Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists are obstetrician-gynaecologists who specialise in managing high-risk pregnancies. Throughout your pregnancy, you should have the following ultrasound scans as a minimum;
Maternal-fetal medicine specialists have additional training in obstetric ultrasound and invasive prenatal diagnosis using amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. Maternal and fetal medicine helps with the diagnosis of fetal anomalies, counselling as well as high risk pregnancy monitoring and antenatal care planning.
During pregnancy, a variety of complications may arise, and depending on the severity of the complication, a maternal-fetal specialist can work with your primary physician to help with the pregnancy management or on occasions take over care of your pregnancy coordinating with other specialties like the neonatal and pediatric surgery teams.
Amniocentesis is a diagnostic procedure performed during pregnancy. It helps to obtain a small sample of amniotic fluid (the fluid around the baby) which in turn is used for the diagnosis of certain genetic conditions or infections.
Chorionic Villous Sampling (CVS) is a diagnostic procedure performed during pregnancy. It helps to obtain a tiny sample of the placenta (afterbirth), which in turn is used for the diagnosis of certain genetic conditions.
This involves draining in utero a fetal pleural effusion (collection of fluid in the baby’s chest). This can help alleviate the pressure to the fetal lungs and allow them to develop.
This procedure involves putting a drain in the fetal bladder and allows the baby to pass urine in cases of bladder obstruction. This condition left untreated is lethal as it leads to renal failure and pulmonary hypoplasia. Although there is heated scientific debate regarding the long-term outcome in cases where termination is not an option, treatment attempts may be appropriate for some families.
This procedure can be beneficial in cases of excessive amniotic fluid. Up to 2lit of amniotic fluid can be removed each time, reducing maternal discomfort and the risk of preterm labour.
In cases of severe Rh isoimmunisation treatment can be started early in the second trimester with a series of transfusions where small amounts of blood are given directly in the fetal peritoneal cavity.
Fetal blood Sampling transfusion
Fetal anemia is one of the few conditions that can be treated successfully in utero, Blood can be given directly to the baby’s umbilical cord and can allow in that way the baby to mature and be delivered in a good condition dramatically improving its postnatal recovery.