Frequently Asked Questions
What is a perinatologist or maternal fetal medicine specialist?
Perinatologists are physicians who specialize in a wide range of multifaceted maternal-fetal conditions, monitoring the health of both mother and unborn baby during the course of pregnancy. They are also trained in obstetrics and gynecology, and specialize in high-risk pregnancy care, treating patients conditions such as arrhythmia, diabetes, lupus, preeclampsia, and other conditions that can cause complications for mother and baby.
What makes a pregnancy high-risk?
A pregnancy is considered high-risk when the life or health of the mother or fetus is threatened because of circumstances or pregestational conditions. Some pregnancies are considered high-risk from the beginning, while in others, conditions develop during the gestation period that make it high-risk.
What is genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling is a process recommended for women with significant medical or pregnancy risk factors involving birth defects or genetic conditions. You will receive information during this process to help you make decisions about reproductive screening and testing and preventive strategies designed to help promote healthy pregnancies and babies. Our genetic counselor also reviews routine screening options that are available in every pregnancy. Your specialist will help you craft a plan and support you throughout the process. You can also expect to receive specific information about the benefits, limitations, and applicable risks of all of the screening options and procedures available to you.
Who should undergo genetic counseling and testing?
If you will be 35 years of age or older at the time of delivery, or if you have a family history of birth defects, intellectual disability, or certain medical conditions, you are a prime candidate for genetic counseling. Patients with positive screening tests during pregnancy should also have genetic counseling.
When should I have prenatal genetic screening tests performed?
Different tests are performed at different times during the course of pregnancy. Carrier screening tests can be done before or during pregnancy, and determine if a person carries genes for certain inherited disorders. A blood test and ultrasound exam look for risk of Down Syndrome, and other types of aneuploidy.
Can I take photos or videos during the Ultrasound?
No video or pictures are allowed during the ultrasound according to the AIUM guidelines. Pictures will be printed and given to you.
Can I bring visitors?
Ultrasound visits are a critical aspect of the monitoring of high risk patients. It is permissible to bring a family member to these visits, but we encourage patients to be intentional about who they choose to include in these experiences.