WHAT IS A MATERNAL FETAL SPECIALIST?
According to the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialist is a physician who has advanced knowledge and training in medical, surgical, obstetrical, fetal and genetic complications of pregnancy and their effects on both woman and the fetus.
What do Maternal Fetal Specialists Do?
MFM specialists treat two patients at the same time, the mother and fetus (Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine 2020). They partner with the mom-to-be, her family and her medical team to navigate the pregnancy and achieve the best possible outcome. MFM sees families who have experienced high-risk pregnancies in the past, women with chronic health conditions and women who develop unexpected problems with their pregnancy.
What is Considered High Risk?
- Pre-existing conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Multiple gestation
- Multiples born in the U.S. is at an all-time high
- Twin, triplets, or higher order multiples account for almost 140,000 births in the U.S.
- Complications from previous pregnancies
- Prior preterm birth
- Prior intrauterine growth restriction (iugr)
- Prior preeclampsia
- Problems with the fetus
- Birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the U.S. each year
- Birth defects are the leading cause of deaths, accounting for 20% of all infant deaths
What Care Does a Maternal Fetal Specialist Provide?
Before pregnancy, MFMs can provide advice for women with chronic health conditions or those who have experienced a high-risk pregnancy in the past. At a preconception consultation, the maternal fetal specialist reviews a woman’s medical and pregnancy history and helps to map out an optimal strategy for her next pregnancy.
Genetic Screening, Ultrasound and Prenatal Diagnosis
Our MFMs use ultrasound, blood tests and procedures to evaluate the developing fetus. Diagnostic amniocentesis is guided by ultrasound and collects a small amount of amniotic fluid to be sent for further testing. The MFM provider will discuss the benefits and risks of this procedure.
Labor and Delivery
MFMs work with your OB providers to ensure high quality care during labor and childbirth. They provide expert advice on when to induce labor, when to and how to monitor the fetal heart rate and whether a cesarean delivery is indicated.
Will MFM Become My New Provider
No, the MFM specialist will not replace the referring provider. MFM specialists work with all obstetric providers to provide the patient with the best care possible.
What to Expect During My Appointment
For the first appointment, bring a copy of your insurance card. The clinic will work with your OB provider to ensure the MFM specialist has all necessary records and lab results. There is some paperwork to fill out, so please arrive a few minutes early or on time. If you arrive late, you may be asked to reschedule.
The clinic will obtain a comprehensive history, vital signs, and your current weight. The clinic will obtain an ultrasound that is provided by a specially trained ultrasound technician. Depending on the current gestational age or if there are multiples, ultrasound scan times can vary.
The fetal medicine specialist will review the ultrasound with you, address any concerns, answer all questions and discuss the plan of care. This consult note is then faxed immediately to your OB provider.
Our maternal fetal medicine clinic is also utilizing new and exciting technology by implanting the use of telemedicine.
Telemedicine is provided when the MFM Specialist is not on location. Nothing changes in your care. You will still get an in-depth ultrasound, and the MFM specialist will still discuss everything in great detail, but the consultation will take place through the computer.
For more information, contact:
NCH Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic
1665 Medical Blvd
Naples, FL 34110