ZocdocAnswersHow dangerous is it to give birth?

Question

How dangerous is it to give birth?

My sister is 7 weeks pregnant and her dr said she is at high risk to die giving birth. Can he know this only 7 weeks along? and how do woman become at risk for dieing through birth?

Answer

I am really sorry to hear that your sister is having trouble with this pregnancy. In healthy women, pregnancy does carry certain risks, but these are generally very well controlled by regular prenatal visits with an OB GYN doctor. Therefore, as a whole, the risk of dying during pregnancy is quite low. This makes me think that your sister must have some special medical condition that puts her at higher than average risk to be pregnant. For example, women who have heart disease, certain genetic conditions, or severe kidney disease can be at extremely high risk of complications during pregnancy. Although your questions doesn't get into your sister's medical history, this is probably what is going on. Women who have complex medical problems, if they decide to proceed with pregnancy, often need to be managed by a whole team of physicians, such as cardiologist and maternal fetal medicine specialists, in order to keep them as safe as possible. However, with some very serious medical problems, the risk can still be too high, and doctors in these cases will generally recommend terminating the pregnancy to protect the life of the mother. Your sister will need to talk with her OB GYN doctor in more detail to have a better sense of what her risks are.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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