Center for High Risk Pregnancy

Your obstetrician may decide to refer you to a high risk obstetrician, or perinaologist for a consultation or to render care during pregnancy and delivery.  There are many reasons a pregnancy might be considered high-risk. Pre-existing medical conditions such as (but not limited to)  diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart or kidney disease may require specialized care. Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, or more) carries greater risk to both mother and babies than does a singleton pregnancy. Problems such as abnormal growth and/or development of a baby may be discovered during the course of a pregnancy, and require care from a specialist in high-risk pregnancy. Also, women who have had problems with prior pregnancies, such as recurrent  miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery or high blood pressure, may benefit from the expertise provided by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.  The Perinaologists in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at North Shore University Hospital are specialists in high-risk pregnancy care. This means they have completed formal fellowship training beyond general obstetrics and gynecology at an accredited institution to acquire expertise in obstetrical surgery, prenatal diagnosis and in management of high-risk pregnancies.

Pregnancy Consultations

If an abnormal condition or complicating factor is noticed, a patient may be referred by her primary OB/GYN for evaluation and advice. Such consultation may require one or multiple visits depending on the circumstances of the case. A sonogram (ultrasound) is usually included in one or more of these visits. The referring physician will usually provide the patient with a written request for maternal fetal medicine consultation and release pertinent medical records to the specialist for review.

Care during Pregnancy and Delivery

Sometimes, maternal-fetal medicine physicians assume the primary care for women with high-risk pregnancies. If you feel that your pregnancy is high-risk and you call to make an appointment, your call will initially be referred to a nurse practitioner, who will interview you to determine the nature of your risk situation. If you are under the care of an OB/GYN doctor in the area, that physician must formally transfer you to the practice for pregnancy care (you may not initiate a transfer on your own without their knowledge).

Our Women’s Health Perinatologists are experienced in delivering high-risk obstetrical care to maternity patients referred by their obstetricians.  To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call our  Center for High Risk Pregnancy at 516-622-5155, located at 865 Northern Blvd, Manhasset, NY  11030.

Pre-Conception Counseling

Women with a medical condition that may affect pregnancy, such as diabetes, thyroid, heart, kidney, rheumatologic or neurologic disease, as well as those with a history of medical complications in a prior pregnancy, are encouraged to seek pre-conception counseling. The specialist will discuss your history and make recommendations for care prior to and during the anticipated pregnancy.

When a plan is put in place before a woman becomes pregnant, care tends to be more thought-out and organized, anxiety is reduced and the chances of a healthy outcome are increased. Any necessary specialists can be informed and prepared ahead of time, and, if possible, medications can be reduced during the first trimester, which is a critical time for fetal development.

Pertinent medical records should be provided to the maternal fetal medicine specialist before your visit. The nurse practitioner can help you determine what is needed and advise you on how to obtain your records.

Prenatal Diagnosis and Antepartum Testing

The Center for Prenatal Diagnosis and Testing  at North Shore University Hospital and the Center for Maternal Fetal Health at LIJ Medical Center are run by maternal fetal medicine physicians. They work closely with a team of sonographers and nurses to monitor the health and development of your baby. The following services are available to patients who are referred by their primary OB/GYN:

  • Genetic counseling
  • Obstetrical ultrasound
  • Biophysical profile
  • Non-stress testing
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Chorionic villus sampling
  • Amniocentesis
  • External cephalic version

Inpatient High-Risk Obstetric Care

The inpatient high-risk obstetric unit is specially designed for women whose doctors decide they need a period of hospitalization during pregnancy. This may be due to a complication of pregnancy or the woman’s own underlying medical needs. Women classified as high-risk may also be on this unit after their baby is delivered.

The unit uses a team approach, combining the skills of highly trained physicians, nurses, social workers, registered dietitians and physical therapists. The hospital’s full-time staff includes specialists in maternal fetal medicine.

Here, patients are closely monitored and given education about how to maintain an optimal level of health. These efforts are geared toward enabling patients and their babies to achieve the best possible outcome.

To learn more, contact a Women’s Health maternal fetal medicine specialist or request an appointment today.