Attorney at Law
FOR LAWYERS

High-Risk Pregnancy

By
Daisy Rogozinsky
/
October 24, 2022

A high-risk pregnancy requires extra care by medical professionals. In this article, we’ll define the term “high-risk pregnancy” and explain how it relates to birth injury law.

Key Takeaways

  • A high-risk pregnancy carries increased health risks for the pregnant parent, fetus, or both
  • Causes of high-risk pregnancy include age, substance abuse, health conditions, and more
  • Symptoms of high-risk pregnancy include chest pain, vaginal bleeding, trouble breathing, fever, and more
  • Complications of high-risk pregnancy include birth defects, miscarriage, stillbirth, and more
  • High-risk pregnancies can be detected through blood tests, urine tests, ultrasounds, and fetal monitoring
  • High-risk pregnancies require extra care in the form of closer monitoring and more extensive evaluation
  • A failure to properly detect and respond to a high-risk pregnancy leading to birth injury may be considered medical malpractice 

What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?  

A high-risk pregnancy is a pregnancy that has an increased health risk for the pregnant person, fetus, or both. People with high-risk pregnancies may require additional care before, during, or after birth in order to reduce the risk of complications. About 50,000 people in the U.S. experience severe pregnancy complications every year.

Causes of High-Risk Pregnancy

Potential causes of high-risk pregnancy include:

  • Age over 35
  • Age over 17
  • Smoking
  • Drug addiction
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Exposure to certain toxins
  • Preexisting health conditions
  • Pregnancy-related health conditions 

Preexisting health conditions that can make pregnancy more dangerous include:

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or multiple sclerosis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • COVID-19
  • Kidney disease
  • Mental health disorders, such as depression
  • Low body weight, indicated by a BMI of less than 18.5
  • Fibroids
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Diabetes

Pregnancy-related conditions that can pose risks include:

  • Birth defects
  • Genetic conditions in the fetus.
  • Preeclampsia
  • Eclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Previous preterm labor or birth
  • Complications with previous pregnancies
  • Poor growth in the fetus
  • Multiple gestation, such as twins or triplets

Symptoms of High-Risk Pregnancy

The signs and symptoms of high-risk pregnancy include:

  • The fetus's movement stopping or slowing
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain that doesn’t go away
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Thoughts about harming the fetus
  • Severe headache that won’t go away or gets worse
  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Swelling, redness, or pain in your face or limbs
  • Nausea and vomiting more severe than normal morning sickness
  • Fever over 100.4° Farenheit

Complications of High-Risk Pregnancy

High-risk pregnancies can be highly dangerous to the health of both the pregnant person and the fetus, even posing a threat to their lives. Some of the complications of high-risk pregnancy include:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Low or high birth weight
  • Excessive bleeding during labor and delivery, or after birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Birth defects
  • Eclampsia
  • Preterm delivery
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Problems with fetal brain development
  • Stillbirth

High-Risk Pregnancy Care

In order to decrease the risk of high-risk pregnancy, prenatal care is key. There are several ways to detect a possible high-risk pregnancy, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Ultrasound
  • Fetal monitoring

Pregnant people diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy will require extra monitoring and care, including:

  • Closer monitoring by the OB-GYN
  • Home blood pressure monitoring
  • More ultrasounds
  • Closer fetal evaluation
  • Consultation with other medical specialists, including a maternal-fetal medicine specialist
  • Monitoring of medication and preexisting conditions 

High-Risk Pregnancy and Birth Injury Law

When healthcare professionals fail to properly detect or care for high-risk pregnancies, it can pose a serious risk, and it is negligent. If this leads to birth injury, it may be considered medical malpractice. 

If you or your baby experienced complications because your doctors did not properly identify or respond to your high-risk pregnancy, you may be eligible for compensation. It is recommended that you speak to an experienced birth injury lawyer in order to review your options.

Ask a Lawyer

Ask your own question and get advice from expert attorneys
Ask Question

Featured Birth Injury Lawyers

The Law Offices of Anthony E. Vieira

21 years in practice
Birth Injury, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death
View Profile

Thompson Law Offices, P.C.

google-logo
14 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Birth Injury, Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect, Personal Injury, Premises Liability
View Profile

Law Offices of Joseph A. Bosco, P.A.

google-logo
21 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Birth Injury, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death
View Profile

Law Office of Tal Rubin, PC

google-logo
22 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Personal Injury
View Profile

Paz Law

google-logo
5 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Immigration Law, Personal Injury
View Profile

Law Offices of Denis Alexandroff, APC.

google-logo
9 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability, Wrongful Death
View Profile

Contact AttorneyAtLaw.com

Are you looking for an attorney? Do you have questions about a legal case you are facing? Contact us now and we will put you in touch with a lawyer for free.
Attorney At Law is changing how clients connect with lawyers. By providing an innovative platform to lawyers who want to expand their practice’s reach, AAL is bringing law practices into the future.
6142 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, California 92009
Some of the content of this website may be considered attorney advertising under the rules of certain jurisdictions. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
crossmenuchevron-upchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram