I'm pregnant and my doctor says my pregnancy is "high-risk." What does this mean? –Destiny A "high-risk" pregnancy means a woman has one or more things that raise her — or her baby's — chances for health problems or preterm (early) delivery. A woman's pregnancy might be considered high risk if she: is age 17 or younger is age 35 or older was underweight or overweight before becoming pregnant is pregnant with twins, triplets, or other multiples has high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or another health problem had problems with a previous pregnancy, including premature labor or having a child with a genetic problem or birth defect Smoking, taking illegal drugs, and drinking alcohol also can cause health problems for a pregnant woman and her baby. Because your pregnancy is considered high-risk, it's important to work with your doctor or care team to get any health problems that can be managed under control. Other important tips for a healthy pregnancy include: See your doctor early in and throughout your pregnancy for prenatal care. Eat a healthy diet (getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc.) and exercise if your doctor says it's OK. Gain a healthy amount of weight (not too much or too little). Protect yourself from infections (including Zika). Wash your hands well and often; do not eat raw meat, fish, or unpasteurized cheese; get any immunizations your doctor recommends; and use condoms to protect against STDs. Reduce stress in your life. Back to Articles Related Articles Medical Care During Pregnancy The sooner in pregnancy good care begins, the better for the health of both moms and their babies. Here's what to expect. Read More Preventing Premature Birth Babies who are born premature - before 37 weeks of pregnancy - can have health problems that last their whole lives. Learn ways to prevent early labor and have a healthy pregnancy. Read More Prenatal Tests: FAQs Every parent-to-be hopes for a healthy baby, but it can be hard not to worry. Find out what tests can keep you informed of your health — and your baby's — throughout pregnancy. Read More Staying Healthy During Pregnancy During your pregnancy, you'll probably get advice from everyone. But staying healthy depends on you - read about the many ways to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. Read More Treatments to Prevent Premature Birth Some women are more likely than others to go into labor early. Find out what doctors can do to help prevent or delay early labor. Read More Why Are Babies Born Early? Many things can cause a baby to be born early or with health problems. Some of these things can be controlled, but others can’t. Find out what you can do to have a healthy pregnancy. Read More What Is Gestational Diabetes? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Pregnancy & Newborn Center Advice and information for expectant and new parents. Read More Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs Moms-to-be have a lot of questions about what's safe during pregnancy. Keep your sanity by knowing what you can - and can't - do before your baby arrives. Read More Exercising During Pregnancy Most women benefit greatly from exercising throughout their pregnancies. But during that time, you'll need to make a few changes to your normal exercise routine. Read More A Week-by-Week Pregnancy Calendar Our week-by-week illustrated pregnancy calendar is a detailed guide to all the changes taking place in your baby - and in you! Read More A Guide for First-Time Parents If you're a first-time parent, put your fears aside and get the basics in this guide about burping, bathing, bonding, and other baby-care concerns. Read More 5 Ways to Prevent Early Labor (Slideshow) It's best for babies not to be born before they're due. Learn what you can do to prevent early labor. Read More Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy Pregnancy brings a mix of feelings, and not all of them are good. It can be even harder if you're dealing with depression or anxiety. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.