A maternal-fetal medicine doctor specializes in the health needs of women and their unborn babies who are at risk of complications during pregnancy. Maternal-fetal medicine doctors provide both medical and surgical care, as well as genetic screening and pre-pregnancy counseling. Maternal-fetal medicine doctors work closely with obstetrician-gynecologists and neonatologists to develop comprehensive care plans.
A maternal-fetal medicine doctor typically:
Provides pre-pregnancy counseling including a medical history and genetic profile evaluation, as well as education about pregnancy wellness and ways to reduce risks and complications
Treats and monitors chronic diseases and conditions that affect the health of pregnant women and their unborn babies including diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and heart disease
Orders and interprets laboratory and imaging tests and prescribes medications
Diagnoses and treats acute pregnancy complications, such as preterm labor, preeclampsia, and eclampsia
Performs fetal diagnostic and screening tests, such as ultrasound, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, and percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling to detect birth defects and fetal conditions
Performs surgical procedures on pregnant mothers and their unborn babies, such as open fetal surgery and fetoscopy to treat birth defects and prevent complications
Maternal-fetal medicine doctors may also be known by the following names: perinatologist, maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist, MFM, maternal-fetal physician, high-risk pregnancy obstetrician, high-risk pregnancy specialist, high-risk pregnancy doctor, and high-risk pregnancy physician.
There are 365 specialists practicing Maternal-Fetal Medicine in California with an overall average rating of 3.9 stars. There are 108 hospitals in California with affiliated Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists, including Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Palomar Medical Center Poway and Northridge Hospital Medical Center.