Natural Birth: What is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

Natural Birth and High Risk Pregnancy

At Missouri Midwifery, our focus is to provide excellent holistic care to expectant mothers and their babies. We specialize in natural birth. Because we don’t use medical intervention unless absolutely necessary, we only work with low-risk pregnancies. You may be wondering what factors determine whether a pregnancy is low or high risk. That’s why we have provided a little more information on low and high-risk pregnancies and how it relates to natural birth.

What is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

Generally speaking, a high-risk pregnancy is exactly what it sounds like. A pregnancy that has an increased chance of causing problems for either the mom, the baby, or both can be considered high-risk. Certain medical issues that can indicate the possibility of a high-risk pregnancy are:

  • Diabetes – insulin dependent
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • HIV+ status
  • Kidney disease
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking or tobacco use

These factors and others can help your midwife or obstetrician determine if your pregnancy is high-risk. The higher the risk in the pregnancy, the less likely it is to have a natural birth.

There are some factors of a high-risk pregnancy that won’t be known until the pregnancy has occurred. These factors include:

  • Gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy and isn’t controlled via diet)
  • Multiple gestations (being pregnant with more than one baby at the same time)
  • Preeclampsia (a sudden increase in blood pressure during pregnancy that can cause issues for the mother)
  • Eclampsia (a severe form of preeclampsia that can cause seizures and comas)

These issues won’t be known until several weeks into the pregnancy and can greatly increase the chance for risk if they occur.

Natural Birth and High-Risk Pregnancy

Generally speaking, the higher risk there is in a pregnancy the more necessary medical supervision and intervention become. This ensures that both mom and baby have access to emergency care if something were to happen. It isn’t completely impossible to have a high-risk pregnancy and still have a natural birth, but it isn’t recommended.

Natural Birth at Missouri Midwifery

At Missouri Midwifery Service, our Certified Nurse Midwives will work with you to determine whether your pregnancy is high or low risk. Should your pregnancy become high risk, they will connect you with their collaborating physician to assure the best care for you and your little one. For more information about the services we provide, from prenatal care to postpartum care, contact Missouri  Midwifery today.