High-Risk Newborns

High-risk newborns are infants born with medical conditions that require specialized care. The term "high risk" refers to the heightened levels of care and attention needed for these babies due to their medical needs. High-risk newborns may be premature, have a birth defect, or have been exposed to an infection in utero. All of these cases require skilled medical professionals to provide round-the-clock monitoring and treatment. With proper care, high-risk newborns can go on to lead healthy lives.

What is a high-risk newborn?

A high-risk newborn is a baby that has a greater chance of experiencing health issues due to existing conditions. These conditions can be present at birth or develop soon after and could include premature birth, low birth weight, severe congenital abnormalities, or infections contracted in the womb. High-risk newborns may require further medical treatment or extra monitoring in the neonatal period and beyond. Specialized care is often necessary to help ensure their health and safety.

What are the causes behind a high-risk newborn?

  • High-risk newborns can be caused by several factors, such as prematurity, low birth weight, and medical conditions in the mother or fetus.
  • Premature babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation, and their organs may not have fully developed, leading to a higher risk of complications.
  • Low-birth-weight babies weigh less than 5 1/2 pounds, and they may face increased risks due to the immaturity of their organs.
  • Maternal health conditions such as diabetes or infections during pregnancy can also increase the likelihood of high-risk newborns.
  • Other medical conditions in the foetus, such as congenital heart defects or chromosomal abnormalities, can also contribute to a baby being classified as high risk.
  • Multiple gestations, such as twins or triplets, can also increase the risk of high-risk newborns.
  • Exposure to toxins, drugs, or alcohol during pregnancy can also lead to high-risk newborns.

What symptoms does a high-risk newborn exhibit?

  • High-risk newborns may experience various symptoms, such as:
    • Jaundice
    • Slow growth and development
    • Trouble breathing or eating
    • Difficulty maintaining body temperature
    • Low blood sugar levels
    • Difficulty fighting off infections
    • Birth defects or abnormalities in organs such as the heart or brain
  • In addition to physical symptoms, high-risk newborns may show signs of depression or anxiety.
  • Some high-risk newborns may have difficulty sleeping.

When should one see a doctor for a high-risk newborn?

It is important to immediately consult a doctor if there are concerns about a newborn's health. A doctor should be consulted if the baby has a low birth weight, shows difficulty breathing, has a congenital heart defect, appears jaundiced, or has any other concerning symptoms. Additionally, parents should seek medical attention if the baby is not feeding well or gaining weight appropriately. Furthermore, doctors can help with genetic and metabolic testing that can diagnose conditions such as Down syndrome or spina bifida. Finally, even in the absence of any physical indication of risk, it is recommended that all babies receive regular check-ups from their primary care provider after birth.

What are the risk factors for a high-risk newborn?

  • High-risk newborns are born prematurely or with a low birth weight.
  • Congenital defects or illnesses can also put newborns at high risk.
  • Some of the congenital defects or illnesses that can lead to high risk include infections, cardiac problems, chromosomal abnormalities, and metabolic disorders.
  • Maternal health issues such as diabetes and hypertension can also increase the risk of high-risk newborns.
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking during pregnancy and environmental factors like exposure to toxins can also contribute to high-risk pregnancies.
  • Multiple births increase the risk of complications for both the mother and the babies.
  • High-risk newborns may experience a range of complications, including slower growth and development, difficulty breathing or eating, low blood sugar levels, difficulty maintaining body temperature, and increased susceptibility to infections.


High-risk newborns require specialized care to ensure their health and safety. By conducting tests, analyzing results, and taking preventative measures such as vaccinations, healthcare providers can provide high-risk infants with the best possible care. A comprehensive approach to newborn health is essential for ensuring a healthy start in life and helping families find peace of mind. Through careful monitoring and preventive measures, high-risk newborns can have the opportunity to grow up happy and healthy.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Amritsar - Abadi Court Road. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What can be done to reduce the risk of complications in a high-risk newborn?

To reduce the risk of complications in a high-risk newborn, doctors may recommend extra monitoring during pregnancy and delivery, specialized care after birth, and specialized treatments or therapies as needed.

2. Are there any long-term effects of being born as a high-risk newborn?

Being born as a high-risk newborn can lead to long-term effects depending on the severity of the underlying condition or complication. In general, infants who are considered "high risk" should receive more frequent monitoring throughout their lives.

3. How often should parents follow up with their pediatrician for a high-risk newborn?

Parents of high-risk newborns should consult their pediatrician soon after birth and continue to follow up regularly with their doctor according to the doctor's instructions.

4. How can I identify if my newborn is at increased risk for health problems?

Your doctor may assess the risks based on your pregnancy history, the baby’s gestational age, and any identified congenital defects.

5. Are there treatments available for high-risk newborns?

Yes, treatments for high-risk newborns vary depending on the specific condition but may include medication, nutrition support, or surgery.

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