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Fetal Care: What to Expect

It’s normal to feel nervous and concerned when you learn that your unborn baby may have a health problem. While this situation is new to you, the specialists at the Fetal Care Center have been helping families like yours for decades. We’re here to guide you through every step of the process. 

Fetal Care Nurse Coordinators

A nurse coordinator helps you navigate the diagnostic and treatment process. Your coordinator is available to support you in a number of ways:

  • Assisting with scheduling appointments
  • Attending medical appointments with you
  • Answering you and your family’s questions and concerns
  • Working with your local doctor to convey important information

Visiting the Fetal Care Center

During your visits to the Fetal Care Center you may:

  • Undergo tests: High-risk pregnancy tests include advanced ultrasound procedures and fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.
  • Tour our newborn intensive care unit (NICU): Babies requiring special care after delivery receive the highest level of medical care in our nationally-recognized Level IV NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
  • Meet with specialists, including:
    • Maternal-fetal medicine specialists: Doctors who have advanced training in the treatment of high-risk pregnancies 
    • Neonatologists: Pediatricians who care for premature or critically ill infants
    • Pediatric specialists: Heart doctors, pediatric surgeons, neurologists and neurosurgeons and other experts who treat specific conditions in infants 
    • Genetic counselors: Experts who provide insight into genetic tests for inherited conditions
    • Counselors: Social workers, chaplains and other experts who help families coping with a high-risk pregnancy or ill infant

Maternal Care 

Depending on your health situation, you may decide to transfer your pregnancy care from your OBGYN to a maternal-fetal specialist here at the Fetal Care Center. These doctors provide care for your unborn baby and help with labor and delivery. Learn more about maternal-fetal medicine.

Should you choose to continue receiving care from your local doctor, your nurse coordinator works with his or her office, conveying test results and treatment information.

Newborn Medicine

During pregnancy, you meet with pediatric specialists from St. Louis Children’s Hospital. By the time your baby arrives, you have a personal connection to the doctors caring for your baby. Some of these experts are present at delivery and facilitate your baby’s transition to the NICU, if needed. 

Our newly expanded Level IV NICU is connected to labor and delivery and features private rooms where you can stay with your baby. Learn more about our nationally-recognized NICU.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University fetal care specialist at the Women & Infants Center, call 855.925.0631.