High-Risk Pregnancy / Maternal-Fetal Medicine

While most pregnancies proceed smoothly, for many reasons, some women need to be monitored more closely during pregnancy. If this is the case for you, your obstetrician may suggest you consult with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, also called a perinatologist. 

Pregnant woman having ultrasound

Find a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist

A maternal-fetal medicine specialist cares for pregnant women with high-risk complications and is an expert in prenatal diagnosis.

What is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

Your pregnancy may be considered high-risk for a variety of reasons:

  • You’re in your teens or older than 35
  • You’re overweight or obese
  • You’re pregnant with multiples (twins or more)
  • You experienced problems in a previous pregnancy (such as miscarriage)
  • You have medical conditions that began before pregnancy (such as diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases)
  • Complications occur during pregnancy (such as premature labor)
  • Problems are detected in the developing baby
  • You develop a medical condition during pregnancy (such as preeclampsia or premature rupture of membranes)

Maternal-Fetal Medicine Services

We offer the following maternal-fetal medicine services locally:

  • Amniocentesis. This diagnostic test is the most common procedure used to test for birth defects, performed after 15 weeks of pregnancy upon signs of a potential abnormality.
  • Chorionic villus sampling. An alternative to amniocentesis, this procedure takes a small sample of cells from the placenta where it is attached to the wall of the uterus. It can be performed earlier in the pregnancy than amniocentesis.
  • Diabetes education and management. For newly diagnosed gestational or pre-existing diabetes, management is provided with nutrition counseling and daily blood sugar monitoring.
  • Genetic counseling. You may choose to consider genetic counseling and testing if you have a family history of genetic disorders or your doctor recommends it.
  • Management of anticoagulation. We provide education and instruction on the proper injection technique for any blood thinning medication you may be prescribed.
  • Management of high-risk pregnancies. If you have a complication from a previous pregnancy, you may need special care and coordination with your primary obstetrician.
  • Pre-pregnancy consultation. This may be appropriate if you have a medical or genetic history that needs to be assessed before you become pregnant.
  • Prenatal screening. Usually in the first trimester, a maternal blood test is combined with an ultrasound to identify fetuses at risk for chromosome abnormality.
  • Ultrasound. Advanced 4-D capability allows the best possible view of the fetus.