The maternal mortality rate in India per 1,00,000 live births in the most recent year, 2017 was 145, according to The World Bank data. Although the rate has fallen over the years preceding 2017, high-risk pregnancies still pose threats to pregnant women’s lives. The neonatal mortality rate has also reduced over the years but was still recorded to be 21.7 per 1,000 live births in 2019, the most recent year.
How to reduce these mortality rates further? By opting for fetal medicine (maternal fetal medicine or MFM) during pregnancy. Its purpose is to manage the health risks of the pregnant woman and her foetus, during and exactly after pregnancy. MFM experts monitor the development and health of the foetus at each growth stage, discover and manage any complications and treat any disorders or congenital anomalies in the womb itself.
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Why Do You Require Fetal Medicine During Pregnancy?
You need to see an MFM specialist to know whether you are going to have a healthy pregnancy, baby and delivery. You may also consult the expert if you wish to discontinue your pregnancy due to any risk.
Your pregnancy might be high-risk if:
- You are pregnant with multiples.
- Before getting pregnant, you knew you had heart disease, diabetes, blood clotting problems, hypertension, autoimmune conditions, seizures, or infections like HIV.
- Earlier you had pregnancy issues, such as premature birth.
You must also see an expert of fetal medicine if:
- You need special pregnancy tests, treatment or counselling.
- You or your foetus develop any health issues during your pregnancy.
- On ultrasound, it’s detected that your baby has a birth defect or another problem.
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What is Involved in Fetal Medicine?
- Management of the pregnant woman’s current health conditions like diabetes and hypertension and those after pregnancy like infections and too much bleeding
- Regular prenatal care for women with a high-risk pregnancy
- Care for those who develop complications during pregnancy and/or childbirth
- Screenings for birth defects and genetic disorders using invasive tests, such as chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis and umbilical cord sampling:
- Chorionic villus sampling involves examining the cell fluid from a small placental tissue for genetic study.
- Amniocentesis involves examining the fluid taken from the amniotic sac surrounding the foetus, or the fetal fluid.
- Umbilical cord sampling (cordocentesis or funipuncture) is an ultrasound process where the position of the foetus and the umbilical cord is shown on a monitor. Then a fetal blood sample is withdrawn from the umbilical cord to test it.
- Identifying pregnancy risks and advising how to ensure healthy pregnancies in the future
- Diagnosing and managing blood disorders, birth defects and heart conditions in the baby
- Non-invasive tests and medical procedures, such as ultrasound to observe the growth of the baby and the development of the organs
- Recommendation of surgical treatment if needed
- Monitoring of labour and taking care of the delivery
Whenever you are pregnant, consider asking your doctor about visiting the best MFM specialist to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. After your baby is born, take him/her to a child specialist in Hyderabad for regular pediatric checkups.
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