Existing medical conditions such as diabetes, lupus, or heart problems may get worse during pregnancy. If you have an existing medical condition, talk to a doctor about how your pregnancy many affect these conditions, and about how your condition may affect pregnancy. Maternal-fetal medicine physicians are doctors who have special training to care for complicated pregnancies and who counsel women about their risks. The Maternal and Infant Health Program (MIHP) can help refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine physician for consultation. Please contact MIHP at 801-273-2871.
In addition to pre-existing medical conditions, there are several other factors known to increase a woman’s risk for complications. These include:
- Age (both younger and older women)
- Lack of prenatal care
- Smoking, alcohol, or drug use
- Closely spaced pregnancies (when there is less than six months between delivery and conception of the next pregnancy)
You can reduce the risk for complications in pregnancy by getting early and regular prenatal care, eating a well-balanced diet, taking a prenatal vitamin, gaining the recommended amount of weight (and not more), getting regular exercise, and by not smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs.