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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’s Prenatal Diagnostic Center and the Women’s & Newborn Center in Oklahoma City or through our partnerships with maternal-fetal medicine specialists at OU Health in Tulsa.

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 The Children’s Hospital at 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.

Pregnancy Risk Factors

Perinatologists may consider your pregnancy high risk 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, 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 or the OU Physicians Perinatal Center in Tulsa for comprehensive services to address high-risk pregnancy and doctors who specialize in bringing high-risk pregnancies to term.

At our Oklahoma City facility within The Children’s Hospital at 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

To manage high-risk pregnancy with the assistance of MFM specialists at OU Physicians Prenatal Center in Tulsa, you’ll find services such as:

  • High-risk prenatal diagnosis and ultrasound
  • Genetic counseling and amniocentesis
  • Fetal surgery or treatment

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, including:

  • Maternal-fetal medicine physicians with expertise in caring for high-risk pregnancy
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Case managers and social workers to assist with other needs, such as connecting you with mental health services and making plans for your baby’s arrival

You’ll also work with peer counselors and attend group sessions for education and support to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy.

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 the gestational diabetes management program at OU Health’s Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, 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 The Children’s Hospital at 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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