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High Risk Pregnancy Care

Maternal-Fetal Medicine Program

For most expectant mothers, pregnancy goes smoothly. For others, pregnancy-related health concerns may develop. In this case, your obstetrician may suggest you consult with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist.

Miami Valley Hospital has the only maternal-fetal medicine facility of its kind in the entire region. Our Maternal-Fetal Medicine program is an internationally-recognized center of excellence. We have five board-certified maternal-fetal medicine specialists who are available 24/7. 

Co-Management of High-Risk Pregnancies

Our team is specially-trained to work with women who need extra attention before and during their pregnancy. Fortunately, very few women face the potential of having a high-risk pregnancy. 

Most commonly, these are women with high blood pressure or diabetes. Some may have lupus or other autoimmune diseases and thyroid problems.  If the mother or unborn baby have certain conditions that make the pregnancy high-risk, we offer consultative services and a co-management program that allow the patient to remain with her primary OB physician and visit us for the high-risk care.

Some reasons a pregnant woman may need co-management include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Preeclampsia (toxemia)
  • Diabetes or other endocrine disorder
  • Lupus or other autoimmune disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Clotting disorders including antiphospholipid syndrome (APA)
  • Twins, triplets, or more 

Your Maternal-Fetal Medicine Team

Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians (perinatologists) are obstetricians who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of expectant mothers and their unborn babies, who may be at high risk for special health problems. The team of specialists with Miami Valley Hospital’s Maternal-Fetal medicine program is specially trained to work with women who need extra attention before and during their pregnancy.

Our Maternal-Fetal Medicine team is dedicated to providing patients with competent, compassionate and consistent care during pregnancy. Because we work closely with a woman’s primary obstetrician, expectant mothers can be confident that they will receive informed, individualized and comprehensive treatment through every stage of pregnancy and childbirth.

Dr. Jiri Sonek serves as the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center’s medical director. Our clinical staff includes:

  • 23 registered and accredited perinatal sonographers – the most of any perinatal center in the U.S.
  • Three board-certified genetic counselors
  • Eight nurses who specialize in high risk obstetrics and diabetes in pregnancy
  • Support staff who are committed to serving the needs of high-risk patients

Contact us Monday through Friday - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at  (937) 208-2516(937) 208-2516

Specialty Services and Programs

Preeclampsia Screening: Your Prenatal Health

Preeclampsia is a condition that affects 2 to 8 percent of all pregnancies, and can lead to serious health problems for both the mother and the baby. The condition usually occurs after 20 weeks of gestation and is marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal, fetal, and infant illness. For the baby, preeclampsia can disrupt blood flow to the placenta, depriving the fetus of oxygen and food. This may cause premature birth as well as poor fetal growth.

Early diagnosis is important to managing preeclampsia. However, prevention or at least delaying the onset of preeclampsia is the best solution.  The good news is that there is now a way to test for it early in a pregnancy. 

Miami Valley Hospital's Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Ultrasound, and Genetics Department offers patients preeclampsia screening at 11 to 13 weeks of pregnancy, during the first trimester. We are the first in the Dayton area to offer such screening to expectant mothers. Screening early in pregnancy helps us to detect most of the women who are at risk.  Treatment with low-dose aspirin in those women can significantly reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia.  Additionally, knowing the signs and risk factors, and consulting with your doctor, you can better manage this condition and have a healthy birth.

If you are interested in a preeclampsia screening, talk to your doctor about a referral to Miami Valley Hospital's Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Ultrasound and Genetics department.  We can be reached at Miami Valley Hospital at (937) 208-2516 and Miami Valley Hospital South at 424-9804

Fetal to Newborn Care Center

Every 4.5 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect or congenital anomaly requiring specialized care. Miami Valley Hospital and Dayton Children’s Hospital have come together to form the Fetal to Newborn Care Center, a new resource to provide a seamless continuum of care to women facing a high-risk pregnancy. The Fetal to Newborn Care Center was created out of the Southwest Ohio Neonatal Collaborative, a joint venture between the Level III neonatal intensive care units at Miami Valley and Dayton Children’s. Women at the Fetal to Newborn Care Center will have access to the expertise at both locations depending on the unique needs of each pregnancy including full access to a dedicated team of maternal-fetal care specialists, high-risk obstetricians, neonatologists, neonatal surgeons and pediatric subspecialists.  Our nurse navigator will guide patients from diagnosis to delivery and beyond.

Learn More about the Fetal to Newborn Care Center Off Site Icon.

Multiple Miracles Program

Our Multiple Miracles program is designed specifically for the needs and risks for mothers carrying more than one fetus.  It brings together evidenced-based best practice and clinical Maternal-Fetal Medicine experience into a comprehensive clinic that provides services, testing, treatment and advice built around you.

Learn more about the Multiple Miracles program.

Diabetes in Pregnancy Program

Our multidisciplinary diabetes program provides comprehensive care for the mother and her growing baby, whether the mother had diabetes before, or developed it as a result of pregnancy. For the mother with diabetes prior to pregnancy, the most common birth defects affecting her baby concern the structure of the heart, spine or kidneys.

By receiving early, intensive management of her diabetes, a mother can help decrease the risk of these complications. For women who develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), we also provide the additional care to ensure the health of mom and baby.

Our team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists, nurse educators and dietitian provide education which includes:

  • Individualized meal planning
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Medications
  • Follow up and support to enable each woman to adequately manage her blood sugars

 Patients and referring physicians appreciate our intensive, compassionate approach. It significantly improves the results in pregnancies complicated by this relatively common medical condition.

Genetic Counseling

Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. They provide information and support to families at risk for having a child with a birth defect, mental retardation or genetic condition. They also identify the risks, investigate the condition, analyze inheritance patterns, determine recurrence risks and review available options with families.

Our counselors provide support and act as advocates for patients. Reasons your physician may refer you to our genetic counselors include:

  • Advanced maternal age (35 or older)
  • Abnormal maternal serum screen
  • Family history or previous child with a birth defect, mental retardation or genetic syndrome
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Abnormal ultrasound
  • Abnormal amniocentesis
  • Ethnicity screening
  • Positive cystic fibrosis, sickle cell or thalassemia screen 

Screenings and Procedures

Not All OB Ultrasounds Are the Same 

At the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center, OB ultrasounds are performed using cutting-edge technology, considered to be the most advanced in the United States. All of our sonographers are specially trained in perinatal sonography by Dr. Jiri Sonek, a world leader in the field of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and perinatology. Learn More.

Routine/Normal OB Ultrasound

An obstetrical ultrasound is a diagnostic test to help physicians manage a woman’s care. It provides information regarding the dating of pregnancy, viability and number of gestations. No test can detect all birth defects, but a thorough ultrasound in the second trimester can help to identify birth defects of the heart, digestive system, skeletal system, brain and spinal cord.

An OB ultrasound can also assess if the fetus is growing normally, if the placenta is in the correct location and if there is the right amount of amniotic fluid. At Miami Valley Hospital, you can be sure the person performing the ultrasound and the doctor reviewing it are both experienced and credentialed.

First Trimester Ultrasound/Screening and Biochemistry

A first trimester ultrasound is often used to confirm viability during the early stages of pregnancy, to confirm the age of the baby and to make sure the pregnancy is in the proper location.

The first trimester is also an excellent time to assess a woman's risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome. An ultrasound can be performed to evaluate the nuchal translucency (space behind the neck of the fetus) and presence or absence of the nasal bone.

Other types of birth defects may also be detected in the first trimester as a result of this screening. Because of our extensive expertise at the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center, Miami Valley Hospital is internationally-recognized for first trimester ultrasounds.

Amniocentesis, Chorionic Villi Sampling (CVS) 

There are two procedures commonly performed to test fetal chromosomes. The first is CVS, a biopsy of the placenta typically performed from 10 to 13 weeks. The second is amniocentesis, a common prenatal test in which a small sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is removed and examined. It is usually performed in the second trimester after 15 weeks.

Some of the indications to have one of these tests performed are:

  • Maternal age (if a woman will be 35 or older at time of delivery)
  • Previous child with a birth defect
  • Abnormal screening results
  • Other family history 

Fetal Monitoring – Non Stress Test

A non-stress test (NST) is a safe, painless way to check on a baby's well-being. Two small monitors are placed on the abdomen and held in place using elastic belts. One of these monitors records contractions and the other records the baby's heart rate. The test normally takes about 20 to 40 minutes and is done in the comfort of our private rooms.

A non-stress test is a simple, painless procedure. We “listen to” and “see” a baby’s heartbeat. This electronic fetal monitoring is a way to observe an unborn baby.

Gynecologic Ultrasound

Information obtained from a manual pelvic exam may prompt further evaluation, and the physician may want a pelvic ultrasound. With a pelvic ultrasound, the uterus and ovaries are evaluated. The ultrasound may help explain findings from the manual exam or provide additional information.

Common indications for a pelvic ultrasound include pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding and suspicion of an abnormality on a manual gynecologic examination.

Occasionally, sonohysterography (image the uterine cavity) may be done as a part of a transvaginal (across the vagina) ultrasound examination. In this procedure, a small amount of fluid is introduced into the endometrial cavity. This may further clarify the exact nature of certain endometrial abnormalities such as polyps and fibroids, which commonly cause abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Learn About Prenatal Care

The Premier Health Library offers a wealth of information about childbirth and prenatal care. Learn about conditions, treatments, how to prepare for childbirth and much more.

Women. Wisdom. Wellness. 

We offer reliable health information and support from a community of others who understand. Article topics include breastfeeding tips for working moms and pregnancy stress relievers, with new content added monthly. Learn more.

Content Updated: August 29, 2018


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These Miami Valley Hospital locations offer Maternity Services.
Family Beginnings at Miami Valley Hospital
One Wyoming St. Dayton, OH  45409
Maternity at Miami Valley Hospital
One Wyoming St. Dayton, OH  45409
Maternity at Miami Valley Hospital South
2400 Miami Valley Dr. Centerville, OH  45459
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