Maternal-fetal medicine, also known as perinatology, is a branch of obstetrics & gynecology (OB/GYN) that focuses on managing health concerns of the mother and/or fetus prior to, during, and shortly after pregnancy. Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) physicians are high-risk pregnancy experts, specializing in the non-routine. All of our Knoxville physicians are board certified in OB/GYN and have completed a three-year fellowship in MFM.
For patients with chronic health problems, we work with other specialists in an office or hospital setting to keep mom healthy as her body changes and her baby grows. We also care for patients who face unexpected problems that develop during pregnancy, such as early labor, bleeding, or high blood pressure. In other cases, it is the baby who faces the non-routine. If we find birth defects or growth problems, we can start treatment before birth by providing monitoring, blood transfusions, or surgery to support babies with the best possible care until they are ready for delivery.
Reasons why you may see an MFM physician:
- Pregnant women who will be age 35 or older at the expected time of delivery (advanced maternal age)
- Pregnant women who have had an abnormal first trimester screening result (for down syndrome and/or Trisomy 18) or an abnormal second trimester quad screen result (for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 and/or spina bifida)
- Pregnant women who have had a positive carrier test results for genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease
- Pregnant women experiencing complications such as bleeding, preterm labor, hypertension, diabetes and others
- Pregnant women with a multiple gestation (twins, triplets, quadruplets)
- Pregnant women using medications, alcohol or other drugs which could be harmful to the unborn baby
- Pregnant women who have an abnormality discovered by ultrasound
- Couples who are pregnant or considering pregnancy who have a family history of birth defects, mental retardation or genetic conditions
- Couples with unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriages or fetal loss.
Our role is not to interfere with the patient's relationship with her regular OB/GYN, but rather to consult with their OB/GYN to provide the best possible care and outcome.