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High-risk pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy indicates that there is a higher likelihood of a disease or condition that may put you or your baby at risk. This may be because of an existing health condition, a multiple pregnancy or even your age.

Maternal fetal medicine (MFM) in Denver

We use a thoughtful, attentive approach to help you manage a high-risk pregnancy.

HealthONE's specialists provide keep you informed and cared for with services such as preconception planning, condition management and in-depth diagnostic ultrasounds. We want to answer all of your questions and support you through pregnancy, delivery and beyond.

Expert advice, available 24/7

Free medical advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Free medical advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

High-risk pregnancy conditions we manage

Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists, or MFM doctors, identify, treat and manage high-risk pregnancy conditions, including:

  • AIDS
  • Amniotic fluid abnormalities
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Clotting disorders
  • Family history of fetal birth abnormalities
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Gestational diabetes
  • HELLP syndrome
  • History of preterm labor
  • HIV
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Later-age pregnancy (35+ years)
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Multiple pregnancy losses
  • Placental abruption
  • Placenta accreta
  • Placenta previa
  • Preeclampsia
  • Preexisting medical conditions
  • Preterm labor
  • Thyroid disorders

Our high-risk pregnancy care

We have maternal-fetal health specialists who will collaborate with your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) to provide coordinated care both before and during your pregnancy.

Preconception planning

If you have a preexisting medical condition or a predisposition to genetic disorders, you may benefit from consulting with a perinatologist before trying to get pregnant.

During a preconception visit with one of our perinatologists, we will discuss, diagnose and begin treating any preexisting conditions that could affect a future pregnancy. We will assess your individual risk (including current conditions and medications) and make recommendations for any lifestyle changes. Additionally, we will discuss specific prenatal care strategies to promote a healthy pregnancy in the future.

Prenatal genetic counseling

Prenatal genetic testing identifies the likelihood of certain genetic diseases and disorders being passed to your child. If a woman elects to receive genetic counseling, it is recommended that she do so before she becomes pregnant to help assess her risk factors.

MFM services

We are committed to providing the best possible care throughout your pregnancy and childbirth. If your pregnancy is classified as high risk, specialized care and additional monitoring from a perinatologist will help you and your baby stay healthy.

Our services are provided by our highly skilled perinatologists, who are OB/GYNs with additional training in high-risk pregnancy and maternal-fetal care. Perinatologists may also be called MFM doctors or high-risk OB/GYNs.

Our perinatologists offer a variety of services at our high-risk pregnancy clinics, including:

  • Amniocentesis
  • Cerclage
  • Chorionic villus sampling
  • Counseling about exposure to medications, radiation and possible toxins
  • Detailed diagnostic ultrasound
  • Determining fetal age
  • Dilation and curettage
  • Fetal blood testing
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Fetal heart monitoring
  • First trimester ultrasounds for congenital abnormalities
  • Genetic screening
  • Inpatient management of pregnancy complications
  • Placenta accreta treatment and care
  • Third trimester ultrasound for fetal lung development

Neonatal intensive care

If you experience a high-risk pregnancy, it is possible your baby may need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after they are born. Our hospitals have advanced-level NICUs with expert neonatal doctors and nurses who care for ill and premature newborns. Additionally, our children's hospital, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC), features the largest Level IV NICU in Colorado. Our hospitals work closely with this hospital, and if a baby requires a higher level of care, we can rapidly transfer them to the NICU they need.

What makes a pregnancy high risk

A pregnancy may be considered high risk based on conditions that affect you (maternal conditions), the baby (fetal conditions) or both. Maternal conditions may preexist or arise during pregnancy. Fetal conditions may arise during pregnancy and be discovered through abnormal ultrasound findings. The level of risk involved in each pregnancy is different, depending on the type and number of high-risk conditions present.

Fetal conditions that make a pregnancy high risk

Certain conditions that affect your baby may make your pregnancy higher risk. We can help manage these conditions, including:

  • Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Gastroschisis
  • Giant neck mass
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intraperitoneal intrauterine fetal transfusion
  • Lower urinary tract obstruction
  • Omphalocele
  • Sacrococcygeal teratoma
  • Spina bifida
  • Twin reversed arterial perfusion sequence
  • Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome

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