Having a baby is an exciting, life-changing event for many couples. For those who are pregnant and have medical issues, it also can be stressful.
About 75 percent of problems in pregnancy can be predicted from a patient's medical history and physical exam. However, problems can arise in even the healthiest patients. That's why it's helpful for expectant parents to have experts on their team to help guide them through the ups and downs of their 9-month journey.
Virtua's maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) doctors are obstetricians who specialize in caring for pregnant women who are high risk for reasons that may include:
- Chronic health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes
- Family history of genetic disorders
- Problems with previous pregnancies such as preterm labor or miscarriage
- Pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets)
- Over age 35 at the time of conception
- Other conditions that otherwise were unpredictable
These specialists work hand-in-hand with patients and their obstetricians to monitor health concerns and review prenatal tests and ultrasounds. These doctors also work together to care for women who need to be hospitalized during pregnancy.
In some cases, MFM specialists care for pregnant women whose unborn children are at risk for issues such as:
- Heart or brain abnormalities
- Genetic disorders such as Down syndrome
- Restricted growth in the womb
Virtua MFM specialists diagnose fetal abnormalities and provide information about the long-term outlook for children, while offering compassionate, family-centered support.
In addition, MFM specialists and neonatologists (pediatricians who care for at-risk newborns) work together to develop personalized treatment plans for high-risk babies before they are even born. For newborns who need specialized care, Virtua offers a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Virtua Voorhees Hospital and a special care nursery (SCN) at Virtua Memorial Hospital.
Before scheduling an MFM consultation or prenatal test, patients must first get a referral from their obstetrician. Call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823) for more information.
Hospitalization during pregnancy
Women who are hospitalized during pregnancy may be experiencing complications such as:
The goal of hospitalization during pregnancy is to extend the pregnancy as safely as possible to avoid preterm (early) delivery. The staff at each of Virtua's maternity centers provides advanced monitoring and pain management, as well as emotional support and compassionate care.
State-recognized care for women with high-risk pregnancies
Women who must be hospitalized during their pregnancies may be transferred to Virtua Voorhees Hospital. As a State-designated Regional Perinatal Center, Virtua Voorhees has all of the resources to provide the highest level of care to women with high-risk pregnancies. This includes the support of a team of MFM specialists, as well as the staff of the level III neonatal intensive care unit. These teams work together with obstetricians to provide seamless care to patients with high-risk pregnancies during hospitalization, delivery and beyond.
Have an appointment at a Virtua Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center?
Be sure to fill out the online pre-registration form before you go.