Carolinas HealthCare System

High Risk Maternity Care

A Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist is a doctor who has completed additional training in managing high-risk pregnancies. You may have heard of the terms perinatologist or high-risk obstetrician. This is another name for a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, which is commonly abbreviated "MFM." Following completion of medical school and a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist completes two to three additional years of specialized training within an American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) approved Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program. Members of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine have advanced training and knowledge of the obstetrical, medical, genetic and surgical complications of pregnancy and their effects on both the mother and fetus (unborn baby). They are specialized in prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy.

How is care coordinated between your provider and an MFM specialist?

Many obstetricians-gynecologists are also qualified by training and experience to manage complicated pregnancies. Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists work together with obstetricians by providing consultations, co-management or direct care to patients with complications in pregnancy, both before (pre-conceptional counseling) and during pregnancy. Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists also work together with other medical specialists such as cardiologists (heart specialists) and neonatologists (pediatrician who cares for newborns).

For more information on Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the specialized training involved in this medical field, please visit The Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

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