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Overview of High-Risk Pregnancy

By

Raul Artal-Mittelmark

, MD, Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Sep 2022| Content last modified Sep 2022
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In a high-risk pregnancy, the mother, fetus, or neonate is at increased risk of morbidity or mortality before, during, or after delivery.

Risk Assessment During Pregnancy

Several pregnancy monitoring and risk assessment systems are available. The most widely used system is the Pregnancy Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), which is a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments. PRAMS provides information for state health departments to use to improve the health of mothers and infants. PRAMS also enables the CDC and states to monitor changes in health indicators (eg, unintended pregnancy, prenatal care, breastfeeding, smoking, drinking, infant health).

High-risk pregnancies require close monitoring and sometimes referral to a perinatal center, especially if women have complex high-risk conditions. These centers offer many specialty and subspecialty services, provided by maternal, fetal, and neonatal specialists (1 Risk assessment reference In a high-risk pregnancy, the mother, fetus, or neonate is at increased risk of morbidity or mortality before, during, or after delivery. Risk assessment is part of routine prenatal care. Family... read more ). When referral is needed, transfer before, rather than after, delivery results in lower neonatal morbidity and mortality rates.

The most common reasons for referral before delivery are

Risk assessment reference

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