There are several factors that may contribute to leading to a high risk pregnancy. All these risks are considered severe as they put at threat the health of both the mother and the baby in the uterus. However, if the risks are recognised early enough or even before pregnancy, it is likely that both mother and baby will progress without any major health issues.
The five major abnormalities that can lead to a high risk pregnancy are:
Presence of a self-antibody in the mother, which can lead to issues of excess bleeding or clotting;
Presence of active viral or parasitic infections which may require monitoring or treatment during pregnancy so the baby survives the pregnancy and is born without major disability;
Established Heart or Kidney Failure in the mother;
Hypertension in the mother, either before or during pregnancy;
Obesity and/or Diabetes in the mother, either before or during pregnancy
Some of these risk factors may cause abnormal blood flows in the mother which pass onto the baby through the placenta. When this happens, the mother develops a condition that needs immediate attention: Preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia may identify women early in life who are at future risk for Kidney Disease. The optimal follow-up for women with preeclampsia remains unclear; at minimum, women with preeclampsia should be counselled about the risk for future disease and encouraged to implement lifestyle modifications with the aim of lowering the risk factors involved with Kidney Disease.