The highly trained specialists at PinnacleHealth Maternal Fetal Medicine have the expertise and resources to manage all types of high-risk pregnancies.
Most pregnancies proceed normally but some mothers experience a high-risk pregnancy due to a pre-existing medical condition or a condition that develops during pregnancy. Whatever the cause, you can rest assured that our compassionate, knowledgeable staff will be there for you and your baby in the event that unexpected complications arise.
Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists provide expert consultation, guidance, treatment and monitoring for a range of conditions, including:
- Amniotic fluid disorders (too much or too little amniotic fluid)
- Bacterial and viral infections
- Thyroid problems
- Fetal growth problems
- Placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall
- Placenta previa, which occurs when the placenta is too close to the cervix
- Preeclampsia/eclampsia, also known as toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Preterm labor
- Ectopic pregnancy, or pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus
What are the risk factors?
Specific factors that might contribute to a high-risk pregnancy include:
- Advanced maternal age. Pregnancy risks are higher for mothers age 35 and older.
- Lifestyle choices. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can put a pregnancy at risk.
- Medical history. A prior C-section, low birth weight baby or preterm birth — birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy — might increase the risk in subsequent pregnancies. Other risk factors include a family history of genetic conditions, a history of pregnancy loss or the death of a baby shortly after birth.
- Underlying conditions. Chronic conditions — such as diabetes, high blood pressure and epilepsy — increase pregnancy risks. A blood condition, such as anemia, an infection or an underlying mental health condition also can increase pregnancy risks.
- Pregnancy complications. Various complications that develop during pregnancy pose risks, such as problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta. Other concerns might include too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) or low amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios), restricted fetal growth, or Rh (rhesus) sensitization — a potentially serious condition that can occur when your blood group is Rh negative and your baby's blood group is Rh positive.
- Multiple pregnancy. Pregnancy risks are higher for women carrying twins or higher order multiples.
What To Look Out For
It is normal for pregnancy to cause discomfort. However, if you have any questions about your symptoms or any doubts about whether your symptoms are normal, contact your physician.
Call your physician right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding or excess fluid leaking from your vagina
- Contractions before 37 weeks that occur more than four times in 20 minutes, or more than eight times an hour for more than one hour
- Unusual or severe abdominal pain or cramps
- Prolonged or excessive vomiting
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Severe headache
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Harrisburg, PA 17101
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