Frequently Asked Questions
Our Jefferson Health Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) team is here to answer all of your questions, starting with the frequently asked questions below.
Am I considered high-risk?
There are many pre-existing maternal conditions and pregnancy-specific conditions that complicate pregnancies. Your pregnancy may be considered “high risk” if you:
Have a chronic medical problem, such as diabetes or borderline diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, a seizure disorder, kidney or gastrointestinal problems, heart problems, a blood clotting problem or a history of stroke;
- Take any medication on a regular basis;
- Are overweight, had gastric bypass surgery or are significantly underweight;
- Are over the age of 35, which is considered “advanced maternal age;”
- Had major or complex surgeries;
- Had a preterm birth or experienced complications with a previous pregnancy, such as an unusually big or small baby, preeclampsia or a difficult delivery;
- Had a second trimester or late pregnancy loss;
- Have inherited diseases that run in your family or have delivered a child with a genetic problem or congenital abnormality;
- Have concerns about personal behaviors, such as smoking or exposures in your job or environment, that might affect your pregnancy
We are happy to see you for a consultation to help plan your pregnancy needs. Please contact us at 215-955-5000 for more information or to schedule a consultation.
What can I expect at my first appointment?
Your first appointment may be a phone call intake with an MFM nurse practitioner to review your basic history and obtain any external records. Your first consultative appointment with an MFM physician will include a detailed history, review of records available and plan development to address your specific needs and concerns. We will schedule a pregnancy ultrasound after your consultation.
Who will I see at my first appointment?
You may see any or all of our team members, including MFM attendings, MFM fellows, OBGYN residents, an MFM nurse practitioner and a dietary specialist.
Who will be my provider?
We work together to provide team-based care. You can see any provider on our team and can request a specific team member for future visits, if desired.
What types of care does the MFM program provide?
MFM specialists care for pregnancies that may be complicated due to maternal, pregnancy or fetal complications and conditions. Specialized care can include medical management, procedures or surgeries, fetal therapies and delivery planning. View a more comprehensive list of tests and treatments we provide to prevent and manage high-risk pregnancies. We will see patients for both consultation and management of the entire pregnancy.
Should I consider genetic testing?
We offer options for both prenatal screening and diagnostic testing. Screening tests through maternal blood can identify increased risk for certain chromosomal abnormalities. Diagnostic testing can identify chromosomal or genetic abnormalities with high accuracy. We offer a number of options for non-invasive screening during pregnancy through maternal blood work, and a number of options for diagnostic testing through in-office procedures, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
Our team includes a dedicated double-board certified Maternal-Fetal Medicine/Genetics specialist and genetic counselors to consult with parents regarding their testing options, including preconception and prenatal diagnosis as well as pregnancy-specific counseling.
Can I see someone prior to pregnancy?
Yes, we offer a dedicated Preconception Counseling Program to help you plan and achieve a healthy pregnancy in the future. Our Preconception Counseling Program is ideal for patients who have chronic medical conditions, experienced complications in a previous pregnancy or are undergoing infertility therapies. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at 215-955-5000.
What types of research are underway for high-risk pregnancy?
Our team is actively engaged in research to discover new approaches, techniques and knowledge to improve clinical care for high-risk pregnancy. Our research is nationally funded and spans preterm birth, labor & delivery, health disparities, maternal mortality, substance use disorder, hepatitis, preeclampsia and diabetes.
If you are interested in learning more about our current clinical trials, please speak with your provider or contact our research coordinator at Brandy.Firman@jefferson.edu. You can also visit our OBGYN Academic website to view our areas of research and active, funded studies.
Please speak with your provider or call us at 215-955-5000. You can also view additional Frequently Asked Questions about managing your Jefferson Health OBGYN visit.