High-Risk Pregnancy

High-Risk Pregnancy

For many reasons, your pregnancy may fall into a category known as high-risk. That’s when you want to work with highly trained maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) physicians (also known as perinatologists), the skilled obstetrics specialists who focus on health concerns for mother and baby before, during and shortly following birth. With their expert care and assistance, you can experience the joy of bringing a new little one into the world.

Comprehensive High-Risk Pregnancy Care Close to Home

No matter where you live in Oklahoma, you’ll benefit from the extensive expertise and innovative technology for high-risk obstetrics at OU Health in Oklahoma City. At OU Health, you benefit from access to:

  • Comprehensive neonatology medical coverage in-house and around the clock
  • A dedicated obstetrical anesthesia program
  • Eighteen pre-delivery beds for women with high-risk pregnancies
  • Forty mother-baby unit beds
  • Sixteen labor and delivery rooms (LDR)
  • Six urgent care rooms for labor and delivery
  • Three operating rooms
  • Oklahoma’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), providing the highest level of care available in the United States, just an elevator ride away, with NICVIEW cameras for families unable to remain with baby

Regional Neonatal-Perinatal Referral Center

When you choose OU Health to help you manage a challenging pregnancy, you gain access to the comprehensive pregnancy and childbirth services of our statewide and regional neonatal-perinatal referral center, located within Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health, one of the first hospitals in the nation to offer complete care for mother and baby in a single facility.

Expert Care Team & Nationally Accredited NICU

At OU Health, you’ll find all levels of high-risk pregnancy care, a multidisciplinary team of board-certified obstetricians, pediatric surgeons, cardiologists, urologists, neonatologists and a wide range of pediatric specialists, as well as advanced technology for both you and your baby in one place, including Oklahoma’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), nationally accredited to provide the highest level of advanced care in the region.

Call for an Appointment

Find out more about your options for high-risk pregnancy
or make an appointment with one of our specialists.

Call 405-271-5400

Pregnancy Risk Factors

You may be considered to have a high-risk pregnancy if you:

  • Carry multiples (twins or more)
  • Have a history of miscarriage or premature labor
  • Receive an abnormal blood test, prenatal test result or ultrasound exam while pregnant
  • Will be age 35 or older at delivery
  • Were exposed to or used potentially harmful substances such as unregulated drugs, certain chemicals, radiation or infection
  • Experience issues related to fertility
  • Develop or live with an underlying health issue such as alcoholism, substance use, autoimmune disorder, blood disorder, brain or mood disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, seizure, thyroid disorder or other factors

As a mother-to-be within a particular ethnic group or if you live in certain geographic areas, you also may face higher risk of specific genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, Tay-Sachs disease (affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord) or thalassemia (reduced hemoglobin production).

Services for High-Risk Pregnancy

Look no further than the Prenatal Diagnostic Center at OU Health in Oklahoma City for comprehensive services to address high-risk pregnancy and doctors who specialize in bringing high-risk pregnancies to term.

At Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health, you and your multidisciplinary team of highly trained specialists evaluate, review and diagnose your situation using a wide range of advanced technology such as:

  • High-resolution color ultrasound with pulsed Doppler for additional detail
  • 4D ultrasound to closely monitor baby’s development
  • Innovative fetal surgery procedures and treatments

Preconception Genetic Counseling

Before you try to become pregnant, reach out to OU Health’s multidisciplinary genetic services to learn more about potential concerns related to inherited health conditions or genetic disorders.

At OU Health’s Prenatal Diagnostic Center, you’ll meet with a board-certified genetics physician (clinical geneticist) or a genetic counselor for information about diagnosis, treatment and support related to health concerns that run in your family. During your meeting, you’ll review histories of your family, health and pregnancies as the basis to:

  • Explain what causes a health problem and how it’s inherited
  • Understand your interpersonal and family relationships and how each may affect your health and pregnancy
  • Discuss what tests are available
  • Check your risk of having a baby with possible health problems, including congenital disorders
  • Determine the outlook for a health problem
  • Manage your health needs
  • Treat a health problem that may affect your pregnancy

Whatever your risk, you and your OU Health pregnancy and childbirth team work together to create a personalized care plan for you and your developing baby.

STAR Prenatal Services for Substance Use Care During Pregnancy

With a history of substance use, you may face several challenges during pregnancy – and the STAR prenatal program at OU Health can help. Through STAR (Substance use Treatment And Recovery), you’ll receive specialized medical care from a multidisciplinary team of experts experienced in caring for mothers with a history of substance use, in addition to newborns who may need medical treatment at the Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for conditions like neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS).

Your OU Health care team may include maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) physicians, nurse practitioners, case managers and social workers who assess your needs and connect you with mental health services, substance use treatment providers and counseling services. In addition to helping you set up or continue any related services, your OU Health MFM physicians coordinate your care and share communication with all these healthcare professionals.

To help you achieve a healthy pregnancy, you’ll work with the OU Health peer recovery support specialists (PRSS) – people just like you who maintained successful pregnancies – and who can offer information about prenatal and postpartum pain control, as well as helping you make plans for your baby’s arrival.

As a participant in the STAR prenatal program, you get complete prenatal care and services including:

  • Specialized prenatal care and education – Extensive information about pregnancy, labor and delivery, breastfeeding (lactation), postpartum expectations, pain control during and after birth; information about management of other maternal medical problems such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease and fetal issues including birth defects; contraception options for anyone wanting to delay future pregnancies

  • Obstetrical ultrasound – Imaging services such as first-trimester dating, detailed fetal anatomy surveys, fetal growth follow-ups, antenatal (before birth) testing

  • Buprenorphine treatment – Setting up inpatient medication treatment for pregnant women with a history of opioid use, plus ongoing substance use treatment with a community-based provider

  • Prenatal pediatric consultation – Learn what to expect from the pediatricians who will help care for your baby after birth

  • Labor and delivery care – Located at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital; staff experienced in caring for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders; access to Oklahoma’s only Level IV NICU for babies who need intensive medical care after birth

  • Postpartum support – In-clinic follow-up visits to support you during your transition to parenthood while in recovery from substance use disorder

After you give birth, you benefit from frequent follow-up visits that provide an extra layer of compassionate care. As needed, your STAR prenatal program team works with you to establish relationships with behavioral health and substance use treatment providers to help you through the postpartum period and beyond.

Gestational Diabetes Management

Gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs only when you’re pregnant, needs ongoing attention and management to ensure you and your baby remain healthy throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Left untreated, gestational diabetes causes high levels of blood sugar that can put you and your baby at risk during labor and delivery and may increase the possibility of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Take advantage of our gestational diabetes management program where you learn how to care for this condition. With education, a special diet and support from your OU Health team, you’re more likely to deliver a healthy baby and remain well yourself.

Neonatal & Perinatal Care for Your Newborn

If your baby needs additional attention upon delivery at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health in Oklahoma City, rely on your multidisciplinary team of obstetrics and pediatric specialists, part of OU Health’s Neonatal & Perinatal Services located within the same building and immediately available, as well as fast access to the largest and highest level NICU in the state, just an elevator ride away from the delivery room.

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