Every delivery is special, and some need a little more help than others.
Maternal-fetal medicine is a specialty that focuses on helping expecting mothers and their expected babies who have special health conditions and needs.
In the mother, these conditions include:
For mothers with any of these problems, our priority is to manage her condition. Helping to control blood sugar, manage diabetes or appropriately treat pre-existing conditions is important to ensure the best possible outcomes for the mother and her developing baby.
One of the keys to maternal-fetal medicine is being able to analyze and understand the needs of the mother and the baby before the baby is even born. To do that, we use a technique called ultrasound, where high-frequency sound waves are used to give us diagnostic images of the uterus and the fetus inside. We look for issues that can affect the health of mother and baby before and after birth. This allows us to plan for and treat the mother’s and baby’s needs both before and after the baby is born.
Issues we look for include:
- Developmental problems
- Structural problems
- Problems which require early delivery of the baby
In certain cases, we may discover issues that require surgery, because they can pose a risk to the baby, the mother or both. Diagnosing these cases using ultrasound allows us to plan a surgical intervention to correct any problems that cannot wait until after the baby is born. This type of surgery is commonly performed to help babies develop and be born with increased chances of a positive outcome.
Continuum of Care
Owensboro Health can offer support and care for mothers and babies at every step of the way. Specialty services at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital include:
- Fetal echocardiogram: In collaboration with physicians at the University of Louisville, we can perform diagnostic imaging on a fetus to determine any needs for advanced care, with a review of these images by specialists in Louisville. We can then determine if the baby can be born close to home or if delivery should take place at a facility which can deliver highly specialized care. This offers peace of mind to parents and families, as well as timely access to the right level of care.
- Antepartum care: For mothers with high-risk and/or special-needs pregnancies, such as mothers needing minimal activity or bed rest during their pregnancy, we have staff trained and equipped to monitor and meet their needs.
- Level III NICU: Our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the largest of its kind in Western Kentucky. We can offer advanced supportive care to babies born at any weight and as early as 27 weeks of gestation.
- OBED: Our Obstetric Emergency Department is specially equipped to help mothers with urgent needs and issues. This includes close access to dedicated maternity operating rooms and staff with advanced training and experience.
- OB Hospitalists: We have round-the-clock coverage from specialists who focus on the care of expecting and new mothers receiving care in our maternity services areas.
How To Access This Care
Your OB-GYN provider can refer you to Owensboro Health Medical Group Maternal-Fetal Medicine if there are concerns that you need more specialized care. If you have concerns or questions before or during your pregnancy, talk to your OB-GYN provider about a referral.