High-Risk Pregnancy and Preterm Labor

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Learning your pregnancy is considered high-risk can be daunting. It is important to understand, a high-risk pregnancy simply means your doctor believes you (and your unborn child) should be more carefully monitored to avoid further complications.

If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you must be very conscientious about your prenatal care. Ask your obstetrician a lot of questions, attend all doctor’s appointments, convey to your doctor any and all changes you may experience, and don’t take any gut-feeling too lightly. Furthermore, it is especially important to pay close attention to the progression of your pregnancy.

Premature labor is a very common complication of high-risk pregnancies.

Your labor is considered preterm if it occurs before the 37th week of your pregnancy. It is estimated 10% of all babies are born premature. The following women have an increased risk of premature labor:

  • Younger than 18
  • Older than 40
  • Smokers
  • Previous preterm births
  • Have had abortions
  • Have had cervix procedures
  • Uterine defects
  • Infections (UTI, STD, etc.)
  • Pregnant with Multiples
  • Early membrane rupture

While you may not be able to prevent premature labor, if you can recognize the signs early, you may be able to protect yourself and your baby from unnecessary danger. The following are signs your baby may be coming early:

  • Excessive abdominal cramping
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Contractions (more than 4/hour)
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Change in dilation of the cervix
  • Diarrhea and/or loose stool 

If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, and you have an increased chance of premature labor, there are many precautions you can take.  

Learn as much as you can about your pregnancy and why your pregnancy is considered high-risk. Become knowledgeable about your health, symptoms, and the changes in your body. Ask your doctor about activity restrictions. Keep a good line of communication with your obstetrician and/or any specialist you may see. Take extra good care of yourself – eat well, rest, and stay calm!

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.