For a number of reasons, some patients need more specialized care during their pregnancy. In this case, your obstetrician may suggest consultation with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician.
CHI Health Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians, also called perinatologists, are obstetricians who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care of expectant parents and their unborn babies, who may be at high risk for special health problems.
Referral to a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist should not cause undue alarm for expectant families. It does not necessarily mean the pregnancy will be a difficult one. Nor does it mean the baby will have health problems. Most often, it is simply a precautionary measure designed to protect both mother and baby, while putting the expectant parents' minds at ease.
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Services
- Preconception counseling
- Genetic screening
- Evaluation of the fetal heart and the management of congenital cardiac anomalies
- In utero diagnosis and treatment of certain fetal anomalies, such as fetal anemia and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome
- Management of maternal medical conditions
If you have had previous complicated pregnancies, we may request you bring your previous medical records to your appointment.
As pregnancy progresses, the Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician remains in close contact with the obstetrician who will deliver the baby and, if needed, the neonatologist who will oversee the baby's care after birth. Smooth teamwork and good communication between the Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, obstetrician, and neonatologist ensure both mother and baby receive the best possible care.
An important part of our mission at CHI Health is to train physicians, nurses, sonographers, and other types of health care specialists to take care of future generations. We may have students who take part in your care at times. You will always be evaluated by your usual maternal-fetal medicine physician, and all decisions will be made by your maternal-fetal medicine physician.
A variety of reasons bring an expectant mother to see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. You may be referred if your Ob-Gyn or midwife has classified your pregnancy as high risk due to the following health conditions:
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid disease
- Kidney disease
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Infectious disease
- Pregnancy with multiple babies (twins, triplets, or more)
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Suspected fetal growth abnormalities
- Suspected birth defects
Some conditions which affect unborn babies may be treated prior to delivery. If your baby needs a fetal procedure which cannot be done by your maternal-fetal medicine specialist, you may be referred to a very specialized team at a fetal care center. This may require traveling to another state.
Technology allows us to expand access to specialized obstetric care to more areas of Nebraska. CHI Health facilities with a telemedicine option allow patients to have their ultrasounds closer to home, with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist reviewing the image and providing consultation by phone or video call.