High-Risk Pregnancy Facts and Figures

What is a high-risk pregnancy?

Your pregnancy is called high-risk if you or your baby has an increased chance of a health problem.

Some pregnancies become high risk as the progress, while some women, for a variety of reasons, are at increased risk for complications before they get pregnant. High-risk pregnancies often require specialized care.

6 Signs of a High-Risk Pregnancy

  1. Age
  2. Smoking
  3. Medical History
  4. Pregnancy Complications
  5. Multiple Pregnancies
  6. Obesity

Pregnant women 17 and under carry additional pregnancy risks such as high blood pressure and anemia.

Age at which a pregnant woman is at higher risk for placenta issues, gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Percentage of increased risk of placental abruption in subsequent pregnancy after two C-section deliveries.

Percentage of all twins born prematurely.

Percentage of triplets born preterm.

Percentage of women who experience preterm labor due to smoking cigarettes.

Percentage that obesity can raise infants’ risk of heart problems. Obesity also increases the risk for high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, stillbirth, neural tube defects and cesarean delivery.


Although high-risk pregnancy is not always preventable, staying healthy before and during pregnancy is a good way to lower the risk of having a difficult pregnancy. Regular prenatal visits to your healthcare provider help identify health problems early, when steps can be taken to protect the health of you and your baby.

American Pregnancy Association
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – National Institutes of Health
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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