Frequent Question

What range of care is provided at Hill Country Maternal Fetal Medicine (HCMFM)?

Maternal-fetal medicine physicians specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and care of mothers and their unborn babies that are at an increased risk for potential health problems. Some patients only require one consultation to help them prepare, and to help fully educate their obstetrician, family practitioner or nurse-midwife of the complications and how they should be managed. Others may require ongoing care from a maternal-fetal medical specialist, which will allow us to closely monitor the mother and baby’s condition throughout the pregnancy, as well as participate in the delivery. In some instances, your maternal-fetal medical specialist may also be consulted following the delivery to diagnose and/or manage any adverse pregnancy or postpartum problems.

What is a high-risk pregnancy?

A high-risk pregnancy is when a mother and/or fetus experience some condition that increases their risk for complications during and/or after the pregnancy.

What common medical illnesses and obstetric high-risk conditions does HCMFM manage?

Some common medical illnesses we treat include: diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, seizure disorders and blood clotting disorders. In addition, we are experienced in managing specific infectious diseases such as HIV and parvovirus that may affect both the mother and child.

We provide a full range of obstetric care for women with high-risk pregnancies, which include mothers who have a higher chance for preterm deliveries, multiple gestations, placenta problems and cervical insufficiency. We also are experienced in the management of preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes and other various complications that are associated with high-risk pregnancies and that could have a potential impact on the development of the child.

What common fetus illnesses does HCMFM manage?

Our specialists manage a wide range of fetal illnesses and abnormalities, including birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities, blood disorders, genetic syndromes, arrhythmias, immature growth abnormalities and congenital infections. We are specially trained in utilizing ultrasound technology to assist us in the diagnosis of such illnesses as birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities. A multidisciplinary approach may be necessary for more complex cases of birth defects, congenital heart defects of neural tube defects. Normally, specialized care that includes fetal testing and interventions are necessary when fetal illnesses are present in a pregnancy.

What procedures do HCMFM specialists perform?

In addition to common obstetric procedures such as external cephalic version, amniocentesis and operative vaginal and cesarean delivery, our specialists are skilled in chorionic villus sampling (CVS), fetal transfusion, fetal biopsy, diagnostic fetoscopy and other procedures that are specific to multiple gestations. We are highly trained in using ultrasound technology for screening and diagnostic exams of the fetus, placenta, uterus and cervix throughout the pregnancy.

Do the HCMFM specialists work with other specialists?

We often work alongside the mother’s obstetrician, family practitioner or midwife to create a personalized plan of care that will meet the specific needs of the mother and baby. We may also work with other adult medical and surgical subspecialists, anesthesiologists and critical care team members if necessary. In addition, we work in conjunction with the pediatrician and neo-natologist to ensure your baby receives an optimal personalized treatment plan.

How often will I see my HCMFM specialist?

We can help mothers understand and prepare for the risks of their pregnancy, especially those with medical conditions like diabetes or hypertension.

Throughout the pregnancy, we provide care for pre-existing medical conditions and for any complications that may relate to the fetus. As these complications arise, we will work with your obstetrician to develop a personalized care plan. In some cases, we may have to take full responsibility of the mother and baby’s care if it is beyond your obstetrician or midwife’s level of expertise.

For some, complications occur after the pregnancy, such as postpartum hypertension and resistant infection. It is possible that these may have long-term effects on the woman’s health. We will provide care for the immediate problem and develop a personalized prevention plan to reduce to risk of future complications.

What type of research does a maternal-fetal medicine specialist do?

We continuously strive to discover new ways to improve the health of pregnant women and their unborn child. These studies range from laboratory studies of the tiniest molecules that mange the development of pregnancy to clinical health studies of medicines and/or interventions that improve the outcome of a pregnancy. Our goal is to provide pregnant women with the most effective and efficient care possible.