For expectant mothers, the prospect of having a baby is both a joyous and exciting one, and most pregnancies proceed smoothly. But for a number of reasons, some women need to be watched more closely during pregnancy. In this case, a woman's obstetrician may suggest she consult with a maternal fetal medicine specialist.
A maternal fetal medicine specialist is a physician devoted to the care of a pregnant women with high-risk complications such as medical problems (diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases such as lupus), pregnancy-related problems (preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, preeclampsia), and also devoted to expertise in prenatal diagnosis by ultrasound and genetic testing. Women are generally referred to a maternal fetal medicine specialist by their obstetrician or by an infertility specialist because he or she sees a potential for a pregnancy-related health concern or because a problem develops during the course of the pregnancy.
A pregnancy may be considered high-risk for a variety of reasons:
- The mother has medical conditions that began before pregnancy, such as diabetes
- The mother develops a medical condition during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia
- The mother experienced problems in a previous pregnancy, such as miscarriage
- Problems are detected in the developing baby
- Complications occur during pregnancy, such as premature labor
- The mother is pregnant with multiples (twins or more)
Should you need the services of a maternal fetal medicine specialist, St. Francis Hospital and the Birth Center are pleased to partner with Southern Colorado Maternal Fetal Medicine.