High-Risk Pregnancies (Maternal-Fetal Medicine)
What is Maternal-Fetal Medicine?
Maternal-Fetal Medicine is specialized Obstetrical care that handles high risk or difficult pregnancies.
The Women’s Center of South Shore Medical Center provides access to Maternal Fetal Medicine physicians in conjunction with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Their physicians come to our office to provide care for our high risk patients.
Pregnancy can be a joyous time, full of expectation and hope. But for women with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, or for those who experience an unplanned event, such as preterm labor, pregnancy can be more complicated and challenging both physically and emotionally.
Our team of Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians partner with your primary obstetrician to provide specialized care to women at risk for pregnancy complications. We work as a team of highly skilled and accomplished physicians, nurses and other experts to help ensure a safe and healthy delivery for you and your baby.
All of the specialists from Beth Israel Deaconess are trained in a board certified maternal-fetal medicine fellowship program and have extensive experience in managing high-risk pregnancies. Their goal is to minimize your stress and anxiety by providing timely diagnostic information, exemplary care, coordinated services and compassionate support and guidance.
Our techniques and technologies are state-of-the-art. Our approach is collaborative. And our promise is to treat each patient we are privileged to serve with warmth, dignity and respect.
What Services Do We Offer?
Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists provide high-risk obstetrical care to patients. For some, we provide a second opinion or a one-time evaluation. For others, we work closely with the primary obstetrician and a team of specialists, as needed, to provide comprehensive, coordinated care.
Our comprehensive maternal-fetal medicine services include
- Non-stress test (NST)/biophysical profile (BPP), to monitor fetal heartbeat, activity, muscle tone and breathing, as well as volume of the amniotic fluid.
- Obstetrical ultrasound, also called a sonogram, which uses high-frequency sound waves (not X-rays) to create an image of the developing fetus. Sound waves are safe for the developing baby. We offer abdominal; transvaginal (where a small probe is inserted into the vagina); Doppler (to identify heart or circulation abnormalities in the fetus).
- Ultrasound-guided procedures to assess fetal health such as amniocentesis to obtain a sample of the amniotic fluid.
The Beth Israel Deaconess Clinical Genetics Program provides compassionate genetic counseling for families with concerns about genetic conditions, birth defects and/or cognitive deficits. Our licensed genetic counselors meet individually with you and your family, provide risk assessments, summarize complex genetic information in a letter for you, help you decide about additional testing, and work with your team of providers to coordinate care.
Conditions We Treat
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a consultative practice for high-risk conditions of the mother and fetus. That means we work together as a team, with your primary obstetrician and with any specialists you may need, to provide high quality, safe and compassionate care for you and your baby.
Pre-existing (chronic) medical conditions that may complicate a pregnancy include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Lupus and other autoimmune disorders
- Thyroid disease
- Bleeding or clotting disorders
- Gastric bypass or bariatric surgery
Other factors that can lead to pregnancy complications include:
- Conception achieved through reproductive technologies
- DES (diethylstilbestrol) exposure
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Fetal anomalies (babies in utero with abnormalities, such as fetal cardiac dysfunction)
- Fetal surgery
- History of pregnancy loss (miscarriage), stillbirth and preterm labor
- HIV and AIDS
- Incompetent (or weakened) cervix
- Intrauterine growth restriction (that is, poor growth of the developing fetus)
- Maternal age of 35 and beyond
- Multiple gestation/triplets or more
- Placenta Previa
- STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
- Vaginal Birth after C-Section (VBAC)
Talk with your primary obstetrician if you have a history of chronic illness, a sudden complication, or if you are anxious about your pregnancy. Your obstetrician can refer you to one of our maternal-fetal medicine specialists.