High-risk pregnancies on the rise

High-risk pregnancies are becoming more common than ever before in the modern obstetric era, experts and researchers say. But at the same time, more women and babies are surviving these pregnancies safely than could ever have been expected before. Why are so many high-risk pregnancies coming to term? Researchers say the larger numbers of inherently higher-risk forty-something moms, plus higher rates of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and multiple births due to fertility treatments are definitely factors in the equation. No one knows exactly how many high-risk pregnancies there are, though researchers typically categorize any pregnancy in women 35 or older. However, with birth rates for such women skyrocketing, and complications becoming easy to handle, specialists are typically only needed in the most-risky of these situations. Overall, birth outcomes for older women and whose with medical problems have been "better than we would expect," according to Dr. Mary D'Alton, a Columbia University Medical Center obstetrics chief who has substituted a 1-10 scale for the term "high-risk."

To learn more about this trend:
- read this report from the AP