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MFM – Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist – There to Give You and Your Child the Best Care


Definition and Overview

Foetal Medicine, also known as maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) is a specialized branch of medicine that attends to health concerns of the mother and the fetus prior to, during, and after pregnancy. MFM specialists treat conditions related to pregnancy and fetal care. These are doctors who specialize in the field of obstetrics. They may perform prenatal tests, surgeries, and other required treatment if necessary.

Who is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist?

These are specialists that treat and guide low as well as high-risk pregnancies to provide the best prenatal care and perform surgeries if necessary. An MFM specialist acts both as a consultant and as a primary obstetrician, especially in high-risk pregnancies. After birth, they work closely with pediatricians or neonatologists for the fetus, and for the mother, they assist with pre-existing health concerns and other fetal anomalies, if any.

When to See a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist?

  • Preconception Care: Before pregnancy, these specialists can provide advice for women with chronic health conditions and to those who have experienced un-routine pregnancy complications in the past. At this stage, an MFM specialist can advice for genetic screening, ultrasound, and other Non-Stress tests.
  • During Pregnancy: Women should consult an MFM specialist during the pregnancy period for a screening of genetic abnormalities, fetal anomalies, birth defects, growth restrictions, etc. In addition to blood tests, these specialists use advanced tests to identify any kind of genetic problems, fetal anomalies, and birth defects. This allows the parents to prepare for the birth of a child with special needs. It also helps pediatricians and neonatologists to make plans for treating babies with birth defects after and before birth. He/she also facilitates in assessing the health of twins, triplets, or other multiples who face a wide variety of risks and higher odds for early delivery.
  • Labor and Delivery: MFM specialists work with other gynecologists to ensure high-quality care during labor and childbirth. They provide expert advice on when to induce labor, and how to monitor the fetal heart rate. Their advanced training and skills help them attend to pregnancy complications, complicated births, such as vacuum or forceps-assisted births, cesarean births, or trail of labor after cesarean.

What are the conditions treated by a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist?

  • Placenta Previa: Usually, the placenta attaches itself to the uterus far from the cervix. In the case of placenta previa, the placenta tends to block the birth canal, in which case you need to consult an MFM specialist.
  • Placenta Accreta, Increta, Percreta : In these conditions, the placenta is attached too tightly to the wall of the uterus and it cannot be separated after the baby is born.
  • Partial Placental Abruption : In this condition, women experience bleeding during pregnancy and an ultrasound shows that the placenta is partially separated from the uterus, then she may be diagnosed with a partial placental abruption.
  • Complete Abruption : In a complete abruption, most of the placenta detaches from the uterus before delivery. Women suffering from this condition need urgent surgery to deliver the baby and control bleeding.

Other diseases treated by Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist are :

  • Abnormal Labor
  • Abruptio Placentae
  • Abruptio Placentae
  • Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
  • Breech Delivery
  • Cervical Insufficiency
  • Eclampsia
  • Face and Brow Presentation
  • HELLP Syndrome
  • Hepatitis in Pregnancy
  • HIV in Pregnancy
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  • Hypertension and Pregnancy
  • Macrosomia
  • Malposition of the Uterus
  • Multifetal Pregnancy
  • Oligohydramnios
  • Placenta Previa
  • Polyhydramnios

If you are suffering from any of the above conditions, search for “Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist near me” and consult one, immediately.

What are the Common Procedures Performed By Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist?

  • Down syndrome screening
  • Uterine Artery Doppler Study
  • Fetal 2D echo
  • Early pregnancy scan
  • Amniocentesis
  • Cordocentesis (Umbilical Cord Sampling)
  • Level II Anomaly scan
  • Scan for fetal well being
  • Chorionic Villi Sampling
  • Ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT)

Education & Training

To become a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, a doctor is required to complete a five and a half years M.B.B.S. graduation program from a medical college that is followed by a post-graduation in Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Furthermore, the doctor has to undergo a fellowship program in Foetal Medicine.