What are the risks for pregnant teenagers

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When is pregnancy a risk pregnancy?

A high-risk pregnancy is understood to mean a pregnancy that is associated with a certain risk of miscarriage, premature birth or a malformation of the child. In Germany, according to Pro Familia, almost 70% of all pregnancies are classified as high-risk pregnancies, but due to frequent examinations by specialists and increased controls, the vast majority of children are born healthy.
You can find more information about childbirth in our parenting guide.

Decisive factors for classification as a high-risk pregnancy can be:

  • High blood pressure,
  • Obesity,
  • Metabolic disease,
  • chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma or epilepsy,
  • Thyroid or heart disease,
  • previous diseases of the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart or nervous system.

You can find more information about epilepsy in our parenting guide.

Other factors that can play a role in a high-risk pregnancy:

(Hereditary) diseases in the direct environment of the mother or father can also play a role.

The mother's age is also an important factor: pregnancies in women under 17 and over 35 can be considered high-risk pregnancies. Older women, for example, are more likely to be affected by chromosomal disorders such as trisomy 18 or trisomy 21.

In addition, pregnancies in women who have already had one or more miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies are automatically classified as high-risk pregnancies, as are multiple pregnancies.

Prolonged consumption of alcohol, cigarettes or drugs by the expectant mother can also lead to a risk pregnancy.

Even if the child is in a particular position (pelvic position or breech position), it is referred to as a risk pregnancy because spontaneous delivery is difficult and in many cases a caesarean section is necessary.

What does the note "high-risk pregnancy" mean for the pregnant woman?

By noting the risk of pregnancy, the preventive examinations are carried out particularly closely for pregnant women and supplemented with additional tests if necessary. This should reduce the risk of miscarriages, premature births and malformations in the child.

These can be special ultrasound and blood tests, an amniotic fluid test or a cardiotography (recording of the child’s heartbeat).

In addition, if necessary, special precautionary measures will be taken in the maternity hospital if you and your baby (s) require special medical care.

In the case of a high-risk pregnancy entered in the maternity card, these special examinations are covered by the health insurance company.

How can the risks for mother and child be reduced?

Most genetic defects can be detected at an early stage through prenatal diagnostics (prenatal determination). The decision for or against these early examinations, such as a neck transparency measurement, lies entirely with the pregnant woman or the parents-to-be. Neck fold measurement, for example, is an ultrasound examination in which the lymph fluid under the skin of the neck of the unborn baby is measured in order to be able to rule out chromosomal peculiarities such as forms of trisomy.

It is essential that you keep to the regular check-up appointments with medical specialists. They will provide you with the best possible information about further possible and necessary tests or examinations. Do not be afraid to ask your treating doctor at any time, any questions that are important to you. If you do not feel well or adequately advised, you can always look around for another doctor.

In the case of a high-risk pregnancy, it is essential that you keep to the regular check-up appointments with medical specialists.

Further information

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