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Perinatology - High-Risk Pregnancy and Follow-Up

Pregnancy is an important period when there are many risks for the mother and child, and if the necessary measures are not taken, there may be health problems or even risks to the life of the mother and child. During the prenatal period, it is necessary to monitor more closely the presence or occurrence of certain risks. This period, when serious complications can occur, is associated with a high risk. Risks can occur from the very beginning of pregnancy, as well during any period of pregnancy or in the postpartum period.

Perinatology - High-Risk Pregnancy

Perinatology, also called high- pregnancy, are conditions that pose a risk to the mother and child and should be carefully monitored and monitored by a perinatologist.

Perinatologist – Specialist in Perinatology

Doctors who have been trained in the field of perinatology (high-risk pregnancy) in the specialty "Obstetrics and Gynecology" are called perinatologists or specialists in perinatology.

Causes of High-Risk Pregnancy

The causes of high-risk pregnancies fall into three categories: mother-related causes, baby-related causes, and placenta-related causes.

Mother-related causes:

  • Teenage pregnancy (pregnancy under the age of 18),
  • Elderly pregnancy (pregnancy at the age of 35 and older),
  • Marriage with a relative,
  • Rhesus conflict,
  • Genetic diseases,
  • Blood pressure,
  • Diabetes,
  • Thyroid disease,
  • Obesity (higher risk of preeclampsia),
  • Excessive thinness,
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or multiple sclerosis,
  • Mental illness,
  • Diseases of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys,
  • Infections suffered during pregnancy,
  • Major operations have been carried out,
  • Problems with previous pregnancies (premature birth, repeated miscarriages, cesarean section, childbirth with a large baby or underweight, preeclampsia, eclampsia, etc.),
  • Fibroids,
  • Blood clotting problems,
  • Medications used,
  • Tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse,
  • Gestational diabetes,
  • Vaginal bleeding.


Image 1: Perinatology - High-risk pregnancy.


Baby-related causes:

  • Overweight (more than 4500 g),
  • Underweight,
  • Chromosomal abnormalities,
  • Structural disorders,
  • Multiple pregnancies,
  • Genetic diseases,
  • Lagging development.

Placenta-related causes:

  • Placenta previa (closing the cervix of the placenta),
  • Proximity of the placenta to the cervix,
  • Abnormal placental vascularization,
  • Lack or excess of amniotic fluid.

Possible High-Risk Pregnancy Complications

A high-risk pregnancy can pose threat to the health or even life of the mother and child. following is a list of some of the most serious complications:

  • Preeclampsia (toxemia, increased blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy),
  • Eclampsia (attacks of preeclampsia),
  • Excessive bleeding during pregnancy, during or after childbirth,
  • Premature birth,
  • Caesarean section,
  • Low or high birth weight,
  • Birth defects,
  • Structural anomalies,
  • Miscarriage,
  • Loss of a child,
  • The need to place the mother in the intensive care unit,
  • The need to place the child in the newborn care unit.

Tracking High-Risk Pregnancies

The follow-up process of monitoring mothers with a high-risk pregnancy condition does not take place within the same monitoring procedures as the normal pregnancy process.

Monitoring of high-risk pregnancies will first begin with identifying the source of risk. When planning and managing the process in accordance with the source of risk, the process is combined depending on the degree of risk; cardiologist, newborn specialist, internal medicine specialist, endocrinologist, nutritionist, adult intensive care specialist, etc. it will be managed in collaboration with experts from different industries.

The perinatologist will take the necessary measures and prescribe treatment, closely monitoring the mother and child, depending on the degree of risk.

With proper planning and management of the risky pregnancy process, the risks can be reduced to the risks of a normal pregnancy. The risks to mother and child are controlled. However, in case of neglect, there will be health problems or even risks to the life of the mother and child.

Monitoring pregnancy at risk is not a process that begins and ends with pregnancy, but a process that begins before pregnancy, if there is a maternal risk, and continues from the period of pregnancy to childbirth and until the end of the postpartum period. For this reason, to avoid problems associated with risky pregnancy, parents who have risk factors should be attentive to this issue and should seek support from a doctor at the time of pregnancy planning.

Even though the frequency of high-risk pregnancies has increased, the diagnosis, visualization and treatment of diseases that may occur during the prenatal period have reached quite high heights thanks to advanced technologies and medical achievements. Thanks to these achievements, it is even possible to treat a child by interfering with the life of a child in the womb. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the maternal causes of high-risk pregnancy?
There are many maternal reasons why pregnancy is associated with a high risk. Pregnancy at a young or old age, genetic and chronic diseases, problems with previous pregnancies.
Which doctor monitors high-risk pregnancies?
High-risk pregnancies are monitored by Doctor of Science who, after receiving a specialization in obstetrics and gynecology, are trained in the field of perinatology.
Perinatology – High-Risk Pregnancy and Follow-Up
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