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What type of doctor will you see for a high-risk pregnancy?

Some women will see a doctor who has extra training in high-risk pregnancies. These doctors are called maternal-fetal specialists, or perinatologists. You may see this doctor and your regular doctor. Or the specialist may be your doctor throughout your pregnancy.

What can you do to help have a healthy pregnancy?

You can help yourself and your baby be as healthy as possible:

  • Go to all your doctor visits so that you don't miss tests to catch any new problems.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes protein, milk and milk products, fruits, and vegetables. Talk to your doctor about any changes you may need in your diet.
  • Take any medicines, iron, or vitamins that your doctor prescribes. Don't take any vitamins or medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) without talking to your doctor first.
  • Take folic acid daily. Folic acid is a B vitamin. Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduces your chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect or other birth defects.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions for activity. Your doctor will let you know if you can work and exercise.
  • Do not smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. Avoid other people's tobacco smoke.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Stay away from people who have colds and other infections.

Your doctor may ask you to keep track of how much your baby moves every day.

What symptoms should you watch for?

Like any pregnant woman, you need to watch for any signs of problems. This doesn't mean that you will have any problems. But if you have any of these symptoms, it's important to get care quickly.

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you think you need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You have severe pain in your belly or pelvis.
  • You have had fluid gushing or leaking from your vaginaand you know or think the umbilical cord is bulging into your vagina. If this happens, immediately get down on your knees so your rear end (buttocks) is higher than your head. This will decrease the pressure on the cord until help arrives.

Call your doctor now or seek medical care right away if:

  • You have signs of preeclampsia, such as:
    • Sudden swelling of your face, hands, or feet.
    • New vision problems (such as dimness or blurring).
    • A severe headache.
  • You have any vaginal bleeding.
  • You have belly pain or cramping.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have had regular contractions (with or without pain) for an hour. This means that you have 8 or more in 1 hour or 4 or more in 20 minutes after you change your position and drink fluids.
  • You have a sudden release of fluid from your vagina.
  • You have low back pain or pelvic pressure that does not go away.
  • You notice that your baby has stopped moving or is moving much less than normal.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 23, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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