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High-Risk Pregnancy Factors and Symptoms

A woman may be considered at risk in her pregnancy for any of the following reasons:

  • Younger than 18 or older than 35
  • Underweight or overweight
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count and poor nutrition status)
  • Previously given birth more than four times
  • Previously delivered a very large or very small baby
  • Previous miscarriage
  • Family history of genetic disease or a previous baby with a birth defect
  • Weak cervix
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart, lung or kidney disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or epilepsy
  • History of blood clots
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Uses infertility medications or treatments (more likely to result in multiple births)
  • Uses cigarettes, illicit drugs or alcohol to excess
  • Is exposed to external risk factors such as exceptionally high temperatures, radiation, pesticides and high altitudes