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High-Risk Obstetrics


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High-risk obstetricians, also called maternal-fetal medicine specialists, help diagnose and treat conditions that may put a pregnant woman and her child at risk. The compassionate specialists at University of Miami Health provide a full range of consultation services to help you, like pre-conception and genetic counseling, prenatal diagnosis, and management of medical conditions.

Our maternal-fetal medicine physicians are experts in using high-resolution ultrasound testing and genetic testing, helping you receive valuable information about you and your child’s health. We are here for you throughout pregnancy and beyond — using advanced technology and years of training and experience to help you and your baby stay safe.

Who Is a Candidate?

Any woman who is diagnosed as having a high-risk pregnancy may benefit from our advanced care. You may be considered high risk if you are:

  • Over age 35
  • Under age 18
  • Carrying multiple babies
  • Experiencing pre-eclampsia
  • Diagnosed with conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, polycystic ovary syndrome, or infertility
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs
  • Experiencing pre-term labor
  • Diagnosed with amniotic fluid disorders or other conditions affecting the pregnancy
  • At risk for genetic conditions due to family history
  • Experiencing recurring or unexplained pregnancy losses

Your pregnancy may also be high risk if your child has a genetic condition that’s identified during prenatal care.

What to Expect

First, you will meet with your maternal-fetal medicine specialist for an evaluation. The consultation may include tests like bloodwork or ultrasounds and will depend on your needs. Our team provides safer, less invasive testing to identify conditions in your unborn child.

  • Ultrasounds: checks on aspects of the fetus’s health
  • Nuchal translucency testing: identifies risks for chromosome abnormalities
  • Doppler studies: evaluate the fetus’s blood flow
  • Amniocentesis: tests amniotic fluid for genetic conditions
  • Chorionic villus sampling: tests the placenta for genetic conditions
  • Percutaneous umbilical cord sampling: uses umbilical cord blood to test for chromosome abnormalities or blood disorders
  • Cell-free fetal DNA testing: screens a sample of the mother’s blood for possible genetic conditions in the child

Based on your test results, your maternal-fetal medicine specialist will recommend a treatment plan, which may include a schedule of follow-up appointments, lifestyle changes, or medicines to help keep you and your baby safe and healthy. We offer advanced procedures, such as fetal echocardiography (specialized ultrasound) or fetal blood transfusion (injects healthy red blood cells into the fetus), to care for your child before he or she is born.

You may choose to have your maternal-fetal medicine specialist manage your entire pregnancy or return to your obstetrician with your treatment plan for care.

If needed, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist will assist during labor and delivery. Our specialists can help perform external cephalic version (turning a breech baby into the right delivery position) and offer vaginal delivery after previous cesarean section (VBAC). You may also have neonatal specialists in your delivery room to immediately care for your child if they have been diagnosed with a health condition.

Why Choose UHealth?

Care designed with women in mind. Our obstetrics and gynecology experts provide research-backed care that is tailored specifically for each woman. We help make care more convenient — offering advanced in-office procedures, the latest diagnostic tests for fast results, and access to comprehensive women’s health services for women of all ages — all in one location. Our highly-trained physicians and staff are sensitive to the needs of every woman, so you can feel comfortable and confident in your care and treatment.

Greater access to UHealth specialists. With more than 30 clinical sites across South Florida, UHealth patients are able to receive the excellence of academic health care without leaving the area.

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