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Every Step of the Way

Every Step of the Way

For most families, expecting a baby is a joyous journey. But what happens when things don’t go as expected? Sanford’s Maternal Fetal Care Center provides the medical expertise and emotional support needed at a very critical time.

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Patient FAQS

What does the Sanford Fetal Care Center do?

Maternal-fetal medicine and pediatric specialists provide comprehensive care for high-risk pregnancies and pediatric care for babies at risk following birth.Services include evaluation, diagnosis and treatment in a supportive, caring environment as well as:

  • Fetal diagnostic testing
  • Fetal treatment procedures
  • Fetal and maternal assessment
  • Fetal surgery
  • Postnatal care for you and your child
  • Genetic counseling

What is the Sanford Fetal Care Center?

The Fetal Care Center consists of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Pediatric specialists who, together, provide comprehensive care and treatment measures for fetal complications during pregnancy and after the birth of your infant. Our mission is to provide caring and seamless care by using a team approach when a fetal complication or abnormality is detected. Our specialists and services include:

  • Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • Neonatology
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Pediatric Urology and Nephrology
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Pediatric ENT
  • Cleft lip and palate team
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers skilled in 3-D ultrasound
  • Social worker

Why would I need to see a Fetal Care physician?

High risk pregnancies may be caused by health concerns in the mother, the fetus or from the pregnancy itself. A pregnancy is classified as high-risk if there is a suspected potential for complications. It does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with a mother or fetus. For example, having twins, multiples, an advanced maternal age, are considered basis for high-risk. Most patients are referred to a Fetal Care specialist for further testing or evaluation.

When do I need to see a Fetal Care Center physician?

Anytime a fetal anomaly or abnormality is suspected by your physician, a referral will be made to the Fetal Care Center for further evaluation. The Fetal Care Center physicians are skilled in identifying the problems and providing you with information and treatment options for your baby. Planning the course of action prior to delivery will help to ensure nothing is missed in the infant's treatment and will help you to prepare.

When do I meet the nurse navigator?

A nurse navigator is dedicated to making your visit as seamless as possible. On your first appointment, you will be assigned a nurse navigator who will meet with you, show you to your physician appointment, help schedule follow up appointments, diagnostic and ultrasound testing and provide tours. The navigator also works with your referring physician's office to schedule consultations, coordinate patient records and facilitate communication.

What is a Fetal Care Center Coordinator?

The Fetal Care Center Coordinator serves as a liaison between you, your provider, and the Fetal Care Center providers. She will help you to schedule consultations and testing with each specialty physician. She will be present at each consultation and is available to answer questions following each appointment. Your introduction will begin at your very first appointment.

Where can I learn more about the costs of care and insurance coverage?

A Patient Representative is available to answer questions regarding costs, insurance, coverage and financial issues associated with your care. Each insurance plan specifies a level of coverage for prenatal care. You are encouraged to call your health insurance provider to discuss prenatal care coverage.

Who makes the decision regarding the course of treatment (the patient and her family or the physicians)? To what extent can I be involved in the decision making process regarding my unborn baby's care if a fetal anomaly is detected?

Our team of specialists works to provide you with the best information possible for you to make decisions regarding your unborn baby's care. It is important that you understand the diagnosis, available treatment options and associated risks. We are here to provide you with support, time and assistance throughout this process.

Can I still see my regular OB provider?

In many cases, yes. It is important for you to keep regular, routine OB appointments with home provider. Your doctor will be informed and consulted regarding your diagnosis, results and our recommendation for treatment. We are available 24/7 to you and your doctor.

What will happen at my initial evaluation? Will I undergo tests during my initial evaluation?

Your first evaluation will take place in the Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic. There, you will have an OB ultrasound or a fetal MRI and meet with a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician and a Genetic Counselor. If a fetal concern is identified, the fetal care center coordinator will meet with you to discuss the diagnosis and what other tests and consultations will need to be scheduled.

Where is the Sanford Fetal Care Center?

We are located in Sioux Falls, SD on the campus of Sanford Health and in Fargo, ND. All of our Fetal Care Center specialists are located on our main campuses.

Do I need an appointment?

Patients are referred to a Fetal Care specialist for testing or evaluation.

What tests can be performed at the Fetal Care Center?

We perform advanced ultrasound, genetic amniocentesis, lung maturity amniocentesis, PUBS (cordocentesis), chorionic villus samplilng, first trimester screening, quad screen, fetal therapy, fetal transfusion, screening for fetal aneuploidy, antenatal testing, and offer genetic counseling.

What fetal treatment do you offer?

High risk fetal surgery, including selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation (SFLP) for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for twin reversed arterial perfusion (TRAP) sequence.

What conditions do you treat?

Preterm labor, preterm premature membrane rupture, cervical insufficiency, preeclampsia, recurrent pregnancy loss, multi-fetal pregnancy, diabetes in pregnancy, hypertension, pregnancy over 35, maternal thrombophilia, renal conditions, lupus, heart disease in mom, gastroschisis, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, intrauterine growth restriction, ventriculomegaly, renal agenesis, mylticystic dysplastic kidney, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and twin reversed arterial perfusion (TRAP) sequence.