High-Risk Pregnancy Care

High-risk pregnancies require special care. At El Camino Health, our maternal health professionals have the training and expertise to provide you and your baby with the highest level of care. 

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What Makes a Pregnancy High-Risk?

Your pregnancy is considered high-risk if you or your baby is at greater risk of developing health-related problems. Being high-risk means that your doctor will monitor you and your baby more closely to identify and manage any problems as early as possible. Circumstances that might cause your doctor to classify you as high-risk include:

  • Existing conditions – Such as high blood pressure, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, obesity, HIV/AIDS, thyroid disease, or autoimmune or kidney disease.
  • Age – Including teen pregnancies or first-time pregnancies after age 35.
  • Lifestyle factors – Such as drinking or smoking during pregnancy.
  • Conditions of pregnancy – Such as multiple gestation (twins, triplets or more), gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia and eclampsia.

Extra Care During Pregnancy

At El Camino Health, our highly trained mother-baby staff includes a board-certified OB/GYN available 24/7, neonatologists, maternity nurses, sonographers and other specialized clinicians who provide you with a high level of care. We offer consultations for high-risk pregnancies from preconception through delivery.

During a high-risk pregnancy, you’ll have more frequent doctor visits and additional testing, such as ultrasounds or other imaging exams, genetic testing, blood-flow exams or other tests. Your doctor will monitor your progress closely to assure you and your baby’s good health.

Perinatal Diagnostic Care in Mountain View

At our Mountain View campus, maternal-fetal medicine specialists (high-risk obstetricians) and genetic counselors are part of the high-risk pregnancy care team. Our maternal experts draw from the diagnostic technology and services available through the El Camino Health/Stanford Children's Health Perinatal Diagnostic Center. Maternal fetal medicine care is also provided by community physicians and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

When to Call Your Doctor

When you’re pregnant, don't hesitate to call your doctor or midwife if something doesn’t feel right or you have concerns.

Call your healthcare provider immediately if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Intense abdominal pain or cramping.
  • Heavy fluid leaking from your vagina.
  • Sudden or severe swelling in your face, hands and eyes, accompanied by headache or blurred vision.
  • Severe headaches that last for two or more hours.
  • Significant reduction in urination (none in 24 hours).
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever or chills, or persistent nausea or vomiting.
  • You sense your baby is moving less than normal (after 28 weeks of pregnancy, fewer than 10 movements within two hours).

You should also let your doctor know if you're having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. These feelings could mean you're experiencing prenatal depression, and El Camino Health’s mental health professionals are available to help.