What is maternal-fetal medicine?

Specialized physicians provide expert care mom and baby need during high-risk pregnancy

When depicted in movies and TV, pregnancy can seem delightful or downright scary. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, you’ll probably learn that the truth can be anywhere in between. Knowing all the benefits and risks can help you be ready for a positive pregnancy test.

And there’s a lot to know.

Working with your doctor to find out if your body is ready for a baby is the first step. If you have a medical condition or develop one after you get pregnant, you may hear the term high-risk pregnancy.

What does the term “high-risk pregnancy” mean?

While the term can sound scary, it just means that mom and baby need extra care to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. A woman can have a medical condition before she becomes pregnant that makes her high risk, or she can develop a condition during the pregnancy. The baby also can have a condition that needs to be monitored before birth.

Who is at risk for a high-risk pregnancy?

  • Women carrying multiples, such as twins or triplets
  • Women older than age 35
  • Women with high blood pressure; Type 1, 2 or gestational diabetes; heart conditions; asthma; or other chronic conditions
  • Women experiencing pregnancy complications, such as premature labor

What kind of care is needed for a high-risk pregnancy?

Your OB/GYN may refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine practice for care. The care you can expect depends on the condition you or your baby may have. You may need more frequent ultrasounds, procedures to learn more about your baby’s condition or just a single visit with a maternal-fetal specialist and then monitoring from your OB/GYN.

Services offered by Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine

  • Diagnosis and counseling for fetal abnormalities and inherited conditions
  • Board-certified physicians with specialized training in maternal-fetal medicine
  • A genetic counselor who can provide guidance for patients with a history of genetic conditions or for babies who might be at risk
  • Dedicated sonographers trained in high-risk diagnoses
  • Collaborative care, working with neonatologists and other pediatric specialists for mom and baby
  • Two dedicated registered nurse navigators who provide one-on-one support for patients
  • Locations in Paducah and Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Madison, Indiana

Diabetes and Pregnancy Center

The Diabetes and Pregnancy Center is a multidisciplinary outpatient program for pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes, gestational diabetes or a prior history of gestational diabetes, as well as women with diabetes who are considering getting pregnant. The Diabetes and Pregnancy Center provides a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan for each patient. Women are seen by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for a consultation and, if directed, an ultrasound. They also meet with a certified diabetes educator and nutritionist who can help with nutrition, meal planning and more.

Thinking of having a baby?

Find resources for planning, through birth and beyond

NortonBaby.com


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