A maternal-fetal medicine specialist is an obstetrician who concentrates on the care of pregnant women and babies in high-risk situations. Another name for this doctor is a perinatologist.
A maternal-fetal medicine specialist treats women with a number of conditions. Complications with mom’s health, include:
• A history of multiple miscarriages or premature birth
• Diabetes (gestational or preexisting)
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Infectious disease (toxoplasmosis, parvovirus, HIV/AIDS, etc.) or chronic illness
• Rh disease
• A family history of heart, kidney, or other disease
A maternal-fetal medicine specialist often treat pregnant women who are carrying multiples (twins, triplets or more) as the risk for preterm birth is significantly increased.
This doctor also specializes in the care of women whose baby is known to have:
• Abnormal fetal growth
• A known birth defect or suspected genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18
• A baby with macrosomia (too large)
• A baby with fetal growth restriction (too small)
If you find yourself in a position where the risk of complications is higher than the average pregnancy, ask your current health care provider for a referral to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. You may or may not need the extra care, but it will be good to get a second opinion.