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A maternal-fetal medicine physician specializes in high-risk pregnancy. You should consult with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist if you have a pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes; if you have history of, or suddenly develop, a pregnancy complication, such as early labor; or if you have concerns about the health of your fetus. Talk with your primary care physician to find out if you should be seen for consult before you get pregnant. Your obstetrician can refer you to MFM if you are already pregnant.
Ask to be sure your maternal-fetal medicine specialist is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and fellowship trained in maternal-fetal medicine. It is important for you to feel comfortable with this physician, so you can ask questions and share your concerns.
Of course! Your obstetrician can continue to provide care for you, and almost always will deliver your baby. A maternal-fetal medicine specialist works together with your primary obstetrician, and any additional
specialists you may need, such as radiologists, neonatologists, and diabetes educators, to help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.
You may only see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for a one-time consult, or a second opinion. Or the maternal-fetal medicine specialist may continue to work closely with your primary obstetrician throughout your pregnancy to help manage your care. Some patients consult a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for pre-conception counseling before pregnancy.
An obstetrical ultrasound, also called a sonogram, uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the developing fetus. Because the sonogram uses sound waves and not x-rays, it is safe for the developing baby.
Ultrasound is a powerful and complex diagnostic tool, able to detect subtle markers and abnormalities within 10 to 13 weeks of conception. But the test's accuracy really depends on the skill and experience of the practitioner. Radiologists and maternal-fetal medicine specialists are the most skilled at performing obstetric ultrasound. The two disciplines work together to accurately gather images and interpret their results.