Even before becoming pregnant, prospective parents can be referred to the Inova Brock Family Antenatal Testing Center to discuss the implications of age, complications in previous pregnancies or current health problems. Patients with a family history of genetic complications can discuss personalized prenatal options, diagnostic procedures and receive specialized support throughout their pregnancies.
Unexpected complications that require additional diagnostic procedures can occur during pregnancy. These tests can evaluate the health of both mother and baby even during the first trimester. The Antenatal Testing Center offers the most recent approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of obstetrical problems.
Pre-Conception Counseling: certain maternal conditions, which constitute high risk for adverse fetal outcomes, are amenable to optimization prior to conception (for example, optimization of maternal glucose control in the presence of diabetes; weight loss in the presence of severe obesity; discontinuation of tobacco, alcohol or drugs). For other high risk conditions (for example, autoimmune disorders or in the presence of a poor outcome in a previous pregnancy), specific tests can be done to predict the outcome of a subsequent pregnancy.
Genetic Counseling: the most common indications for prenatal genetic counseling include: abnormal results at prenatal screening tests or ultrasound findings; family history suggestive of a severe genetic condition (ex. Parent or previous child with a chromosome anomaly or genetic condition). Normal results of genetic tests may provide reassurance to families at risk. Abnormal results may allow the parents to prepare for the birth of a baby with special needs or provide risk information to couples for whom pregnancy termination is an option; and may allow the providers to make plans for optimal timing or mode of delivery of a baby affected with a disease, and to coordinate care with neonatologists and pediatric specialists. Certain genetic disorders may be amenable to treatment in utero with stem cells therapy or gene therapy.
For more information on screening for Down syndrome, see the following:
Perinatal Consultations: in the presence of maternal medical conditions which may affect the care during pregnancy or the outcome, the care provider may request input from a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist on a strategy of care to optimize the outcome.
For example, in the presence of maternal diabetes, see also:
- Gestational Diabetes Support Program
- Dietary Recommendations for Gestational Diabetes
- Diabetes in Pregnancy
In-patient Consultations: Maternal-Fetal Specialists are on call 24-hours daily 7 days per week for emergencies as requested by the obstetric care providers. Inova Alexandria Hospital has the resources to manage most high risk pregnancies, and it has a level 3 NICU to assist babies of any birth weight. We have access to pediatric subspecialists for fetuses that require fetal surgeries or that are anticipated to require specialized postnatal care.
Co-Managed Care with the OB Provider: our Maternal-Fetal Medicine providers work together with the patients’ providers to identify a patient-specific plan of care aimed at minimizing the risks of adverse outcomes for the mothers and the babies. The primary care providers remain the pivots of maternal care and provide the required assistance for the delivery (vaginal or cesarean) and post-natal care.