Most women seek consultation from a maternal fetal medicine specialist because they are “at risk” and considering pregnancy, or because they are pregnant and have been classified as “high-risk” or “complicated” by their primary obstetric provider. This is often the case for first-time mothers who have chosen to start their family after age 35.
Whenever possible, patients with pre-existing medical conditions or a history of prior obstetrical complications are encouraged to see a specialist for preconception counseling — to discuss possible risks and prepare a plan for a successful pregnancy.
What is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist?
A maternal fetal medicine specialist is an obstetrician/gynecologist who has specialized training in the management of obstetrical, medical and surgical complications of pregnancy. A maternal fetal medicine specialist can provide care for both the mother and baby (fetus) in a complicated pregnancy.
Maternal fetal medicine specialists, located in the Professional Building adjacent to the hospital, will work with your primary physician, providing consultations, co-management or direct care for high-risk pregnancy.
Who Might be Referred to a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist?
Patients with pregnancy-related conditions such as:
- Advanced maternal age
- Multiple gestation (twins, triplets, quadruplets)
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Fetal structural and genetic abnormalities
- Incompetent cervix
- Premature rupture of the membranes
- Preterm labor
- Pre-eclampsia (increased blood pressure during the third trimester)
- Abnormalities of fetal growth
- Placental abnormalities
- Maternal and fetal infections
- Prolonged pregnancy
- Fetal cardiac arrhythmias
- Abnormal screening such as 1st trimester or 2nd trimester serum screen
Patients with maternal medical disorders that may influence pregnancy:
- Seizures or other neurological disorders
- Thyroid problems
- Autoimmune diseases
- Clotting or bleeding disorders
- Cardiac disease
- Renal disease
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Family history of birth defects or genetic conditions
Our maternal fetal medicine specialists operate out of St. Vincent Women’s, St. Vincent Carmel, and St. Vincent Fishers Hospitals to provide complete coverage to both facilities.