The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consultants in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) specialize in providing obstetrical services to women diagnosed with high-risk pregnancies, including those expecting multiple babies. This practice manages the delivery of approximately 300 high-risk pregnancies each year. Click here to go to What Patients Should Expect
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Some of the pregnancies considered high risk, which are cared for by the Maternal-Fetal Medical Consultants, include:
- Women experiencing pre-term labor or those at high risk for pre-term labor (such as women with multiple gestations).
- Women with cervical incompetence (a cervix that opens prematurely under the pressure of the growing uterus and fetus) and who may need cervical cerclage performed early in the second trimester of pregnancy to prevent miscarriage. (Cervical cerclage is a surgical procedure in which the opening of the cervix is closed with sutures.)
- Women with a history of second- and third-trimester pregnancy loss or stillbirth.
- Women with pre-existing medical conditions, including: congenital heart disease, chronic hypertension, renal (kidney) disease, auto immune disorders (such as lupus), organ transplants, clotting disorders and Rh-factor blood disease.
- Women with uterine abnormalities.
- Women with fetal anomalies and/or genetic disorders.
- Women with abnormalities of fetal growth.
Multiple GestationsWith recent advances achieved in the area of reproductive technologies (including the availability of ovarian-stimulating medications and in vitro fertilization or IVF), the numbers of women delivering multiple babies has grown in recent years. Area infertility specialists, in fact, refer the majority of patients with multiple gestations who are cared for by the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consultants.
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consultants, in conjunction with The Center for Multiple Births at Washington University School of Medicine, manage the delivery of more than half of the triplets and quadruplets born in the St. Louis area.
With more women waiting until later in life to start families, many have turned to infertility treatments to aid in conception, and often have found themselves pregnant with multiple babies. Advanced maternal age does not automatically categorize the pregnant mother as high-risk if she is in good health; but a multiple gestation does. Women with multiple gestations are at higher risk to develop pre-term labor, as well as abnormalities in fetal growth.
In order to ensure the best possible outcomes for multiple pregnancies, the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consultants work closely with the Ultrasound/Genetics Unit at Washington University School of Medicine and with the university’s neonatal (pediatrics) specialists. Additionally, our practice is focused on providing nutritional guidance and support to women with multiple gestations. This support includes the prescription of dietary supplements and regular nutritional counseling sessions.
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consultants practice includes six full-time faculty physicians, who are board-certified in the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. These doctors have completed two years of fellowship training in maternal-fetal medicine and are either board-certified or board-eligible in this medical subspecialty. Specially trained and experienced nurses also provide prenatal care.
The maternal-fetal medicine practice has been designed to provide patients with convenient access to any number of services and medical tests, as part of the Center for Women's Wellness & Fetal Health at Missouri Baptist Medical Center as well as at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Patients have access to any number of services and medical tests in these convenient locations, including: non-stress tests, biophysical fetal assessments, ultrasounds, genetic testing and counseling, nutritional counseling, diabetes education, physical therapy and social work.