Overview

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Woman receiving ultrasound from nurseIf complications should arise at any time during your pregnancy, Northwestern Medicine brings you the assurance of skilled care from highly trained specialists1 in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM). We are a comprehensive team that offers integrated and full-scope multidisciplinary treatment for high-risk moms and their babies.

Some mothers are more likely to need a closer watch on their pregnancy, such as those who are very young or older than 35 years old. Our MFM specialists provide compassionate care for expectant mothers who have a variety of medical conditions and offer a comprehensive diagnostic procedures and consultation, including:

  • Amniocentesis (testing the amniotic fluid)
  • Cervical cerclage (closing the cervix to prevent miscarriage)
  • Chorionic villus sampling (testing the placenta)
  • Diagnostic 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound
  • Fetal echocardiogram (to check for abnormalities in the baby's heart)
  • Fetal therapy
  • Genetic testing
  • Preterm birth risk screening

Specialists and care centers

Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists, also called perinatologists, are board-certified obstetricians who are specially trained in diagnosing, treating and managing high-risk pregnancies. Their job is to provide specialty care for underlying medical concerns or past outcomes that could complicate your pregnancy, from pre-conception through delivery.

Find a maternal-fetal medicine specialist

MFM specialists and neonatologists are available around-the-clock to care for complex or unexpected needs of mothers and babies at multiple Northwestern Medicine hospitals.

Our physicians see patients at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Prentice Women's Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital and other regional hospitals.

Through a partnership with the Institute for Fetal Health at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago2 and the integration of our education and research missions, our patient-focused team of specialists address each patient’s individual health needs.

To obtain a referral or schedule an appointment:

Your Northwestern Medicine maternal-fetal care team also includes experienced nurses, certified sonographers, a medical geneticist, genetic counselors, and a team of neonatologists and pediatric specialists from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago2. In addition, the MFM team works with referring physicians and specialists in other medical fields to counsel patients and optimize care during your pregnancy. Physicians at Prentice Women's Hospital are on the full-time teaching faculty of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and are board-certified specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Research

The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Prentice Women's Hospital is very active in clinical research to improve pregnancy outcomes. Areas of focus of this research include prevention of premature birth, fetal growth restriction, fetal infections, preeclampsia, thyroid disorders of pregnancy and asthma. Many of these studies have been presented at national meetings and published in prestigious journals. Since 2001, we have been part of the Clinical Trials Network of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and participated in clinical studies that have changed the way care is given to high risk mothers.

Specific findings of our Network studies include the benefit of progesterone injections for the prevention of recurrent preterm birth, the benefit of antenatal magnesium sulfate for the prevention of death or cerebral palsy associated with preterm delivery, lack of benefit of calcium supplementation for the prevention of preeclampsia and lack of benefit of fetal pulse oximetry for monitoring during labor.

Clinical Trials

The Division has also collaborated with major centers from around the country on multicenter clinical trials in other areas. The collaborative networks have investigated genomic markers of preterm birth, novel methods of prenatal genetic trails diagnosis, determinants of adverse pregnancy outcomes in first time mothers and methods to control excess weight gain during pregnancy. Currently recruiting clinical trials include the following:

  • Benefits and risks of elective labor induction at 39 weeks gestation
  • Treatment to prevent the adverse consequences of cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy
  • Computerized fetal heart rate tracing interpretation to better evaluate fetal condition during labor
  • Intervention to control excess maternal weight gain in overweight and obese women
  • Benefits of antenatal corticosteroids to improve outcomes for infants born in the late preterm period

For more information on these or other clinical trials in obstetrics, please call 312.472.4685 or visit ClinicalTrials.gov for access to information on clinical trials on a wide variety of diseases and conditions.

Related Resources

Learn more about maternal-fetal medicine.

Legal Information
1

In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, the physician(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.

2

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital is a collaborative program between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Lurie Children's and its affiliated physician groups. The physicians participating in this program are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital.