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WomenCare WNY » Services » Pregnancy » Care During Pregnancy » High-risk Pregnancy

High-risk Pregnancy

In a “high-risk” pregnancy, you have an increased chance of experiencing complications during pregnancy that can cause health problems for you or your baby. Your doctor will monitor you closely so that problems are found and addressed early.

Factors that put you at risk:

  • Age (over the age of 35)
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • HIV
  • Substance abuse
  • Tobacco abuse
  • Previous pre-term deliveries
  • Placenta previa – when a baby's placenta partially or totally covers the mother's cervix
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid disease
  • Preeclampsia
  • Any medical condition, if not managed by a primary doctor or not well controlled

Care During Your Pregnancy

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you will visit the doctor more often than women not at risk to ensure that any complications are found early.

In most cases, your obstetrician can manage your pregnancy, consulting with maternal-fetal medicine specialists (doctors who have extra training in high-risk pregnancies) when needed.

Our obstetricians at the Mercy OB/GYN Center and Sisters OB/GYN Center are experienced in caring for patients with high-risk pregnancies.


Regular blood tests, urine tests and ultrasounds are common for women with high-risk pregnancies.

Tests may be performed in your doctor’s office, or you may be referred to a Perinatal Testing Center.

Possible tests include:


Even if you have a high-risk pregnancy, your delivery should be no different than for normal-risk moms, unless previously discussed with your physician. Placenta Previa also places you at high risk for delivery.


Both Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and Sisters of Charity Hospital are equipped with neonatal intensive care units (NICU), which specialize in the care of ill or premature infants.

Should your baby require intensive care, we're able to treat him or her on-site, so that you and your baby remain at the same facility.


Most complications that moms experience can be treated in the labor and delivery unit.

For more serious conditions, you may receive care in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) at Mercy Hospital or Sisters Hospital. It is rare that this option is needed; however, Catholic Health's maternity hospitals are uniquely equipped to provide ICU care to maternal conditions that warrant it.

Length of Stay

Most high-risk mothers are able to go home at the same time as their normal-risk counterparts. Only when a maternal or neonatal condition requires it would you experience a longer stay in the hospital.

Becoming a Patient

To find a doctor who can care for your high-risk pregnancy, click here to search our physician directory or contact our HealthConnection representatives at (716) 706-2112 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday - Friday.

More Information

Phone  Call our HealthConnection line at (716) 706-2112, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday - Friday
Email Email us

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