Northern Virginia's Most Experienced Team for Managing High-Risk Pregnancies

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, turn to the expert, compassionate team at Inova for the skilled, personalized care you need. Inova's maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialists, also known as perinatologists, work closely with obstetricians to provide the most advanced care in the region for high-risk pregnancies. With more deliveries than any other health system in the region, our patient volume gives us extensive experience in helping mothers and babies safely through delivery.

At Inova, you'll receive robust antenatal testing before delivery and access to multiple subspecialists, ready to support any possible pregnancy complication. Our staff is one of the most experienced in the region, diagnosing and treating thousands of patients with consistently excellent outcomes.

Conditions Co-Managed Between MFM and OB-GYN

Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists and OB-GYNs work together to care for patients with complex pregnancies. In most cases, pregnant women continue to see their OB-GYN, while an MFM subspecialist provides recommendations, advice and support throughout the pregnancy. Multiple specialists collaborate, working toward a healthy delivery in complex cases, such as a mother or baby with a heart condition.

We care for a range of high-risk pregnancies, including:

Hypertensive Disorders and Cardiovascular Health

You may have had high blood pressure before becoming pregnant. Or perhaps you developed hypertension during pregnancy. Inova's MFMs manage the condition to keep your blood pressure numbers in a healthy range.

Perinatologists can do this through:

  • Medication management
  • Increased ultrasound monitoring of the baby
  • Early delivery when necessary
  • Referral and coordination of care with Inova cardio-obstetrics specialists (See Inova Cardio-Obstetrics Program)

Hypertensive disorders we treat include:

  • Chronic hypertension
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, HELLP Syndrome

Preterm Labor

If you experience preterm labor (going into labor before week 37 in pregnancy), Inova's Maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists try to prolong the pregnancy for as long as possible. Providers may:

  • Use medications
  • Use specialized monitoring
  • Perform surgical procedures such as cerclage, which reduces the risk of the cervix opening too early
  • Admit you to the high-risk pregnancy unit at Inova Women's Hospital

If we cannot prevent preterm birth, Inova's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides excellent care for the smallest, most vulnerable babies.

Endocrine Disorders and Diabetes

If you have diabetes or another endocrine disorder, Inova MFM physicians provide expert management to keep you and your baby safe. OB-GYNs and MFMs work closely with specialists from Inova Endocrinology to help manage diabetes through:

  • Patient education
  • Dietary management
  • Medication
  • Insulin

Endocrine disorders we treat include:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Type 1 and 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders

Liver Disorders

Liver disorders include:

  • Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP)
  • Hepatitis A, B and C
  • Acute fatty liver

These disorders can lead to discomfort, preterm birth and serious complications, including stillbirth or risk of the mother's life. Inova's skilled physicians:

  • Treat liver disorders during pregnancy
  • Work together to provide healthy outcomes for mother and baby
  • Prevent the spread of hepatitis from mother to child

Twins, Triplets and Higher-Order Multiples

If you are pregnant with twins, triplets or more, you have a higher risk of other complications, including preterm birth, hypertension and diabetes. Monitoring you and your babies throughout the pregnancy is crucial to a healthy outcome.

Multiples often need to stay in our NICU. Inova's Level IV NICU is equipped to care for the smallest, most vulnerable babies.

Conditions Our Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists Treat

In some complex cases, OB-GYNs transfer patients to perinatologists to take over the care and to monitor the pregnancy more closely. In these situations, the maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist becomes your primary OB-GYN. Some of the conditions that require this type of care include:

Placenta Previa, Accreta and Other Placental Abnormalities

Placental abnormalities can lead to challenging issues in prenatal development. Placental abnormalities include placenta accreta, where the placenta attaches too deeply to the uterine wall.

Some of these conditions can become life-threatening for the mother if not diagnosed or managed properly. Inova specialists have the expertise and resources to safely treat patients with placenta accreta and other placental abnormalities.

Rare Pregnancy Complications

MFMs treat serious, rare issues that can complicate a pregnancy, including:

  • Conjoined twins
  • Isoimmunization
  • Renal disease
  • Repaired complex congenital heart disease
  • Transplant recipients

Antenatal Testing at Inova

Antenatal diagnostic testing evaluates the health of a fetus during pregnancy. Non-stress tests and biophysical profiles are noninvasive tests that can help prevent stillbirth or other devastating outcomes during high-risk pregnancies.

Inova uses the most advanced antenatal testing technology, including:

  • VE Voluson™ E10 is a high-resolution 4D ultrasound that can detect fetal abnormalities earlier than ever.
  • Nuchal translucency screening determines a baby's risk of having congenital heart problems, Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. Inova's physicians and sonographers are credentialed in nuchal translucency by the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Foundation.
  • Cell-free fetal DNA screening tests the baby's DNA for certain abnormalities.

Three Inova hospital locations provide the highest level of obstetrics care to our high-risk patients through antenatal testing.

Inova Alfred Khoury Antenatal Testing Center at Inova Women's Hospital
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus

Inova Brock Family Antenatal Testing Center
Inova Alexandria Medical Campus

Inova Loudoun Hospital Antenatal Testing Center
Inova Loudoun Medical Campus
703-858-TEST (8378)

Genetic Counseling

Our prenatal genetic counseling service benefits those who:

  • Are planning a pregnancy after having complications in the past
  • Have a high-risk pregnancy
  • Advanced Maternal Age (>35 years)

Services include genetic testing such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to screen for inherited diseases or disorders.

Inpatient Care

It is one of the largest inpatient units located in Inova Women's Hospital. It's one of the largest inpatient units in the country dedicated to caring for pregnant women requiring hospitalization before delivery.

Our nurses and physicians care for women facing a variety of conditions. Our team includes specialists in:

  • Maternal-fetal medicine
  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Anesthesia
  • Interventional radiology
  • Intensive care

Fetal Care Center

At Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital Fetal Care Center, you receive care from a multidisciplinary team of specialty physicians and nurses. We provide prenatal consultation and pediatric care planning for pregnant women identified as carrying babies with fetal heart abnormalities, congenital disabilities or medical problems.

You have access to all our surgical and medical specialists for a prenatal consultation. Our patient navigator coordinates the consultation and helps you throughout the process of hospital visit and delivery. Because the fetal care, birth and specialized pediatric care occur in the same building, the family and baby stay together during this critical time.

Research and Education

Inova is committed to improving the outcomes of high-risk pregnancies through research and medical advances.

Multiple studies are being conducted at Inova, investigating the causes and new treatments for stillbirth, placenta accreta spectrum, autism risks, hypertension and many more. Study coordinators are on-site to discuss opportunities in which you may be eligible to participate. Research allows Inova to offer the newest and cutting-edge technology for your pregnancy.

Inova is committed to educating the next generation of leaders in women's health. Medical students, OB-GYN residents and subspecialty fellows come here to learn from our talented and dedicated maternal-fetal medicine faculty. Our graduates are located all across the country, but many stay right here in our community to meet the needs of Northern Virginia.