Maternal-Fetal Medicine - High Risk Pregnancy Care at Stamford Health

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

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We're here to help. For questions about maternal-fetal medicine or high-risk pregnancy, call 203.276.7060.

Whether you’ve known that your pregnancy is high-risk from the beginning or a condition develops unexpectedly during your pregnancy, our team of perinatologists (Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists) will consult, support, and educate you and your partner about the conditions specific to your situation. 

What is maternal-fetal medicine?

Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) is the branch of medicine that focuses on high-risk pregnancies, or pregnant women with chronic health issues and unexpected complications during pregnancy.

WPregnant woman with obstetrician, looking at charthat do maternal-fetal medicine doctors do?

A Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor, also called a perinatologist, is an Ob/Gyn with additional medical training in treating non-routine or complicated pregnancies. Part of their responsibilities include providing medical treatment and various procedures for both mothers and their babies before, during and after pregnancy. 

How do you know if you have a high-risk pregnancy? 

We define high-risk pregnancies as those with a greater chance of complications. Here are some factors that could indicate a high-risk pregnancy:

  • History of previous miscarriage or stillbirth
  • History of pre-term labor (before 37 weeks of pregnancy)
  • Pre-existing medical condition (e.g. cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure)
  • Developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • Family history of a genetic disorder
  • Multiple fetuses (e.g. twins or triplets)
  • Preeclampsia (toxemia): high blood pressure that starts after the 20th week of pregnancy
  • Premature bleeding
  • Infections

More specifically, here are factors associated with each stage of pregnancy: 

High-Risk Pregnancy Factors Before Pregnancy:
Conditions like diabetes and epilepsy, as well as having an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, can cause a high-risk pregnancy. The goal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine is to help you become as healthy as possible before getting pregnant, to increase your chances of having a full-term, healthy pregnancy.

High-Risk Pregnancy Factors During Pregnancy:
Bleeding, having had prior miscarriages or pre-term labor, having birth defects or certain genetic disorders, or being pregnant with multiples can all cause complications during pregnancy, labor and delivery. These factors require you to be monitored by one of our perinatologists. 

High-Risk Pregnancy Factors After Pregnancy: 
Sometimes complications can occur after your baby is born. Hemorrhage, infection, hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, heart failure and pulmonary edema (swelling) can all cause post-partum complications. We'll continue to work with you after your baby is born, to keep you healthy. 

Most high-risk pregnancies are manageable and you’ll receive additional care as appropriate. We have a wide range of prenatal testing and monitoring available to keep close track of your and your baby’s health.

Our perinatologists are on call 24/7 and are here to support your pregnancy.