Members of the Care Team
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.
- 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 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.
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