Members of the Care Team

  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Support - A maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist is available to coordinate in the management of women who became pregnant through assisted reproductive technology, including In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). An MFM specialist is able to provide an extra level of care through additional monitoring and screening.
  • Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) - A CDE is a certified health professional, usually a nutritionist or dietitian, with advanced training in the prevention and management of diabetes. CDEs provide guidance and education to help patients self-manage diabetes and improve their health.
  • Certified Nurse Midwife - A midwife is registered nurse with a master’s degree who has received additional training in women’s reproductive health and childbirth. A certified nurse midwife has passed additional testing and is certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Midwives are uniquely positioned to provide clinical expertise, emotional support and health education for the patient and her family. Certified nurse midwives provide full scope midwifery care for both high-risk and routine pregnancies, and share the philosophies held by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), including individualized patient-centered care.
  • Diabetes Management in Pregnancy - Women diagnosed with diabetes before or during pregnancy have difficulties producing the appropriate amount of insulin to process glucose, or sugar, in their bodies. Improper management of diabetes during pregnancy can lead to serious health problems for both the mother and baby. A maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist is specially trained to treat women with diabetes during pregnancy. Through frequent prenatal visits an MFM specialist can monitor and provide recommendations to help manage blood glucose levels through a combination of healthy eating, exercise and medications.
  • Genetic Counselor - A genetic counselor has specialized training in genetics and medical counseling, providing pregnant women with additional support by identifying genetic risk, discussing family history, explaining available testing options and implications of test results, as well as providing patient education – all in easy to understand terms.
  • High Risk Obstetric Care and Consults - High risk obstetric care and consults is an extra level of care available to women at risk of experiencing problems during or after their pregnancy. A variety of risk factors can make a pregnancy high-risk, including advanced maternal age, chronic health conditions, problems with a previous pregnancy and problems that develop during pregnancy. A high-risk pregnancy means the baby is at a higher risk of having health problems during pregnancy, birth or after delivery. Women having a high-risk pregnancy should be seen more frequently for close monitoring by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, a physician specially trained to treat high-risk pregnancies.
  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist - Maternal-fetal medicine is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists, sometimes called perinatologists or high-risk obstetricians, are considered “subspecialists”. They earned this designation by undergoing training in a specific area of medicine – obstetrics and gynecology – and taking their education a step further to gain an in-depth understanding of pregnancy complications and treatments. This extra training, which extends three years beyond that required of obstetricians and gynecologists, is focused on the care and treatment of pregnant women with complex medical conditions.
  • OB Hospitalist - An OB hospitalist is an obstetrician who has earned an undergraduate degree and completed four years each of medical school and residency training in the medical specialty of obstetrics and gynecology. OB hospitalists specialize in managing the needs of pregnant women who are hospitalized and act as an extension of a patient’s primary care provider.
  • OB/GYN - An OB/GYN, or obstetrician-gynecologist, is a physician who has earned an undergraduate degree and completed four years each of medical school and residency training in the medical specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, specializing in women’s reproductive health and the management of pregnancy.
  • Registered Nurse - A registered nurse is a nurse who has completed a nursing program and has satisfied local licensing requirements.
  • Sonographer / Ultrasound Technician - A sonographer or ultrasound technician is a health care professional, certified by the American Registry for Medical Sonography, with advanced training in the use of ultrasound devices to obtain images, scans or videos for diagnostic purposes.
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner - A women’s health nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a master’s degree who has received advanced training in women’s health and reproductive and gynecological care.

Services Provided

  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Support - A maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist is available to coordinate in the management of women who became pregnant through assisted reproductive technology, including In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). An MFM specialist is able to provide an extra level of care through additional monitoring and screening.
  • Diabetes Management in Pregnancy - Women diagnosed with diabetes before or during pregnancy have difficulties producing the appropriate amount of insulin to process glucose, or sugar, in their bodies. Improper management of diabetes during pregnancy can lead to serious health problems for both the mother and baby. A maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist is specially trained to treat women with diabetes during pregnancy. Through frequent prenatal visits an MFM specialist can monitor and provide recommendations to help manage blood glucose levels through a combination of healthy eating, exercise and medications.
  • Genetic Counseling - Genetic counseling is support provided by a genetic professional to the patient and the doctor by identifying genetic risk, discussing family history, explaining available testing options and implications of test results, as well as providing patient education. Genetic counselors act as patient advocates translating medical and scientific knowledge into practical information. In addition, they are available to provide support and resources to anyone who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions or birth defects, such as cystic fibrosis or disorders common to particular race or ethnic groups. A genetic counselor provides this information in a non-directive, unbiased manner and allows the patient to make her own decisions regarding testing options.
  • High Risk Obstetric Care and Consults - High risk obstetric care and consults is an extra level of care available to women at risk of experiencing problems during or after their pregnancy. A variety of risk factors can make a pregnancy high-risk, including advanced maternal age, chronic health conditions, problems with a previous pregnancy and problems that develop during pregnancy. A high-risk pregnancy means the baby is at a higher risk of having health problems during pregnancy, birth or after delivery. Women having a high-risk pregnancy should be seen more frequently for close monitoring by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, a physician specially trained to treat high-risk pregnancies.
  • Inpatient Consultation and Care - Maternal-fetal medicine specialists are available to provide additional monitoring and comprehensive care to women with high-risk pregnancies who are hospitalized prior to delivery.
  • Management of Advanced Maternal Age - Women who become pregnant after age 35 are more likely to have preexisting health problems and are therefore more at risk of experiencing complications such as high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy. There is also an increased risk of birth defects caused by missing, damaged or extra chromosomes. Women who are pregnant at an advanced maternal age should be seen more frequently for close monitoring by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, a physician specially trained to treat high-risk pregnancies.
  • Management of Complex/Advanced Medical Conditions -

    Women with complex or advanced medical conditions who become pregnant are considered high-risk and may need to be seen more frequently for close monitoring by a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist, a physician specially trained to treat high-risk pregnancies. Women with a complex medical condition and their baby are both at risk of experiencing serious complications during the pregnancy or after birth. Women with specific conditions may be referred by their OB/GYN to an MFM specialist. Some of these conditions include:

    • Hypertension

    • Heart Disease

    • Morbidly Obese Patients

    • Kidney Disease

  • Management of Multiple Gestations (twins or more) - Pregnant women carrying multiple (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.) are at an increased risk of experiencing complications such as preterm delivery, low birth weight and preeclampsia. A maternal-fetal medicine specialist specializes in the care of women experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, such as multiples, and has the additional training and experience required to treat any complications experienced during a pregnancy.
  • Pre-Conception Counseling - Pre-conception counseling is an evaluation of a woman’s current health and medical history to help identify opportunities to better prepare the body for becoming pregnant. The evaluation may include a review of the patient’s current lifestyle and medical history, including current medications, screening and treatment for any infectious diseases, immunization updates, education and recommendations on behavior modifications to reduce risk factors.

Testing Options

  • Amniocentesis - Amniocentesis is a diagnostic test to screen for chromosome abnormalities and inherited disorders. A sample of amniotic fluid is collected through an ultrasound guided needle inserted into the amniotic sac. The amniotic fluid is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
  • Antenatal (Prenatal) Testing (Screening) - Antenatal testing, or prenatal diagnostic screening, refers to a variety of testing options available to determine if a fetus has certain abnormalities. Many of the tests are conducted by an obstetrician (OB) as routine prenatal screening, including ultrasound, nuchal translucency screening and testing of a pregnant woman’s blood to help estimate the risk of certain abnormalities. When a test indicates a higher risk, additional tests are available to further analyze the fetus. These additional tests, such as amniocentesis and chronic villus sampling, are often more invasive and have additional risks to the fetus and should be conducted by a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist.
  • Chorionic Villus Sampling - Chronic villus sampling, or CVS, is a diagnostic test to screen for chromosome abnormalities and inherited disorders by analyzing the chorionic villi cells from the placenta. The placenta cells are collected either transcervically, using an ultrasound guided catheter inserted through the cervix to gently suction the cells, or transabdominally, through a long thin needle inserted into the placenta through the abdomen.
  • Fetal Echocardiogram - Fetal echocardiogram is a non-invasive exam using ultrasound technology to generate pictures of a baby’s heart. A maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist or pediatric cardiologist will review the images to identify any congenital fetal heart anomalies.
  • Obstetric Ultrasound (Doppler and 3D) - An obstetric ultrasound, often called a sonogram, is a diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the fetus. A Doppler ultrasound is able to measure slight changes in sound wave frequency as they bounce off bones and tissue to generate black and white images of the fetus, while a 3-D ultrasound uses specially designed equipment and software to develop three-dimensional images of the fetus.

Who needs to see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist?

A pregnant woman may be referred to an MFM specialist for a wide variety of reasons, including:

  • Prenatal testing to evaluate fetal growth and development
  • A medical condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes (pre-existing or acquired during pregnancy), that requires close monitoring and care
  • Complications related to early delivery and/or multiple fetuses 
Find a Clinician Find a Practice Request for Proposal