Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) is a sub-specialty within the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It is the discipline of medicine which focuses on high risk pregnancies. An MFM physician is a high risk pregnancy expert.
Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians must complete 4 years of Obstetrics and Gynecology training followed by 3 years of additional education and clinical experience (Fellowship) in the discipline of high risk pregnancies. This extra training enables them to conduct and interpret research on new approaches for pregnancy problems. Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians partner with multiple caregivers to consult, co-manage or care directly for complicated situations before, during and after pregnancy.
MFM physicians focus their practice on both the mother and unborn baby to ensure the best possible outcome. For mothers with prior pregnancy complications or underlying medical problems (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease or clotting disorders) they work to keep the mother as healthy as possible during pregnancy. They also care for mothers who face unexpected problems which develop during pregnancy, such as repeated miscarriages, preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, bleeding or preeclampsia. In other cases, it is the baby who faces something unexpected. MFM physicians are experts in prenatal ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis. If they find genetic abnormalities, birth defects or growth problems with the fetus, they can start treatment before birth, providing monitoring, blood transfusions or surgery to support babies with the best possible care until they are ready to arrive in the world.
Adapted from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (www.smfm.org)
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