Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Maternal-Fetal Medicine


The largest group of maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists in the state provides diagnosis and management of special and complicated pregnancies caused by high blood pressure, diabetes and other maternal disorders or diseases. They also are specialists in the diagnosis of fetal diseases and difficulties as well as placental problems.

University Women's Care, a part of University of Mississippi Medical Center, provides comprehensive maternal and fetal assessments using leading-edge diagnostic tools and treatments help determine appropriate care for the mother and her unborn baby.

The MFM program does not provide primary obstetrical care except in high-risk situations, where its specialists work in concert with the referring obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN).

Services

  • Maternal care

    • Consultation for pregnancy disorders
    • Management of pregnant patients with medical or surgical disorders
    • Genetic counseling
      • Prenatal counseling and screenings help couples determine risks for a fetal genetic disorder. University Women's Care maternal-fetal medical specialists work in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team to provide prospective parents with fact-based information.
  • Special obstetric surgery

  • Fetal ultrasound

    A fetal ultrasound, or sonogram, is best described as a “window into the womb.” The pain-free procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of a baby in the uterus. The images help evaluate fetal growth and development and determine how a pregnancy is progressing.

  • Doppler flow studies of fetus, cord, placenta and uterus

    Non-invasive doppler ultrasonography measures blood flow to the placenta and in the umbilical cord connecting the placenta and fetus. These measurements can be helpful indicators of fetal well-being in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction, severe fetal anemia or other disorders or diseases.

  • Fetal echocardiography

    Congenital heart defects are among the most common birth defects, occurring in approximately one in every 125 live births. Fetal echocardiograms provide early images for congenital heart disease diagnosis and treatment plans.

  • Amniocentesis and amnioreduction

    Amniotic fluid surrounds and protects a fetus during pregnancy contains fetal cells and other chemicals produced by the baby. A sample of the fluid can be tested for abnormalities, lung maturity and presence of infection or other illnesses. Amniocentesis also may include amnioreduction, reducing an excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) in the uterus.

  • Biophysical profile

    The non-invasive biophysical test helps the maternal-fetal medicine specialist determine the well-being of the fetus in high-risk pregnancies, if the fetus is too small or not growing, or if the mother has too much or too little amniotic fluid. The test, usually performed during the last trimester, combines ultrasound imaging and fetal heart rate monitoring. When the biophysical profile identifies a compromised fetus, measures can be taken to intervene before progressive metabolic acidosis leads to fetal death.

  • Fetal fluid drainage procedures for diagnosis and therapy

    The maternal-fetal medicine care team uses needle drainage and shunting procedures to draw excess fluids that may hamper fetus growth or well-being. Fluids also can be withdrawn for testing purposes.

  • First and second trimester screening for aneuploidy

    Specialized testing is available to screen for aneuploidy, a term used to describe conditions caused by an extra or missing chromosome carrying genetic information. The risk for aneuploidy increases with the woman’s age regardless of family or medical history. Conditions that cause chromosome abnormalities include Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13.

  • Intra-uterine fetal transfusion

    Transfusions to the fetus provide healthy blood to counter fetal anemia or to replace fetal red blood cells that are being destroyed by a Rh-sensitized mother’s immune system. Transfusions can be given through the fetal abdomen or more commonly by delivering blood into the umbilical vein.

  • Chorionic villus sampling

    A small sample of tissue is removed by needle or catheter from the chorion, part of developing placenta, for genetic testing. The procedure, usually done between 10 and 13 weeks of gestation, can include tests for Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, genetic conditions and paternity.

  • Cordocentesis

    A sample of fetal blood is removed from the umbilical cord during this invasive procedure to detect blood disorders. Findings may include toxoplasmosis, rubella, rhesus iso-immunization, metabolic disorders, hemophilia or life-threatening anemia as well as suspected growth retardation.

Related information from the Mayo Clinic Health Library

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