If you have experienced trouble with pregnancy, you might already know about Maternal-Fetal Medicine. If you have no idea, MFM is the medical support provided to expecting women with respect to achieving the best possible results. Fetal medicine specialists generally treat two patients simultaneously. They take care of moms-to-be and address the issues and bring favorable outcomes.
Fetal medicine is suggested mostly to women with:
● High-risk pregnancies in the past
● Unexpected health problems during the pregnancy periods.
● Chronic health conditions.
Now that the basics are clear, here’s why fetal medicine is so popular among expecting mothers and families.
Importance of Fetal Medicine – When It Is Suggested
Labor and Delivery Care
Fetal medicine experts coordinate with OB care specialists to deliver the best care during labor and delivery. Other than advice concerning when to induce labor, MFMs also specialize in monitoring the fetal heart rate. They can also suggest if a cesarean delivery is required.
Maternal Health Concerns
Pregnancy often makes a woman with existing health problems vulnerable to further risk. These include diabetes, kidney problems, blood pressure issues, and more chronic ailments that may affect pregnancy. Fetal medicine specialists manage such high-risk pregnancies and provide expert guidance on the right medications to the mother without putting any risks to the baby.
Ultrasound, Genetic Screening, & Prenatal Diagnosis
Maternal-fetal medicine specialists or subspecialists refer to blood tests, ultrasound, and other processes including amniocentesis to check into the womb and analyze the status of the fetus. Today, there are 3D and 4D ultrasounds and fetal echocardiograms available to the medical industry. These technologies allow experts to screen for defects in birth or chromosome problems. Some even collaborate with genetic counselors for other critical tests.
Once the above-mentioned diagnosis is done, it helps MFMs detect and, even treat various birth defects before the delivery. The specialists extend their support and consultation to families who come across a birth defect in the fetus. They additionally work with pediatric surgeons to come up with the right care plan for both mother and fetus.
Women with a history of high-risk pregnancy have higher risks with respect to their subsequent pregnancy. Furthermore, in some cases, there are unexpected complications during pregnancy or labor. Fetal medicine experts offer help to address such issues as well. The most common of these are recurrent pregnancy loss – where mom-to-be had experienced several miscarriages and may have an underlying health problem. MFMs review the case and suggest the best treatments/medicines lower the risk in the current or next pregnancy. Other is blood pressure problem, where a pregnant woman’s placenta might affect her blood pressure. In such cases, the issue may worsen and lead to critical conditions such as eclampsia, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, or HELLP syndrome. Here, fetal medicine specialists can assess and recommend if staying pregnant or giving birth is better to ensure favorable results for both mother and baby.
MFMs also aid women before pregnancy by advising them on chronic health conditions. Women with high-risk pregnancies in the past can also benefit from expert consultation. The fetal medicine expert assesses a woman’s pregnancy and overall medical history to draft the right strategy for her next pregnancy.
When to See a Fetal Medicine Specialist?
You may need to visit or consult a fetal medicine expert:
● If you need a diagnostic or therapeutic treatment to reduce the risk of or manage fetal chromosomal abnormalities.
● If the mother is medically fit, but the fetus is at the risk. For example, incompetent cervix, multiple pregnancies, or a complicated delivery in the past.
● If a postpartum patient suffers complications or if an antepartum patient gets admitted for reasons other than birth.
● If a pregnant woman has an existing medical or surgical condition.
Now that you know why fetal medicine is important and when you should get help, it’s time to plan the next course of action mindfully.