What is maternal-fetal medicine, and what can a specialist do for you and your child? If you have a high-risk pregnancy, they can help you manage it.
Starting a family is very exciting. For some women, though, pregnancy can be a time full of anxiety. If you’re an expectant mother who’s worried about complications or other problems in your pregnancy, the maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Valley Perinatal Services can help.
Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM), which is also called perinatology, is a sub-specialization of obstetrics. MFM in particular focuses on high-risk pregnancies and getting experts to work with other clinical specialists to keep women and babies healthy as their bodies change and grow, working toward higher gestational ages and decreased admissions and stays in NICU. Women who are chronically ill, experience unexpected problems during their pregnancy, are hospitalized for any reason while pregnant, and babies that need a little extra care can all benefit from the involvement of an MFM specialist working with an OB/GYN.
Education and Training
MFM specialists go above and beyond the call of Ob/Gyns and require extra training to be the advisors, advocates, and experts that women in high-risk pregnancy situations need. In addition to the training to become an Ob/Gyn, becoming a maternal-fetal medicine specialist requires an additional two to three years of education and clinical experience. This extra time and training ensures that they become experts in complex procedures, can effectively consult and co-manage patients on a team, and work with and conduct research to ensure that their knowledge stays fresh and that mothers and babies have the best possible outcome no matter how complicated the pregnancy is.
When to see an MFM Specialist
If you are someone whose pregnancy has an increased risk of problems for any of these reasons, you should see a MFM specialist:
- Multiple births (twins or more)
- Previous rupture of membranes, pre-term labor, early delivery, or pregnancy loss
- Risk or suspicion of birth defects due to family history or ultrasound test results
- A history of medical problems in the mother, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- A mother over the age of 35
- Suspicion of fetal growth restriction
For expectant mothers and Ob/Gyns in the Phoenix region, Valley Perinatal is here for you. Our staff is made up of experienced perinatologists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and ultrasound sonographers who are specially trained in state-of-the-art technology and techniques uniquely tailored to each patient to make sure that even pregnancies with concerns go as well as possible. To contact any of our seven locations, call 480.756.6000; you can also contact us online.