Safety Tips for a High-Risk Pregnancy

Several factors determine a high-risk pregnancy, from maternal age to underlying health conditions and your lifestyle. Having high-risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have a healthy pregnancy and delivery, but you can take a few precautions to ensure your health and peace of mind until your due date. Dr. Kelly Morales specializes in high-risk pregnancy and obstetrics services in San Antonio.

Factors that can lead to a high-risk pregnancy

Prenatal care is one of the most important factors for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, especially if you’re at a higher risk for complications. Some pregnancies are considered high risk from the onset; however, complications can also develop at any point throughout the pregnancy. 

Regular prenatal care is essential to monitor your pregnancy as it develops, and to identify and manage potential complications as early as possible. Every pregnancy is different, but some of the factors that contribute to a higher risk include:

Maternal age

Women in their 30s and 40s can and do have perfectly healthy pregnancies; however, a pregnancy in a woman over age 35 is generally considered high risk. Being too young can also increase the risk of complications for both the mother and baby, however, and teenage pregnancies also tend to be considered high risk. 

Some of the potential complications include preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure in pregnant women. Other possible complications include birth defects, miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and a multiple-birth pregnancy.

Underlying health issues

Healthy women can develop conditions like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure out of nowhere during a pregnancy, but certain pre-existing health conditions can increase the risk of complications. 

If you have any concerns or pre-existing health conditions, Dr. Morales helps to identify your individual risk factors and design the best prenatal care plan for your situation.


If you smoke, use alcohol or drugs, eat a poor diet, or lead a sedentary lifestyle, you may be at higher risk for complications during pregnancy. Dr. Morales recommends making lifestyle modifications and adopting a healthier lifestyle as soon as possible, ideally before you become pregnant.


Carrying twins (or more) can increase the risk of preterm labor and other complications.

What you can do if your pregnancy is (or becomes) high risk

Certain factors may be beyond the control of you or your OB/GYN team during pregnancy, but there are still things you can do to feel better and lower your risk of complications. 

Know your risks

Along with lifestyle factors and the health issues that you already recognize, there may be genetic factors that you’re unaware of that can affect your pregnancy. Review your family history, and discuss any concerns with Dr. Morales as soon as possible.

Manage your weight

Obesity can cause a number of health issues and complications during pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight before and during your pregnancy is an important component of a healthy pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet and staying physically active are especially important for pregnant women.

Don’t drink or smoke

Pregnancy is a great time to kick the smoking habit for good! You should also avoid alcohol, and limit your caffeine intake as well. 

Keep your prenatal appointments

Depending on your situation, you may need additional lab tests or checkups throughout your pregnancy. Make sure to keep all of your appointments, and follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter.

For more information about protecting your health through a high-risk pregnancy, call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Morales in San Antonio. You can also send us a message here on our website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Can I Prevent Birth Control Side Effects?

You love the effectiveness and convenience of hormonal birth control — but not the side effects these contraceptive methods sometimes bring. Learn how you can stop unwanted side effects in their tracks.

Endometriosis in Teens: What You Need to Know

If your teen suffers from painful periods and heavy bleeding, endometriosis could be the cause. Take a moment to learn what you need to know about this painful condition and how it affects adolescents.

5 Signs of Perimenopause

Are you confused about whether you’re in perimenopause or how you can tell? We’ve got you covered. Learn more about this transitional stage in a woman’s life and how to recognize the signs that you’re experiencing it.

What's Causing Your Irregular Periods?

Do you have periods that last longer than eight days, come every few weeks, or maybe only every few months? Learn what might cause your irregular periods and whether you should be concerned.

The Impact of STDs on Your Reproductive Health

More than 20 million cases of STDs are diagnosed annually in the United States. Learning you have an STD triggers a host of reactions, including concern about your reproductive health. Get the facts on how STDs influence your fertility.

Preparing Your Daughter for Her First Well-Woman Exam

To help her build a solid foundation for healthy adulthood, it’s important to teach your daughter the importance of routine health care — including teen well-woman visits. Here’s what your teenager can expect during her first visit with us.