Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Fetal Care Center do?
The Fetal Care Center provides specialized care to pregnant patients when their expected baby is diagnosed with a medical or genetic concern. Our top experts create a complete care plan to help navigate pregnancy and newborn periods using advanced diagnostic testing, close monitoring, and treatments.
Through our center, a team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists, pediatric surgeons, pediatric specialists, radiologists, and geneticists work together to offer a variety of services tailored to the specific needs of you and your baby. These services may include genetic counseling, advanced diagnostic imaging, as well as complex pre- and postnatal procedures and surgeries. Our team of experts and devoted staff are here for you from the start, offering support and guidance throughout your journey.
How do I contact the Fetal Care Center?
To contact the Fetal Care Center, your provider can send in a referral to our team who will reach out to you and set up an appointment. You can also call the Fetal Care Center directly at 855-433-8252 to request an appointment.
Where will I receive care?
Our main care center is located at 1 Long Wharf Drive in New Haven, Connecticut. We also have satellite locations that can be discussed with you when booking your appointment.
Who will I see at the time of my appointment?
During your visit, you will meet various members of our team. Those members will initially often include maternal-fetal medicine obstetricians, a nurse coordinator, sonographers, nurses, and ancillary staff. Pediatric specialists from multiple pediatric specialty areas will be included in your care as indicated by the medical or genetic concerns for your baby.
What specialties are part of your multispecialty team?
Our fetal care physicians collaborate with pediatric specialists to provide expert and individualized care for your baby depending on the condition. These specialists may include:
- Ear, nose and throat
- General and thoracic surgery
- Maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk obstetrics)
- Plastic surgery
How long will my visit be?
The length of your visit will vary, depending on the number of appointments you are being seen for and the complexity of your baby’s condition.
What tests do you perform to make a diagnosis?
Our team has the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions. We use advanced imaging technology to perform specialized fetal diagnostic tests. Our advanced prenatal diagnostic testing, imaging, and treatment options will be discussed with you at the time of your evaluation by the Fetal Care Center Team.
Below is a list of the advanced options:
- 3D & 4D imaging
- Abdominal and vaginal cerclage
- Chronic villus sampling
- Comparative genomic hybridization
- Fetal MRI
- Fetal radiation administration
- Fetal shunt placement
- Fetoscopic laser photocoagulation for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome
- First trimester screening
- Fluorescent in-situ hybridization
- In-utero partial exchange transfusion for twin anemia polycythemia sequence
- Karyotype analysis (chromosomal analysis)
- Level II scans
- Maternal Plasma cell-free fetal DNA testing
- Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling and in-utero fetal blood transfusion
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Selective fetal reduction
How quickly are diagnoses made?
Our team of specialists works together to diagnose conditions as quickly as possible. Immediately following your testing, our team of specialists will discuss the results of the test performed. Together, we will discuss diagnosis and treatment options. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision on next steps. We are here to support you every step of the way.
What is fetal surgery?
Fetal surgery includes a range of surgical procedures used to treat specific birth defects in fetuses who are in the uterus. If it is determined that your diagnosis may warrant fetal surgery because it could possibly prevent the loss of a fetus, correct an anatomic complication to a fetus, or minimize disability to a fetus, our team will discuss this option with you. If fetal surgery is the agreed-upon approach, our highly trained team will perform the surgery at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in New Haven, CT.
What is fetal therapy?
Fetal therapy, also known as fetal treatment, is the diagnosis and treatment of fetal abnormalities. Treatment may include medical or surgical interventions. A medical intervention is medication given to the mother that crosses the placenta to reach the fetus. A surgical intervention can help a baby in utero that may not survive or would be disabled if no action were taken.
We offer advanced fetal therapy at our Fetal Care Center. Because of the complexities and risks of treatment for mother and child, these procedures are only handled at specialized centers such as ours, staffed by our skilled and experienced physicians, surgeons, and nurses.
Conditions requiring fetal therapy are usually discovered during routine prenatal exams. Your primary obstetrician will identify any concerns and refer you to our Fetal Care Center for further exams and consultation.
Can I still see my regular obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine provider?
We will collaborate with your obstetrician to determine the best treatment plan. We will keep your obstetrician updated every step of the way to ensure that your care is coordinated. Depending on the factors surrounding your pregnancy, our team may also co-manage your care with your obstetrician. We develop care plans with obstetricians for cases that require intensive oversight by the team or consultative guidance alone. Our goal is to ensure you receive the highest level of care.
What is a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) provider?
An MFM provider is a specially trained obstetrician who cares for complicated or high-risk pregnancies. Our Yale Medicine MFM physicians diagnose and treat the entire spectrum of conditions, both maternal and fetal, related to high-risk pregnancy. In addition to the management of medical complexities related to the baby, we offer state-of-the-art approaches to caring for pregnant patients with high-risk pregnancies related to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, genetic disorders, and other medical conditions that may complicate a pregnancy.
Where will I have my baby?
Depending on your diagnosis, you will either deliver your baby at Yale New Haven Hospital with our Fetal Care Center Team or at your local community hospital under the care of your obstetrical provider. We will collaborate with your obstetrician to determine the best treatment plan. Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, located adjacent to Yale New Haven Hospital, is home to one of the most advanced neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in the country. The team is equipped to expertly care for our tiniest patients when needed.
What kind of support services do you provide families managing high-risk pregnancies?
When you are facing a high-risk pregnancy, your needs go beyond just medical treatment. You may need emotional, psychological, practical, and spiritual support. Below are some of our support services:
- Child Life
- Chaplains and spiritual support
- Community services support group
- Family support services
- Financial counseling
- Interpreter services
- Maternal Wellness
- Pediatric specialty programs at our Pediatric Specialty Centers (NICU GRAD, Spina bifida, Aerodigestive)
- Patient Experience facilitators
- Patient/Family advisory council
- Perinatal palliative care
- Primary nursing
- Psychiatry services
- Ronald McDonald House
- Social work
What is the role of the fetal therapy coordinator?
Our Fetal Care Center’s fetal therapy coordinator (nurse coordinator) guides you and your family through your and your baby’s care journey. The coordinator is with you from the time your physician refers you to the Fetal Care Center through your diagnosis and care, and often beyond. The coordinator guides you through diagnostic testing, meetings with specialists, and scheduling appointments. They also work with you and your physicians to create a care plan that works best for you, your baby, and your family.