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Little miracles happen here.

Our compassionate providers will give you and your baby the expert care you need throughout every step of your pregnancy. If you anticipate complications, you can trust our perinatologists, board-certified neonatologists, and highly-skilled nursing staff to provide personalized care for your pregnancy. Find a high-risk specialist today.

High-Risk Pregnancy Care

Whether you are expecting multiples or showing symptoms that are high risk, our supportive providers offer various options to guide and care for you throughout your pregnancy. Select one of the following options to learn more.

Focused on safety. So you can focus on healing.

Our facilities follow CDC guidelines to help protect patients and staff. If you need to see a doctor, don’t delay getting the care you need.

Find a High-Risk OB Specialist

Whether you're seeking a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician or a second opinion, our obstetrical care experts are here to support your journey.

Do You Need a High-Risk OB Specialist?

Our specialists understand that childbirth is a joyful family experience. However, they know that it also requires careful guidance and expertise. We have worked to build a culture of compassion focused on your safety and the best possible outcomes for your pregnancy. We are here to care for you and your new baby from the beginning of your pregnancy to postpartum care and lactation support.

As part of our integrated, coordinated, and patient-centered program, we strive to identify high-risk pregnancies and births early, and to mindfully manage risks posed to mother and baby.

A Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor is an OB-GYN who has special training in the care and management of high-risk pregnancies. MFM specialists care for:

  • pregnant women who develop complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes 
  • pregnant women who have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease
  • unborn babies who have been diagnosed with a health condition or birth defect 

You may be referred to an MFM specialist if any of the following conditions are present:

  • problematic prenatal testing results 
  • multiple gestation pregnancy
  • chronic medical condition
  • history of miscarriage or preterm birth

OB-GYN doctors, certified nurse midwives, and MFM specialists at Dignity Health collaborate and share information to ensure that you and your baby get the best possible care.

Common causes of high-risk pregnancy include:

  • age
  • lifestyle choices
  • pre-existing medical conditions

Risk factors for pregnancy complications include:

  • age (teenagers and women older than 35)
  • anemia
  • autoimmune disease
  • diabetes
  • drug and alcohol use
  • eclampsia
  • gestational diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • multiple gestation
  • obesity
  • preeclampsia
  • smoking

Generally speaking, the answer is no. Gestational diabetes is common and typically goes away on its own.

Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar, which can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. Any complication is concerning, but the good news is that you can control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising, and, if necessary, taking medication. Blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after delivery.

There is no way to prevent gestational diabetes with 100 percent certainty, but the more healthy habits you can adopt before pregnancy, the better. The same habits may reduce your risk of having gestational diabetes in future pregnancies or developing Type 2 diabetes down the road. Those healthy habits include:

  • eating foods high in fiber and low in fat and calories
  • staying active, with a goal of 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week
  • avoiding excess weight gain (which is most easily accomplished by healthy eating and staying active)

Women are increasingly delivering babies for the first time in their 30s and beyond. There is a growing body of research that shows that, while many healthy women deliver perfectly healthy babies in their later years, it is not without risk.

A 2014 Norwegian study involving more than 160,000 first-time mothers found that new mothers over 40 were three times as likely as younger women to need an emergency cesarean section—even if they live a healthy lifestyle.

Women aged 20 to 24 had a 6.7 percent chance of their pregnancy ending with an emergency cesarean section, while women over 40 had a 22.4 percent chance.

The researchers said the study could not draw conclusions about why older women were more likely to undergo interventions but suggested it could be linked to hardening of artery tissues and weakening of contractions with age.

Before bringing your baby home from the hospital, it’s not always easy to know how much and what kind of help you’ll need and want. Remember the help isn’t just for you—it’s also for your baby and your family.

Not enough help can lead to stress and sleep deprivation, making breastfeeding difficult. It can also negatively affect your well-being.

After you go home, use your experience of the first few days with baby to help you decide what type of support you need. Your spouse may not instinctively know what you need. Have a daily conversation with your spouse to talk about what’s going on and figure out what each person can be doing to help.