Posts Tagged ‘perinatologist’

Who will delivery your baby?

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

baby arrivesGetting early and regular prenatal care is very important for having a healthy pregnancy and baby. The first step in getting prenatal care is to choose your prenatal care provider. This is the medical professional who will care for you during your pregnancy. You have options, so think about it. Will one make you feel more comfortable or confident?

You can choose either a doctor (physician) or midwife to take care of you during your pregnancy and to deliver your baby.
• An obstetrician (OB) is a doctor who specializes in the care of women during pregnancy, childbirth and recuperation from delivery. About 8 in 10 pregnant women choose obstetricians.
• A family practice doctor is a doctor with training in all aspects of health care for every member of the family. A family practice doctor can be your health care provider before, during and after your pregnancy, and your baby’s doctor, too.
• A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.
• A maternal-fetal medicine specialist is an obstetrician with special training in the care of women who have high-risk pregnancies. If you have risk factors that could complicate your pregnancy, your prenatal care provider may refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

It’s important to choose a health care provider who makes you feel comfortable and listens to you. Click on this link for a list of questions to consider when making this decision.

What is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

A maternal-fetal medicine specialist is an obstetrician who concentrates on the care of pregnant women and babies in high-risk situations. Another name for this doctor is a perinatologist.

A maternal-fetal medicine specialist treats women with a number of conditions. Complications with mom’s health, include:
• A history of multiple miscarriages or premature birth
• Diabetes (gestational or preexisting)
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Preeclampsia
• Infectious disease (toxoplasmosis, parvovirus, HIV/AIDS, etc.) or chronic illness
• Rh disease
• A family history of heart, kidney, or other disease

A maternal-fetal medicine specialist often treat pregnant women who are carrying multiples (twins, triplets or more) as the risk for preterm birth is significantly increased.

This doctor also specializes in the care of women whose baby is known to have:
• Abnormal fetal growth
• A known birth defect or suspected genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18
• A baby with macrosomia (too large)
• A baby with fetal growth restriction (too small)

If you find yourself in a position where the risk of complications is higher than the average pregnancy, ask your current health care provider for a referral to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. You may or may not need the extra care, but it will be good to get a second opinion.

Thinking about another baby after premature birth

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

coupleYour risk may be a little higher, but just because you’ve already had a premature baby, it doesn’t mean your next baby will be born early.

Your health care provider may not have been able to tell you why your baby was born early. Sometimes labor just starts early without any warning. Other times doctors have to deliver a baby early if a mother’s health or the baby’s health is in danger.

There may be things you and your doctor or midwife can do to help you stay pregnant longer. It’s best to have an open conversation about these things before you get pregnant again. When you decide you’re ready to get pregnant again, talk to your provider about seeing a specialist who is trained to care for women who are likely to have pregnancy complications, including premature birth. These doctors are sometimes called maternal-fetal medicine specialists, or perinatologists. Your doctor or midwife can help you find a specialist.

There are some risk factors that make a woman more likely to have her baby too early. Some risk factors are things you can’t change, such as already having had a baby born too early. But other risk factors are things you can do something about, such as quitting smokingClick on this link to read about different risk factors and what you can do about them.

What can you do about preterm labor? Learn the signs of preterm labor (labor that begins before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy) and what to do if they happen to you.

If you’d like to talk to other women like you who are thinking about pregnancy after having a premature baby, visit the discussion group “Pregnant? On Bedrest? Trying Again?” in the March of Dimes online community Share Your Story.  You’ll be able to connect with lots of women who are or have been in your shoes.

How to choose a prenatal care provider

Monday, July 9th, 2012

your providerWhether you choose an obstetrician, a family practice doctor, a certified nurse-midwife, or a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, the first step in getting prenatal care is to find the best provider for you.

Choose a health care provider who makes you feel comfortable and who listens to you. Questions you may want to consider include:
• Does the provider have a good reputation?
• Does the provider listen to you and take the time to explain things clearly and thoroughly?
• Are you comfortable with the gender and age of the provider?
• Does the provider make your partner feel comfortable, too?
• Is the office staff pleasant and respectful?
• Is the location of the office convenient? Do the hours fit your schedule?
• What hospital is the provider affiliated with? Does the hospital have a good reputation? Is its location convenient?
• Is the provider in a solo, group or collaborative practice?
• Will you always be seen by the same provider during your office appointments?
• Who covers for the provider when he or she is unavailable?
• Who handles phone calls during office hours? Does the provider charge for phone consultations? How are calls and emergencies handled after hours?
• Does your insurance cover this health care provider?

It’s OK to ask for an informational interview with more than one provider before making your decision. This is an important time in your life and you want to feel as comfortable and well cared for as possible.