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You’re pregnant — and you’re concerned that you might be considered high risk. What does that mean, exactly? Will things be OK?

The term high-risk pregnancy covers a lot of territory — and pregnancy care providers don’t always list the same conditions in that broad category. Sometimes, the highest-risk situations arise during pregnancy, but for others, it may not be until delivery of the baby. Some providers may put you in this category because you may be having twins or triplets or because of underlying health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. In every case, we consider all health factors when it comes to pregnancy.

And having one or more high-risk conditions (what providers may call maternal or fetal health conditions) means you’ll need closer attention from your care team. Cleveland Clinic is home to a team of experts ready to guide you through your pregnancy. We identify any conditions that may require extra resources, planning, coordination, attention and management. So, we’re here to make sure that you safely navigate your pregnancy — from the uneventful to the extraordinary. It’s something we do every day. From the moment you contact us, your care and support begin — and continue even well after birth.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for High-Risk Pregnancy Care?

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Comprehensive care:

From preconception planning to guiding you through a high-risk pregnancy and delivery, Cleveland Clinic has the care you need. We diagnose and manage high-risk pregnancies for all reasons (maternal or fetal), preparing you for birth, labor and delivery and life afterward.

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Caring approach:

Pregnancy may trigger a rollercoaster of emotions. And a high-risk pregnancy can often add extra worries. You may feel alone and have unanswered questions swirling around in your head. Our team, including specially trained care coordinators, offers a listening ear, caring support and expert advice — every step of the way. Meet our team.

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Skilled collaborative providers:

High-risk pregnancies need a little extra care. And, often, from providers from different specialties. Cleveland Clinic has the experts you need, working together and with you no matter where you are on your pregnancy journey. From prenatal and fetal care to labor, delivery and beyond, our skilled, compassionate team has you covered. We’ll even coordinate with your primary care provider if you want. We’re here for you.

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Specialized knowledge:

Some high-risk pregnancies need extra care during delivery. We have the providers and facilities to help with even the most complicated deliveries and immediate postpartum and prenatal (before birth) care. Our experienced team is ready to spring into action when needed.

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Virtual visits:

Not all visits need to be in person. Virtual visits are a great alternative to office appointments when you want a quick touch-base with your provider. You’ll get the same great care meeting with each other online.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

Understanding High-Risk Pregnancy at Cleveland Clinic

A high-risk pregnancy may need extra care before, during and directly after birth. You may need more regular testing and checkups — and the ongoing monitoring of a specialized care team.

There are many reasons why we may classify a pregnancy as high-risk, like:

Diagnosing High-Risk Pregnancy at Cleveland Clinic

Sometimes, you may know you have risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy. Other times, you may learn that your pregnancy is high risk during your first prenatal appointment. Our Cleveland Clinic team is here to help you at any point should a high-risk issue arise — from preconception care and pregnancy planning through pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period.

What to expect during your first visit

Your provider will take time to get to know you at the start of your first visit. You’ll want to be prepared to talk about your personal and family health histories and earlier pregnancies. You’ll have a physical exam and blood pressure check. And your provider will order prenatal labs, screening for diabetes and genetic screening evaluations if desired.

Testing for a high-risk pregnancy

There are many different tests we may do to determine whether maternal or fetal conditions are present that may require additional care or resources, including:

Genetic testing is an important part of diagnosing a high-risk pregnancy. We may use a procedure called amniocentesis. This test samples a small amount of amniotic fluid from your uterus. We look for fetal genetic conditions like Down syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease or spina bifida. We usually do this test between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy — the second trimester.

Meet Our High-Risk Pregnancy Team

A high-risk pregnancy specialist called a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist (sometimes known as a perinatologist) may work alongside your primary obstetrician to make sure you get the most personalized care during pregnancy. If we discover problems with fetal health or development, you may also see a neonatologist and other pediatric specialists. You may also be referred to one of our dedicated specialized programs if you have certain genetic conditions, cardiac disease, diabetes or if you develop diabetes during pregnancy.


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Managing a High-Risk Pregnancy at Cleveland Clinic

No matter where you are in your pregnancy, we’ll craft a highly personalized care plan. We meet you where you are and work closely with your obstetrician. We also work with other adult care specialists to address underlying maternal health conditions, if needed. You can expect us to keep a close eye on you until your delivery date. We do this through regular checkups and testing, like:

We also help you manage things like your blood sugar or medications for underlying health conditions. You may even do regular blood pressure checks at home. And should complications come up, we have all the specialists you need — from cardiac care to neurological care and more.

Taking the Next Step

Hearing you have a high-risk pregnancy can turn your world upside down. But one thing is clear — you want the best care from providers you trust. Cleveland Clinic’s experienced high-risk pregnancy team is here to help. We’ll confirm what’s behind your high-risk pregnancy. And we’ll take the steps needed for the healthiest possible pregnancy and delivery.

Getting an appointment with one of our pregnancy experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with one of our pregnancy experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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