High-Risk Pregnancy Services
Doctors use the term “high risk” to describe a pregnancy in which the mother or the baby may experience medical complications due to a newly developed or pre-existing disorder. This includes conditions or situations that could threaten the well being of the mother or child such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- The expectation of twins, triplets or more
- History of miscarriage
- Symptoms of premature labor
As many as 10 percent of pregnancies are considered high risk, but with expert care, 95 percent of these special cases result in the birth of healthy babies. UC Irvine Medical Center is the only facility in Orange County offering specialized care in one location for high-risk expectant mothers and their babies.
To make an appointment, call 714-456-2911.
Our high-risk obstetrics team offers a comprehensive program of services to protect both mother and child during pregnancy and immediately after birth. This well-coordinated continuum of care from pregnancy through neonatal care and beyond has earned UC Irvine Medical Center some of the best outcomes in the nation for the management of complicated pregnancies. Features of the program include:
- Multidisciplinary approach
Our in-house physician specialists include obstetricians, perinatologists (experts in high-risk pregnancy), geneticists, endocrinologists (specialists in the endocrine system and hormones, including diabetes), radiologists, cardiologists and neonatologists (experts in the care of high-risk newborns).
Our high-risk maternal-fetal team works together, providing consistent, comprehensive care throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
As a university hospital medical center, we are able to offer the services of many specialists, if needed, including more than 55 types of pediatric subspecialists.
- Combined perinatal-neonatal program
Continuity of care is extremely important for high-risk women. If fetal testing indicates a baby has a congenital problem, UC Irvine Medical Center maternal-fetal specialists make plans to treat it immediately. Additionally, if premature labor is likely, neonatologists and perinatologists can work together to delay the birth. Every extra day in the womb gives the baby’s lungs and other vital organs more time to develop.
Our NICU is one of only two neonatal intensive care nurseries in Orange County accredited to care for the smallest and sickest newborns. Because we are experts in this field, many expectant mothers in premature labor are transported to UC Irvine from other hospitals to receive specialized care. So are hundreds of high-risk infants who are born at other facilities. Our neonatologists are now saving babies born up to 23 weeks prematurely, and weighing a little less than a pound.
Our high-risk obstetricians are:
We are a world-renowned, university hospital medical center known for our outstanding patient care, advanced research and state-of-the-art technology.
We are fortunate to have been funded by the National Institutes of Health for the fetal growth and NuMoM2B studies. Both studies will revolutionize the way obstetric care is provided in the United States. UC Irvine Medical Center has also been the site of many other medical breakthroughs, including the use of nitric oxide therapy to treat life-threatening breathing problems in infants.
View our clinical trials ›
Our goal with high-risk pregnancies is to prevent premature labor throughout the full term of the pregnancy—or to keep delivery as close to term as possible. To achieve this goal, we employ a number of strategies to prevent premature labor, beginning with low-tech remedies such as bed rest and the administration of intravenous fluids. We also have the option of using medications called tocolytics that relax the uterus and help to stop labor.
Other services we offer to mothers-to-be include: