The St. Louis Fetal Care Institute offers fetal care coordination, a team-based approach to create the right plan of care for you, your family, and your unborn child.
Every case is unique and we will work with you to meet the needs of your family.
Our innovative team-oriented approach typically follows this process:
- First, your obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine specialist refers you to us.
- The FCI Team will review your case and one of our care coordinators will call to welcome you to the program and arrange your initial visit.
- Your care coordinator will handle the arrangement of any special, state-of-the-art testing you may need. Depending on the diagnosis, this may include:
- Level II ultrasound
- A detailed 3d and 4d high resolution ultrasound that allows for a targeted examination of the fetus. Level II ultrasounds are also used to look at the organs, including the umbilical cord, the growth of the fetus, amniotic fluid levels, the location of the placenta, and the fetal heart rate. A level II ultrasound can take up to 2 hours when screening for fetal abnormalities.
- Fetal MRI
- Gives a more detailed image of the fetus. The MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images. The MRI is not harmful to the mother or baby and usually takes about 30 minutes to complete.
- Fetal echocardiogram (ECG)
- A detailed ultrasound that focuses on the intrauterine growth and development of the fetal heart and vessels. This test can be done to rule out any fetal anomalies or abnormal fetal heart rhythms.
- A diagnostic test where a sample of amniotic fluid is drawn out of the uterus and sent for genetic analysis. This test can tell us if the baby has specific genetic diseases or abnormalities.
- We use these tests to take highly specialized measurements that help accurately assess the diagnosis and prognosis of your baby.
You will meet with a wide variety of care givers and specialists who will help coordinate your care, including a genetic counselor, social worker, sonographer, nurse, Footprints coordinator, and financial counselor.
Consultations are scheduled with pediatric physicians specialized in the care of certain conditions, depending on the needs of your baby.
We collect all the diagnostic information, talk to you about your family history, talk to your primary obstetrician, and discuss your unique family needs.
Coordinating care in this way makes it possible for us to provide families with the most accurate information, so that parents can make informed decisions. We hope to provide as much support to you and your family as possible during a very stressful time.
- The FCI team will meet as a group to discuss your case: the prognosis, any uncertainties, and recommendations for the pregnancy and delivery.
- Then we will meet with you and your family to share our recommendations. These may include guidance regarding the monitoring of your pregnancy, follow-up testing, interventions, therapy during pregnancy and after delivery, delivery time, delivery location, mode of delivery and follow-up after birth.
- Throughout your pregnancy we will work with you to create a birth plan. Our goal is to create a plan of care that can be shared with everyone involved in the care of you and your baby during pregancy, at delivery, and into the future.
Ultimately, we aim to achieve the best possible outcomes for your baby and your family by:
- Incorporating cutting-edge technology to diagnose, monitor, and treat your baby.
- Improving communications between doctors, nurses, staff, and your family.
- Doing everything we can to prepare for and treat complications during complex fetal deliveries.