk Pregnancy

    Glossary - High-Risk Pregnancy | A | | B | | C | | D | | E | | F | | G | | H | | I | | J | | K | | L | | M | | N | | O | | P | | Q | | R | | S | | T | | U | | V | | W | | X | | Y | | Z | A [back to t...

  • Heart Disease and Pregnancy

    Heart Disease and Pregnancy The heart in pregnancy The heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body. Located almost in the center of the chest, the adult human heart is about the size of one...

  • HELLP Syndrome

    HELLP Syndrome What is HELLP syndrome? HELLP syndrome is a serious complication of severe gestational hypertension (high blood pressure problems of pregnancy). The actual incidence is not known, but ...

  • Herpes

    Herpes What is herpes (HSV)? Genital herpes can be spread to the baby during delivery, if a woman has an active infection at that time. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes s...

  • Home Page - High-Risk Pregnancy

    Topic Index Preconception Care Prenatal Counseling Maternal and Fetal Testing Pregnancy Complications Pregnancy and Medical Conditions Sickle Cell Disease Autoimmune Disease Glossary Every family loo...

  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum

    Hyperemesis Gravidarum What is hyperemesis gravidarum? The majority of all pregnant women experience nausea and sometimes vomiting in the first trimester--a condition often called morning sickness, a...

  • Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy

    Hyperthyroidism in Pregnancy What is hyperthyroidism? Hyperthyroidism means overactivity of the thyroid gland, resulting in too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. The over secretion of thyroid ...

  • Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy

    Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy Facts about hypothyroidism and pregnancy Hypothyroidism is a condition marked by an underactive thyroid gland and may occur during pregnancy. Unfortunately, many symptoms...

  • Illegal Drug Use and Pregnancy

    Illegal Drug Use and Pregnancy The risks involved with illegal drug use during pregnancy The effects of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can be devastating on a fetus. Unfortunately, many women of chi...

  • Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

    Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) What is intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)? Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a term used to describe a condition in which the fetus is smaller than...

  • Listeriosis

    Listeriosis What is listeriosis? Listeriosis is a food-borne illness transmitted by bacteria in contaminated food. The listeria organism has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked mea...

  • Maternal and Fetal Infections

    Maternal and Fetal Infections Many maternal and fetal infections require clinical care by a health care provider. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have prodded a brief overview. M...

  • Maternal and Fetal Infections Overview

    Maternal and Fetal Infections Overview Infection is the invasion and multiplying of microorganisms in the body. The body may respond in different ways depending on the type of infection and the exten...

  • Maternal and Fetal Testing

    Maternal and Fetal Testing To evaluate the health of a pregnancy and fetus, many types of prenatal tests may be performed. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief o...

  • Maternal and Fetal Testing Overview

    Maternal and Fetal Testing Overview The vast majority of women have healthy pregnancies and their babies are born without difficulties. However, women with high-risk pregnancies often need a close wa...

  • Medical Conditions and Pregnancy

    Medical Conditions and Pregnancy Medical conditions that may affect pregnancy Certain medical conditions may complicate a pregnancy. However, with proper medical care, most women can enjoy a healthy ...

  • Medications and Pregnancy

    Medications and Pregnancy The risks involved with medication use during pregnancy: When pregnant, a woman should always check with her physician/midwife before taking any prescription or over-the-cou...

  • Migraine Headache

    Migraine Headache Headaches are quite common in pregnancy. The most common are tension headaches and migraine headaches. Most headaches come and go, but others may be more bothersome or may be caused...

  • Miscarriage

    Miscarriage What is a miscarriage? Miscarriage is usually defined as an early pregnancy loss. Miscarriage is also called spontaneous abortion. Types of miscarriage include the following: Threatened--...

  • Multiple Pregnancy

    Multiple Pregnancy Multiple pregnancy is a pregnancy involving more than one fetus. Twins, triplets, quadruplets, and so on, are multiple pregnancies. The rate of multiple births is on the increase f...

  • Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy

    Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy What is multiple sclerosis (MS)? MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. It is an unpredictable condition that can be relatively benign, disabling, or ...

  • Myasthenia Gravis and Pregnancy

    Myasthenia Gravis and Pregnancy What is myasthenia gravis? Click Image to Enlarge Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a complex autoimmune disorder in which antibodies destroy neuromuscular connections. This r...

  • Neurological Conditions and Pregnancy

    Neurological Conditions and Pregnancy Many neurological conditions affect a pregnancy and require clinical care by a doctor or other health care professional. Listed in the directory below are some, ...

  • Newborn Multiples

    Newborn Multiples Care of multiple birth babies Because many multiples are small and born early, they may be initially cared for in a special care nursery called the neonatal intensive care unit (NIC...

  • Nonstress Testing

    Nonstress Testing What is a nonstress test? A nonstress test (NST) measures the fetal heart rate in response to the fetus's movements. Generally, the heart rate of a healthy fetus increases when the ...

  • Nutrition Before Pregnancy

    Nutrition Before Pregnancy Becoming healthy before becoming pregnant Pre-conception nutrition is a vital part of preparing for pregnancy. Factors such as a woman's weight compared with her height and...

  • Online Resources - High-Risk Pregnancy

    Online Resources - High-Risk Pregnancy This Web was compiled from a variety of sources including the online resources listed below, but is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medic...

  • Overview of Birth Defects

    Overview of Birth Defects What is a birth defect? A "birth defect" is a health problem or physical change, which is present in a baby at the time he or she is born. Birth defects may be very mild, wh...

  • Overview of Multiple Pregnancy

    Overview of Multiple Pregnancy What is multiple pregnancy? Multiple pregnancy is a pregnancy with two or more fetuses. Names for these include the following: Twins--two fetuses Triplets--three fetuse...

  • Overview of Pregnancy Loss

    Overview of Pregnancy Loss What is pregnancy loss? Pregnancy loss is the death of an unborn baby at any time during pregnancy. It is estimated that pregnancy loss occurs in over half of all early pre...

  • Planning a Pregnancy

    Planning a Pregnancy If you're planning to become pregnant, taking certain steps can help reduce risks for both you and your baby. Proper health before deciding to become pregnant is almost as import...

  • Postpartum Hemorrhage

    Postpartum Hemorrhage What is postpartum hemorrhage? Postpartum hemorrhage is excessive bleeding following the birth of a baby. About 4 to 6 percent of women have postpartum hemorrhage and it is more...

  • Postpartum Thyroiditis

    Postpartum Thyroiditis What is postpartum thyroiditis? In addition to playing an important role in the development of a growing fetus, proper thyroid hormone levels also help to minimize the chance o...

  • Post-Term Pregnancy

    Post-Term Pregnancy What is a post-term pregnancy? A pregnancy that lasts more than 42 weeks (294 days since the first day of the last menstrual period) is considered post-term. The vast majority of ...

  • Preconception Care

    Preconception Care Being as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant, and getting early and regular prenatal care during pregnancy, are important ways to take the best care of you and your develo...

  • Pregnancy and Medical Conditions

    Pregnancy and Medical Conditions Many pre-existing medical conditions can affect pregnancy or be affected by pregnancy that require the clinical care by a doctor or other health care professional. Li...

  • Pregnancy and the Nervous System

    Pregnancy and the Nervous System What is the nervous system? The nervous system is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates body activities. It is made up of two major divisions...

  • Pregnancy Complications

    Pregnancy Complications Many conditions can complicate a pregnancy and require clinical care by a doctor or other health care professional. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have p...

  • Pregnancy Loss

    Pregnancy Loss Pregnancy loss is often very difficult for women and families to cope with. Women who experience pregnancy loss require clinical care by a doctor to ensure other complications or infec...

  • Pregnancy Over Age 30

    Pregnancy Over Age 30 Many women today are waiting until later in life to have children. In the United States, birth rates for women in their 30s are at the highest levels in three decades. However, ...

  • Prenatal Counseling

    Prenatal Counseling As modern medicine advances, more and more information becomes available regarding how diseases are inherited, and parents are given different choices to make about the health of ...

  • Preterm Labor

    Preterm Labor What is preterm labor? Preterm labor is labor that begins before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. Although the exact definitions may vary, preterm labor may include one, or more, of the...

  • Rh Disease

    Rh Disease What is Rh disease? Rh disease occurs during pregnancy when there is an incompatibility between the blood types of the mother and baby. What causes Rh disease? Every person has a blood typ...

  • Risk Factors

    Risk Factors Identifying potential risks of a pregnancy is an important part of preconception care. Some women have increased chances for having a high-risk pregnancy because of genetic background, e...

  • Second Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests

    Second Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests Second trimester prenatal screening may include several blood tests, called multiple markers. These markers provide information about a woman's risk of havin...

  • Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy

    Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy What is sickle cell disease? Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder characterized by defective hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxyg...

  • Smoking and Pregnancy

    Smoking and Pregnancy The risks involved with smoking during pregnancy Although fewer women are smoking during their pregnancy now than ever before, the habit still persists among many women. In addi...

  • Stillbirth

    Stillbirth What is stillbirth? Stillbirth is a common term for death of a fetus after 20 weeks. It is also called intrauterine fetal death or demise. Causes of stillbirth may include the following: M...

  • Symptoms and Diagnosis of Multiple Pregnancy

    Symptoms and Diagnosis of Multiple Pregnancy What are the symptoms of multiple pregnancy? The following are the most common symptoms of multiple pregnancy. However, each woman may experience symptoms...

  • The Lungs in Pregnancy

    The Lungs in Pregnancy What makes up the respiratory system? The respiratory system is made up of the organs involved in the interchanges of gases, and consists of the following: Nose Pharynx Larynx ...

  • Thyroid Conditions

    Thyroid Conditions The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, below the larynx (voice box). The small, two-inch gland consists of two lobes, one on each side of the windpipe, connected by...

  • Topic Index - High-Risk Pregnancy

    Topic Index - High-Risk Pregnancy High-Risk Pregnancy Home Preconception Care Planning a Pregnancy Risk Factors Alcohol and Pregnancy Smoking and Pregnancy Illegal Drug Use and Pregnancy Medications ...

  • Toxoplasmosis

    Toxoplasmosis What is toxoplasmosis? Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii . Although many people may have toxoplasma infection, very few have symptoms ...

  • Types of Genetic Diseases

    Types of Genetic Diseases There are several types of genetic disorders. The way in which the disorder is inherited can help determine the risks it will have on a pregnancy and the risk it will recur ...

  • Ultrasound in Pregnancy

    Ultrasound in Pregnancy What is an ultrasound? An ultrasound scan is a diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs. A screening ultrasound is ...

  • Urinary Tract and Kidney Infections

    Urinary Tract and Kidney Infections A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very common medical complication of pregnancy. Unless treated, a UTI can cause serious problems in pregnancy. Normal urine is ...