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Who is a Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialist?
Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialists, also called Perinatologists, specialize in diagnosing, monitoring and treating pregnancy complications in women and their unborn babies. Expectant mothers who face unexpected problems during pregnancy such as early labor, bleeding, or carrying a womb with twin or triplet babies, or mothers-to-be dealing with complex pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, HIV infection, epilepsy, etc., are usually referred to maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists for extra care.
MFM experts work closely with OB/GYNs and midwives, as well as with General Physicians to help keep both the mother and the baby healthy - before, during, and after giving birth. A woman diagnosed with a significant probability of a fetal abnormality is also referred to a Perinatologist/MFM.
What Does it Take to Become a Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM), Specialist?
Maternal-Fetal Medicine is a subspecialty within the field of obstetrics. After completing a regular four years bachelor’s degree at any university, a student gets enrolled for four years of medical education in obstetrics and gynecology. Further to this, these OB-GYNs pursue a three-year fellowship and a state licensure specialization for handling high-risk pregnancies, providing treatments and performing surgeries.
What does a Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialist do?
A MFM specialist usually works with the obstetrician, family doctor or nurse-midwife to create a care plan for you and for your baby – before & during pregnancy as well as after delivery. S/he also works with other specialists who are taking care of the mother-to-be and the newborn after birth. They assess and provide treatment for pregnancy problems such as too much or too little amniotic fluid, conditions in which the mother’s immune system attacks the child’s tissue, and diabetes or high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy.
These experts examine all aspects of maternal and fetal health, using the latest techniques at their disposal ranging from routine ultrasound screening to advanced fetal ultrasound, covering all high risk maternal, obstetric and fetal medical conditions.
When Should I See a Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialist?
You may consult with a MFM specialist before planning your pregnancy or during the pregnancy, as well as after giving birth, depending on your specific condition.
Before conceiving: Meeting an MFM specialist before pregnancy will help in planning a healthy gestational tenure. These experts monitor your pregnancy closely, looking for any chronic health condition that involves your heart, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, immune system, digestive system etc. They are often instrumental in planning a timely course of action to avoid complications in such conditions. An MFM specialist also helps find solutions for multiple miscarriages, or early labor and delivery. S/he can advise you on safe medications and other treatments during pregnancy and counsel you on how to stay healthy after delivery.
During pregnancy: In addition to a regular blood test, an MFM specialist uses advanced testing for screening genetic abnormalities, birth defects, growth restrictions and more. If tests reveal an anomaly or restricted growth, these experts help parents prepare for the birth of a child with special needs, and also coordinate with pediatric surgeons to make plans for treating babies with birth defects after — and sometimes even before — birth. Moreover, depending on the complexity involved, they can decide whether an early birth is for the best. An MFM specialist also helps mothers with multiples fetuses. These experts specialize in advanced imaging techniques, and help deal with medical issues multiples face, such as slow growth or circulation problems. In some cases, an MFM specialist can even perform procedures to deal with issues before birth.
After Birth: An MFM specialist can assess and recommend treatment for complications a new mother may develop after birth, such as heavy bleeding or infections.
What tests can a Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialist recommend?
Some of the common diagnostic tests that a MFM specialist may recommend include a detailed ultrasound to perform a Chorionic Viilus Sampling (CVS), either through the cervix or the abdomen. This ultrasound evaluation is very important as it provides important information about fetuses, fetal size, weight, gestational age, location of the placenta, appearance of the cervix, amount of amniotic fluid and any abnormalities of the uterus or ovaries. Besides this, an MFM may run some other blood tests, or perform procedures such as amniocentesis to look inside the womb and evaluate the developing fetus. They may also perform a placental sample test to diagnose certain fetal diseases and health conditions in advance.
These tests help a Perinatologist plan out a complete treatment plan for your smooth pregnancy and delivery as well as after-birth care for you and your baby.
What Questions Should I Ask a Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialist?
You may consult an online Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist to ask these types of questions:
• How often do I see the maternal-fetal medicine specialist?
• What can I expect at my first prenatal visit?
• Why do I need a specialist to perform my ultrasound?
• Is ultrasound safe for my baby?
• What is a high-risk pregnancy?
• When is a fetal intervention/surgery performed?
• Which birth defects can you correct with fetal surgery?
• What tests do you perform to make a diagnosis?
• Is a fetal MRI safe?
• What kind of support services do you provide for families managing high-risk pregnancies?
• What can I eat or drink the day before my procedure?
• Will I be awake during my fetoscopic procedure?
Why should I consult a Maternal and Fetal Medicine (MFM) Specialist online at HCM?
Find the Answers You Need Quickly: With advancements in technology, we are able to answer your medical questions online within minutes. When you don’t have time to go to a doctor or visit a hospital, our team can help you get the information you need to make an informed decision about your health.
Get Advice From Highly-Trained Professionals 24/7: Whether you want to consult an Obstetrician/Gynecologist or Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist online in connection with your concerns, or whether you need to get in touch with any other specialist online, we have them all. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced doctors is ever ready to answer a wide variety of medical questions.
With degrees from some of the world’s most prestigious medical schools and years of experience in their field, our staff of medical professionals has been thoroughly vetted and verified to ensure that they possess the skills and knowledge to provide sound medical advice. At HealthcareMagic, we are passionate about giving you access to reliable medical advice you can trust. With over 80 certified specialists on board, our team has what it takes to provide life-saving medical advice round the clock, so don’t hesitate to direct your concerns to a Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist online at HCM.
We Value Your Privacy: At HealthcareMagic, the privacy concerns of our patients are given prime importance; confidentiality is our watchword. You can trust that your information is completely protected right from the moment you ask a specialist a question online. We promise to always remain committed to protecting the confidentiality and privacy of every patient.
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