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Maternal fetal medicine

Maternal fetal medicine is a type of specialty care for women with high-risk pregnancies. Your doctor may recommend a maternal fetal medicine specialist (often called an MFM doctor) to provide you with personalized care until you give birth. An MFM doctor is an OB/GYN physician with advanced training in caring for women and their unborn babies during a high-risk pregnancy.

At Dignity Health, providing maternal fetal medicine is a team effort. It involves your doctor and specialists who work together to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.

Find a Doctor near you to receive expert maternal fetal medicine.


Why you may need maternal fetal medicine

Not all women need maternal fetal medicine. Based on your health and results from prenatal testing, your doctor will decide if you need this type of specialty care. 

You may benefit from maternal fetal medicine if you:

  • Have a pre-existing health issue, such as a heart condition, before getting pregnant
  • Develop a pregnancy-related complication, such as gestational diabetes
  • Are pregnant with more than one baby
  • Are pregnant with a baby who has a prenatal condition
  • Have a history of miscarriage or preterm birth


Working with your MFM doctor

Every pregnant woman should see a doctor throughout her pregnancy. However, if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may have to visit your doctor more regularly. 

During a maternal fetal medicine visit, your MFM doctor will:

  • Perform prenatal testing
  • Help you manage any pre-existing health conditions
  • Adjust or prescribe new medications
  • Perform or assist in fetal surgery, if needed

Some women may continue to receive care after they give birth. 

The type of care you receive will depend on your and your baby’s specific needs. Trust the experienced maternity specialists at Dignity Health for personalized care during and after your pregnancy.

As part of our maternity services at Dignity Health, we offer maternal fetal medicine in Bakersfield, Merced, and Stockton, CA.

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The Lauren Small Children's center is named after Lauren Paige Small, a Bakersfield girl who inspired the community through her brave two-year battle with cancer.

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