Maternal-Fetal Medicine consultation is needed whenever a pregnancy is complicated by medical, obstetrical, genetic conditions, ultrasound abnormalities, medication/drug exposure, or other conditions that can potentially affect the fetus. Medical complications of pregnancy include any medical or surgical condition that has the potential of affecting the developing fetus. Examples include Diabetes, Hypertension (high blood pressure), heart diseases, thyroid diseases (Grave’s disease, hyperthyroidism, etc.), Connective tissue disorders (Lupus, arthritis, scleroderma, etc.), asthma, pneumonia, kidney stones, kidney infections, hepatitis, infections (HIV, syphilis, etc.), cancer, and many other conditions.
All these concerns require careful evaluation by specialists skilled in the care of high-risk pregnancies.
A team approach that includes your Obstetrician, your Internist, and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist is necessary in some circumstances. As a general rule, it is always best to obtain pre-pregnancy counseling with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist two to three months prior to conception to maximize your pregnancy outcome and avoid deterioration in your medical condition.
During the course of a pregnancy, many obstetrical complications may arise such as vaginal bleeding, early rupture of the sac of pregnancy (membranes), poor fetal growth, hypertension of pregnancy, or diabetes of pregnancy. These complications require careful follow up of your health and the fetal health. Here again, a team approach that includes your Obstetrician and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist can improve your pregnancy and personal health outcome immensely.