FAQs for Patients and Families
I have a high risk medical condition and don’t know if the medications I am on are safe for pregnancy. How do I find out if it is safe for me to get pregnant?
If you have a chronic medical condition or are on medications, the best time to discuss this is before you are pregnant. A preconception visit allows the maternal fetal medicine doctor to review your history and medications to make recommendations on when it is safest to get pregnant, which medications are safe to take during pregnancy, and if you should switch medications before you try to get pregnant.
If you have a medical condition and are on medications, and unexpectedly find out you are pregnant, don’t stop your medications without talking to your OB provider. Many medications can be safely taken in pregnancy and it may be unsafe to stop them. The CIMFH MFM physicians will work with you and your primary doctors to get you on the safest, most effective medications and treatments during pregnancy.
My previous pregnancy was high risk, how do I find out my risks if I get pregnant again?
In your consultation with the MFM physician, they will review your history and current health to help to determine future pregnancy risks. For several conditions, such as history of preterm birth or preeclampsia, there are treatments during pregnancy that can be offered to reduce your risk of recurrence. In other cases, such as with type 1 and 2 diabetes or chronic hypertension, there may be strategies to undertake before getting pregnant that can improve your chance for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Our MFM physicians will help you and your primary OB design a treatment strategy for your unique care.
I am having a baby and I am over 35 (advanced maternal age). How do I learn about my risks for my baby to have genetic problems like Down syndrome, and what are my options for genetic screening and testing?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends that women of all ages be offered first-and second-trimester screening and diagnostic testing options.
Is ultrasound safe in pregnancy?
Ultrasound uses sound waves at much higher frequencies than humans can hear to obtain images of your fetus. There has been widespread use of ultrasound in obstetrics for many years with no harmful effects seen. In addition, research studies in humans have shown no link between ultrasound and any birth defects or poor pregnancy outcomes. Current information shows that the benefit of information we can obtain by ultrasound far outweighs any risks.
How do I get a second opinion about a diagnosis in my pregnancy?
The CIMFH MFM physicians are happy to meet with you to review your case and discuss pregnancy management and delivery planning. We recommend that you have all of your medical records available, and we may recommend additional testing or ultrasounds at your appointment.
I have a high risk pregnancy, but I want to continue care with and deliver at the hospital closest to my home with my main OB provider. Is that possible?
The CIMFH MFM physicians will work closely with your main provider (OB doctor, family medicine doctor, or midwife) to determine where it will be the safest for you to deliver with your pregnancy condition. This will depend on if your baby will be born prematurely and need neonatal intensive care or if you need specialized delivery or postpartum care. Our goal is to help you deliver in the safest, most comfortable environment possible for you and your family.
I delivered my first baby by cesarean section. Is it possible for me to have a vaginal delivery with this pregnancy (VBAC)?
The CIMFH offers trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) to patients who have had 1 or 2 previous cesarean sections who meet select safety criteria. If your OB provider or hospital does not offer TOLAC, you can transfer your prenatal care to our team for TOLAC at the University of Colorado.
My baby was diagnosed with a birth defect on ultrasound. How do I learn more about what his/her life will be like and what care he/she will need after birth?
After referral to the CIMFH, you and your baby will have a thorough evaluation, likely including ultrasound and MRI, to get as much information as possible. After this evaluation, you and your family will have a multidisciplinary meeting with the MFM physicians as well as the pediatric specialists who will be taking care of your baby after delivery. For example, if your baby has a heart condition, the pediatric cardiologists and/or cardiac surgeons will meet with you to discuss the care your baby will likely need and outcomes that can be expected. Learn more about the Colorado Fetal Care Center.
Are MRIs safe in pregnancy? Why do I need an MRI if I have already had an ultrasound?
MRI uses magnet technology to take images of your fetus in a noninvasive manner. It can provide detailed images of the fetal brain, and is used in addition to ultrasound if there are suspected brain or spinal abnormalities. This will help to obtain additional information for diagnosis and treatment plans.
What is the pediatric and maternal care after delivery?
You and your baby will have access to all of the region’s top medical specialists at University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Colorado. If your baby needs intensive care after birth, he or she may be transferred to the Neonatology team and stay in one of our state-of-the-art NICUs.