High-Risk Pregnancy


High-risk pregnancies are those concurrent disorders, pregnancy-related complications, or external factors that endanger the health of the woman and the fetus. Nurses must have the awareness regarding these diseases so they can act swiftly during these emergencies.

How to Identify One

  • More than one factor can contribute to the classification of a high-risk pregnancy.
  • Women who already have a disorder before the pregnancy is termed to have a greater than normal risk.
  • The factors that categorize the woman’s pregnancy as high risk were classified into minimal, moderate, or extensive.
  • Psychological, social, and physical factors also break down the factors that categorize a high-risk pregnancy.

Psychological Factors

  • History of drug dependence
  • History of intimate partner abuse
  • History of mental illness
  • Loss of support person
  • Poor acceptance of pregnancy
  • Severely frightened by labor and birth experience
  • Inability to participate because of anesthesia
  • Illness in newborn

Social Factors

  • Occupation involving handling of toxic materials
  • Environmental contaminants
  • Isolated
  • Low economic level
  • Poor access to transportation
  • Poor housing
  • Refusal or neglected prenatal care
  • Disruptive family incident
  • Conception less than one year after last pregnancy
  • Lack of support person
  • Inadequate home for infant care
  • Lack of access to continued health care

Physical Factors

  • Pelvic inadequacy or misshape
  • Uterine incompetency, position or structure
  • Secondary major illness
  • Poor gynecologic or obstetric history
  • Obesity
  • Underweight
  • PID
  • Potential of blood incompatibility
  • Younger than 18 years old and older than 35 years old
  • Cigarette smoker
  • Substance abuser
  • Subject to trauma
  • Bleeding disruption
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Infection
  • Hemorrhage
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion
  • Retained placenta

High-Risk Pregnancy

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High-risk pregnancy may not happen in most childbearing women, yet no one will be able to predict the comings and goings of these diseases. Early education for couples who want to get pregnant must be enforced to be certain that the mother and the baby would have a safe pregnancy journey all throughout.


Marianne leads a double life, working as a staff nurse during the day and moonlighting as a writer for Nurseslabs at night. As an outpatient department nurse, she has honed her skills in delivering health education to her patients, making her a valuable resource and study guide writer for aspiring student nurses.

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