Clinician-to-Clinician Update Clinician-to-Clinician Update

Specialized Care at the Earliest Stages with Specialists in Maternal-Fetal Medicine

November 2014 - Maternal Fetal Medicine

When women are experiencing complications with pregnancy or fetal concerns, specialty care is critically important. As the only Maternal-Fetal specialists in the region associated with an academic medical center, our specialists bring their own expertise as well as collaboration with neonatologists, geneticists and other University of Minnesota Health specialists to provide the highest level of care for women and their babies — from preconception to post-partum. 

Maternal-Fetal Medicine includes the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Center (FDTC), focusing on fetal concerns, the Perinatal Assessment Center (PAC) which focuses on maternal conditions. Maternal-FetalMedicine also offers highly specialized imaging technology and genetics expertise for both mothers and babies. 

Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Center

FDTC offers complete maternal and fetal care for pregnancies with a known or possible fetal health problem. Our goal is to give patients as many details as possible about pregnancy and treatment options. We create a custom team of caring experts based on each patient’s unique needs. We see many different pregnancy complications at the FDTC and have multiple specialists who are part of our care teams. Depending on the need, care team membership may change or grow over time.

We help plan the right care during pregnancy and for the baby after delivery. Our hospital includes a Level IV Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), offering the highest level of care available. Care at the FDTC may range from a one-time visit to complete prenatal care and delivery.

We understand the challenges of high risk pregnancy and ensure that our care meets every patient's medical, emotional and spiritual needs. To this end, patients are assigned a care coordinator as the main contact to help harmonize care at every stage and ensure patients understand their care plan and have the support they need. 

Perinatal Assessment Center

Our PAC is dedicated to testing, screening and ongoing treatment for women experiencing a pregnancy-related condition or high-risk pregnancy. Focusing on issues from the common to the complex, our emphasis is the unique needs of pregnant women. Patients at the PAC may visit our centers just once for screening or have a series of visits as part of an assessment to assist their referring care team. After the assessment, patients may return to their own clinic or transfer their ongoing care to our PAC.

State-of-the-art comprehensive fetal ultrasound studies

These comprehensive studies use the most up-to-date technology, including 3D/4D images, to evaluate for fetal and maternal conditions. 

Genetics expertise 

We offer reproductive genetics consultation by a board-certified expert in clinical genetics. We also have genetic counselors who specialize in prenatal genetics. Our experts are highly experienced in both high-risk pregnancies and clinical genetics. We help patients understand the options for testing and screening, interpret the results and prepare a care plan that makes the most sense for each individual. We use the most advanced fetal ultrasound capabilities to screen for genetic markers and the latest testing methods available including the newer non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) that isolates fetal genetic material from the mother’s blood.

Genetic screening and expert consultation provide the opportunity to process information and consider all of the options. It may also be the opportunity to prepare for the specific needs of the new baby. 

In some cases, a woman is screened by her primary physician, and when the results show an increased risk for a genetic anomaly, our experts can help with further testing and treatment, both before the baby is born and after. 

An integral part of University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, the maternal-fetal medicine specialists are closely aligned with the neonatologists in our Level IV NICU and pediatric surgical sub-specialists.

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