High-Risk Pregnancy Programs

Diagnosis, treatment and education for high-risk pregnancies.

Between 5 and 10 percent of all pregnant women are at increased risk for pregnancy complications and may need a consultation with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for assistance in planning their prenatal care.

About 1 percent of babies are born with serious birth defects, some of which are preventable by taking pre-pregnancy or early pregnancy measures.

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Perinatal Services
The women's care centers at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns offer perinatal services, including:

  • Biophysical profiles
  • Fetal well being assessments and therapy to diagnose and manage patients with high-risk pregnancies
  • Genetic counseling
  • Ultrasonography

Who Is at High Risk?
Certain medical, family, and obstetric conditions can place a pregnancy at high risk for complications for the mother or the baby. They include:

Maternal Conditions Prior Pregnancies With: Current Pregnancy With:
  • Age 40 or over
  • Cardiac, lung or kidney problems
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Severe anemia
  • Uterine abnormalities 
  • Babies affected by growth abnormalities
  • Birth defects
  • Preterm birth
  • Repetitive miscarriages
  • Babies affected by growth abnormalities
  • Birth defects
  • Preterm birth
  • Repetitive miscarriages

Diagnosis
The women's care centers at Sharp perform more than 5,000 ultrasound scans every year, using state-of-the art ultrasonography equipment. These high-resolution ultrasound examinations are specifically designed to evaluate the fetus for structural defects. In addition, Sharp provides:

  • Amniocentesis 
  • Chorionic villus sampling
  • DNA gene probe testing
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling

Perinatologist Care and Special Classes
Following a consultation with a perinatologist, most women with high-risk pregnancies return to their own obstetrician for prenatal care and delivery. Only about 2 percent of all pregnancies need complete prenatal care to be provided by a perinatologist.

Sharp-affiliated physicians provide comprehensive prenatal care for patients who need it. Sharp’s perinatologists also care for their patients during labor and delivery.

Sharp's women's care centers offer educational programs to assist women with high-risk pregnancies, including:

Find a San Diego OBGYN
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.

For More OBGYN, Pregnancy and Childbirth Information
To find general information about pregnancy and childbirth, visit Pregnancy and Childbirth in Adult Health or read the Pregnancy and Childbirth News archive.