What to Expect

As a patient of the Fetal Care Center, you can expect the best possible care for your baby, beginning with a comprehensive set of tests and consultations with specialists. Our goal is to make sure you feel prepared and informed every step of the way – from pregnancy through labor and follow-up care. That starts before your first visit, with a call from your nurse coordinator.

Before Your First Visit to the Fetal Care Center

Before your first visit, your nurse coordinator will be your guide. She will:
  • Schedule all the necessary tests and appointments for you
  • Send you a questionnaire that should be filled out before your visit
  • Email you a map of our campus and review travel and lodging plans with you, if needed
  • Be available to answer your questions

Meet our nurse coordinators.

First Appointment at the Fetal Care Center: What to Expect

On the day of your visit, your nurse coordinator will meet you when you arrive and accompany you to every appointment. Your first appointment is usually a full-day visit, with important tests and consultations:

Diagnostic Testing

At your first appointment, you will receive a specialized ultrasound from a maternal-fetal medicine specialist trained to diagnose serious problems in babies before they are born.

Based on the results of that test, our specialists may recommend other tests to detect certain birth defects and genetic disorders, or learn more about your baby's condition with an MRI or other imaging tests.

Learn more about the ultrasound and genetic testing at the Fetal Care Center 
Consultations with Specialists

Specialists at the Fetal Care Center will review the results of all your tests along with your medical records and information from your referring healthcare provider. Our doctors sit down with you and your family to explain their diagnosis and possible treatment options. We will develop a detailed plan of care for you and your baby.

New patients usually meet with the following specialists:

  • Maternal-fetal medicine specialists: These special OB-GYN doctors focus on women with high-risk pregnancies. These doctors are located in the Women's Health Center located on the 5th floor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Meet our maternal-fetal medicine specialists.
  • Pediatric specialists: These doctors work with your family to anticipate the events at the time of birth and beyond. Based on your baby's condition, they also provide care at birth, before your baby is transferred to the NICU, if necessary. Meet our newborn medicine team.

Your Nurse Coordinator will accompany you and your family to these consultations.

Obstetric Care and High-Risk Delivery

Some mothers with a high-risk pregnancy will transfer their OB care to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Other mothers will return home and receive their pregnancy care from their local OB with a few return visits to the Fetal Care Center. If you choose to stay with your home OB-GYN, our Fetal Care Center doctors will communicate diagnosis, test results and treatment recommendations with your OB-GYN.

If you choose to deliver at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, maternal-fetal medicine specialists will be present for the birth of your baby. Any needed pediatric specialists will also be present to stabilize your baby if needed before he or she is taken to the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Contact Us

For more information, contact The Fetal Care Center at 866.867.3627.

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