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3 Reasons Why You Should See a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist

Meeting with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist before you conceive can help you prepare for a healthy and relaxed pregnancy. MFM specialists can monitor how your pregnancy affects chronic health conditions that involve your heart, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, immune system, digestive system, and more. They will advise you about safe medications, other treatment options, and how to stay healthy after delivery. All MFM specialists are obstetricians, but not all obstetricians are MFM specialists. Both an obstetrician and an MFM specialist participate in four years of residency for women’s services. After those four years of OB/GYN training, a subsection will go on to get more qualifications, making MFMs extremely qualified for high-risk pregnancies.

1. An MFM specialist will determine whether or not your pregnancy is high-risk.

Once you book an appointment with an MFM specialist, they will usually begin with first-trimester screening. First-trimester screening connects fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing and during the first three months of pregnancy. This screening can determine the fetus’s risk of having certain congenital disabilities, including Down syndrome, trisomy 13, or trisomy 18. First-trimester screening is a simple screen, and a positive result will be discussed in the context of the specific results. This screening consists of three parts: an ultrasound test for fetal nuchal translucency (NT), pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), and Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) testing. The ultrasound test for fetal nuchal translucency (NT) screening uses an ultrasound test to examine the area at the back of the fetal neck for thickening or increased fluid. After that, pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), a maternal serum blood test, is performed. PAPP-A is a protein produced by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels of this protein are associated with an increased risk for chromosome abnormality. Lastly, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) testing is conducted as the second maternal serum blood test. HCG is a hormone produced by the placenta early in pregnancy. Abnormal levels are also associated with an increased risk for chromosome abnormality.

2. If you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, an MFM specialist will provide you with proper care.

After you have participated in a first-trimester screening and have determined that your pregnancy is high-risk, an MFM specialist will determine the best plan for you and your baby to remain happy and healthy. Specifically, at Unity Maternal Fetal Medicine, Dr. Heather Stanley-Christian provides many services depending on your condition. She provides services such as Amniocentesis (often referred to as amnio), a prenatal test that removes amniotic fluid around your baby in the uterus, Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), a prenatal test used to diagnose specific genetic abnormalities or congenital disabilities in your baby, as well as genetic counseling. Dr. Stanley-Christian also treats patients who are pregnant or trying to conceive and have diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, lupus, obesity, and many more conditions. No matter what condition you may have before or during your pregnancy, Dr. Stanley-Christian will ensure you receive the proper care to keep you and your baby happy and healthy.

3. An MFM specialist can provide you with lifestyle guidance during your pregnancy.

Lifestyle guidance plays a vital role in contributing to a favorable pregnancy outcome. This service, provided by Dr. Heather Stanley-Christian at Unity MFM, offers advice and information to help you have the safest possible pregnancy. This service covers anything in life that would require management for a high-risk pregnancy.

If your pregnancy is considered high-risk due to obesity, Dr. Stanley-Christian will guide you on keeping you and your baby as healthy as possible. Dr. Stanley-Christian also has experience working with female athletes. Many athletes are very active, and the idea of bed rest during pregnancy can be a challenging pill to swallow. If you love to exercise, she will help guide you towards having the safest possible pregnancy. If you or your primary OB/GYN feel that lifestyle factors may lead to pregnancy complications, schedule a consultation at Unity Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Clermont, Florida. Once you meet with Dr. Stanley-Christian, she will review your health and family history to provide you with the guidance you need most on your journey.

Overall, it is extremely beneficial to schedule an MFM specialist appointment, especially if you are experiencing pregnancy issues. When you book your appointment with Dr. Stanley-Christian, you will gain the freedom and knowledge you deserve to keep you and your baby safe and healthy during your pregnancy journey. So, if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, and you have concerns about your health or the health of the baby, schedule an appointment at Unity Maternal Fetal Medicine. Dr. Heather Stanley-Christian will assess and determine whether there is an issue. If you intuitively feel that something is not right, but you do not yet have a label for your concern, Dr. Stanley-Christian can help you.