High Risk Pregnancy Clinic

When pregnancy takes an unexpected turn and complications arise, it is important to know that there are physicians who specialize in the care of the unexpected. You may only need to see a high-risk obstetrician for a consultation and treatment options before returning to your primary physician for the management of the complication. However, some complications will require the high-risk obstetrician to assume the management of your pregnancy until the baby is delivered.

What constitutes a high-risk pregnancy?

If you have any of the conditions or circumstances outlined below, your pregnancy is likely to be considered high-risk by the experts at the UI Hospitals and Clinics. Outcomes for babies born from high-risk pregnancies may do significantly better if they are placed in a Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) such as the NICU at UI Hospitals and Clinics, which has the only Level 4 NICU in Iowa.

Our team of high-risk pregnancy experts sees patients with conditions or symptoms that include:

  • Advanced maternal age (over age 35)
  • Blood problems (sickle cell anemia or idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP))
  • Cancer (lymphoma, melanoma, or other cancers)
  • Cardiovascular problems (congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, cardiac anomalies, or cardiomyopathies)
  • Diabetes (type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes mellitus, or other endocrine disorders)
  • Fibroids
  • First trimester screening abnormalities
  • Gastrointestinal disease (Crohn's disease or pancreatitis)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension or preeclampsia)
  • History of previous complications
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Liver problems (hepatitis, cirrhosis, or transplant)
  • Miscarriages (three or more in first trimester)
  • Molar pregnancies
  • Multiple gestations (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Neurological problems (stroke, multiple sclerosis, seizures, myasthenia gravis, or pseudotumor cerebri)
  • Preterm labor
  • Stillbirth (death of a fetus during pregnancy)
  • Uterine abnormalities

Our services include:

  • Amniocentesis
  • Cordocentesis (fetal blood sampling)
  • Counseling services for families regarding options for treatment, follow-up and future childbearing
  • CVS (Chorionic villos sampling)
  • Diabetic evaluation, education, monitoring and management; glucose tolerance tests are performed for monitoring
  • Dietary consultation services as needed
  • Fetal therapy, i.e., shunts in fetal bladder or chest
  • Intrauterine transfusion (IUT) for Rh disease and other disorders
  • Nonstress tests (antenatal testing for fetal well-being)
  • Nursing evaluation of patient educational needs
  • Ongoing medical evaluation and treatment
  • Postpartum evaluation
  • Social service counseling as needed
  • Specialized ultrasound testing to rule out anomalies

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