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The Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine: High-Risk Pregnancy

With a high-risk pregnancy, it's vital that you and receive care from a specially trained health care team.

This specialized care can reduce the risk of complications and help ensure the best outcome for you and your baby.

At the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM), we have expertise in complex pregnancies and preterm births. Our MFM subspecialists are ob-gyn doctors with extra training and experience in managing a wide range of pregnancy complications.

We partner with you, your ob-gyn, and other experts as needed, to care for you before, during, and after your pregnancy.

What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

A high-risk pregnancy is one that is not routine.

It means you or your baby needs special attention and care to stay healthy.

Who's at risk for a high-risk pregnancy?

Some moms-to-be are at higher risk from the start of their pregnancy due to their age or a health condition. Others may develop unforeseen problems during their pregnancy.

Doctors regard you to have a high-risk pregnancy if:

  • You're a teen or over the age of 35.
  • You have a health condition — like diabetes, high blood pressure, or you're HIV-positive — before you get pregnant.
  • You've had several miscarriages.
  • You're carrying more than one baby.
  • You're overweight.
  • Your baby might have a birth defect, a health problem, or isn't growing properly.
  • There's a chance you might have a preemie.
  • You form a health problem while you're pregnant — like bleeding, preeclampsia, or diabetes.

Regardless of what puts you or your baby at risk, your MFM care team can help you through any potential problems. Our goal is to keep you and your baby healthy.

Our Maternal Fetal Medicine Services

Our MFM doctors can provide care throughout all stages of conception, pregnancy, and delivery.

We offer services such as:

  • Preconception counseling.
  • Infertility tests and treatments.
  • Prenatal and postpartum care.
  • Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
  • Diagnostic tests.
  • Genetic testing and counseling.
  • Nutrition counseling.

We're here for you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, in case of any emergency.

We can also arrange hospital-to-hospital transport to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital if you're outside of the Pittsburgh area.

Conditions We Treat

Sometimes a high-risk pregnancy is the result of an existing medical condition. Other times a medical condition might develop during pregnancy, causing a high-risk pregnancy.

Our MFM experts work with you and your health care team to manage:

Learn more and view a list of conditions we treat at the UPMC Magee Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Screenings and exams

You or your baby may need special check-ins while you are pregnant.

We provide a full range of routine and diagnostic screenings and exams for high-risk pregnancies, including:

  • Blood tests.
  • Specialized ultrasound.
  • Fetal echocardiogram (a picture of your baby's heart).
  • Non-invasive pregnancy testing (NIPT).
  • Amniocentesis (a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby to test for birth defects or genetic problems).

Your First Visit to the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine

Finding out you have a high-risk pregnancy is scary, but we're here to help you every step of the way. Your MFM care team at UPMC is well-prepared to care for you and your baby so you both stay healthy.

Before your first visit, we'll need to learn about your medical and ob-gyn history from your doctors.

They should send us:

  • Your health records.
  • Lab test results.
  • Any diagnostic tests or images.

If you have a condition that you manage at home — like blood sugar or blood pressure —bring those logs to your appointment.

Also, it can be helpful to bring a list of questions or concerns to discuss with your doctor.

Why Choose Magee for High-Risk Pregnancy Care?

  • Magee is one of UMPC's renowned centers of excellence and nationally ranked for women's care.
  • The Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine provides full prenatal care and consults by a team of national and global MFM experts.
  • Our patient-centered, team approach brings MFM subspecialists, ob-gyns, and other experts together to provide state-of-the-art care for women with high-risk pregnancies.

Contact the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine

To make an appointment with a maternal fetal medicine expert, call 412-641-6361.

Life Changing Is ... Erin Becoming a Mother

After having a previous miscarriage, Erin turned to UPMC's maternal fetal medicine experts when she became pregnant again — and delivered a healthy baby.

Read her story.