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Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM), also known as high-risk obstetrics or perinatology, provides complete consultation and evaluation of high-risk pregnancies for women and newborns who have complications identified prior to or during pregnancy. The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic works collaboratively with the OB/GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives to do everything possible to ensure the health and well-being of new mothers and their babies.
Some of the conditions that we see and evaluate include:
- Pre-conception evaluation
- History of pregnancy complications
- Fetal abnormalities
- Antepartum testing
- Evaluation and management of medical diseases during pregnancy
- Cardiac, pulmonary, renal
- Collagen-vascular disease
- Hematologic and coagulation abnormalities
- Infectious diseases
- Multiple gestation
- Habitual abortion
- Management of iso-immunization in pregnancy
- Other complex medical conditions
Our clinic is staffed with maternal-fetal medicine physicians (perinatologists), who are high-risk pregnancy experts, specializing in non-routine pregnancies. A MFM physician is an OB/GYN who has completed an additional two to three years of education and clinical experience to develop specialized skills to help both the mother and baby. MFM physicians work closely with other clinical specialists both in the office and hospital setting to ensure that both mom and baby receive the best possible care.
Our clinic is also staffed with registered nurses with specialized training in obstetrics and gynecology, labor and delivery, and fetal monitoring. ANMC’s MFM Clinic has two registered diagnostic medical sonographers, certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, who are specially trained in prenatal ultrasound to offer the highest quality prenatal diagnosis.
Our clinic offers the following screenings and examinations utilizing state-of-the-art ultrasound GE Voluson E8/E10 equipment:
- First trimester screening (certified by the Fetal Medicine Foundation and Nuchal Translucency Quality Review)
- Obstetrical Sonography: high resolution 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D imaging to diagnose congenital and genetic abnormalities
- Fetal growth assessments and surveillance (estimated fetal weight, biophysical profile, fetal Doppler, amniotic fluid volume assessment)
- Ultrasound assessment of the cervix
- Fetal echocardiography: detailed evaluation of the fetal heart to diagnose congenital anomalies and fetal arrhythmias. We work with pediatric cardiologists from Seattle Children’s Hospital to help diagnose and plan prenatal, delivery and post-delivery care
- Antenatal testing/fetal surveillance: Non-stress testing, bedside biophysical profile and amniotic fluid volume assessment
We also offer the services of a certified genetic counselor who is available to work with women and their families who have a significant medical and/or pregnancy history for birth defects or genetic conditions. The process involves giving information and facilitating patient decisions about reproductive options and preventive strategies. The family, medical, and pregnancy histories are reviewed and appropriate testing will be offered.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make an appointment?
A referral from your primary OB provider (OB/GYN doctor or certified nurse midwife) is required prior to scheduling an appointment in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic.
Where is the MFM Clinic located?
We are located on the first floor of the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center at 3120 Diplomacy Drive, across the street from the ANMC hospital. We are located within the OB/GYN Clinic.
How long will it take for me to be seen?
This depends on several factors. Often times we do not see patients until they reach close to 20 weeks of pregnancy. In order for us to provide a comprehensive evaluation of your baby, the baby needs to be grown enough to view his or her major physical structures. Depending on your initial diagnosis and review of your referral by the MFM physician, we may ask you to see us earlier than 20-weeks’ gestation.
Referrals are typically processed within 24-48 hours of receiving complete information. Our nurses process referrals and review them with the MFM physician for timing of visits. If you have not received a call to schedule your appointment after three business days, please feel free to call the clinic to check on its status.
Do I need an escort for my visit?
It is unlikely that you will require a medical escort for your visit. If you have concerns about attending your MFM Clinic visits alone, you should discuss your need for a medical escort with your referring provider.
Will I need to deliver my baby in Anchorage?
Not everyone who has a visit in the MFM Clinic will need to deliver their baby in Anchorage. We work closely with your referring provider and facility to determine the most appropriate place for the health of you and your baby.
What is antenatal testing and why do I have to have so many appointments?
If you have been referred for antenatal testing, you have been diagnosed with a condition that may affect your baby. The most common reasons you are referred for antenatal testing are high blood pressure, diabetes and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (severe itching commonly on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet). Our specially trained nurses are able to perform non-invasive studies that can give your provider information about the health of your baby. Depending on your specific diagnosis, we may ask that you come for antenatal testing once or twice per week. You are always encouraged to initiate discussions with your primary OB provider about your diagnoses and possible effects on your baby.
What is a non-stress test?
During a non-stress test, the nurse will place two monitors on your stomach, one that tells us if you are having any uterine activity (contractions) and one that will trace your baby’s heart rate. This test requires a minimum of 20 minutes but can last longer at times. Your nurse will explain this test in detail during your first visit. We will also monitor your blood pressure and heart rate during this test.
What is a Biophysical Profile?
During a biophysical profile test, the nurse will complete a limited ultrasound exam. This exam can take up to thirty minutes to complete. Your nurse will be watching your baby for movement, tone and practice breathing movements. The nurse will also measure the amount of fluid surrounding your baby. These nurses are not trained to estimate the size of your baby and 3-D ultrasound photos are not possible in this setting.
So, what happens with all this information?
The information obtained by the nursing staff during these visits is reported to a physician who ultimately determines if there is the need for any further intervention. The team of providers in Antenatal Testing is able to communicate with your primary OB provider about the results of your fetal surveillance.
Clinic Hours and Contact Information
Hours: 8:00 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Phone: (907) 729-1779
Location: ANMC OB/GYN Clinic, 3120 Diplomacy Drive