High-Risk Pregnancy Care

When challenges arise during pregnancy, we can help you and your baby have a safe and healthy delivery.

If you are at risk of premature delivery or other pregnancy complications, our experts in high-risk maternal-fetal medicine and pediatrics will create a comprehensive care plan for you based on your unique needs.

What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

Those with a high-risk pregnancy typically work with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist to ensure a safe delivery for their baby. You may be considered high risk if you:

  • Anticipate fetal birth defects
  • Expect twins, triplets or more babies
  • Experienced a pregnancy loss
  • Have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain infectious diseases or kidney disease
  • Have a history of pre-term labor and delivery

Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists are available at locations across Middle Tennessee.

The Fetal Center at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Patients from around the country turn to us when they have a concerning diagnosis during pregnancy. Our Fetal Center at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital provides complete consultations for pregnant mothers whose unborn child is at risk of fetal abnormalities.

We are experts at diagnosing and treating complex conditions, including cleft lip or cleft palate, congenital cystic lung abnormalities, congenital heart disease, gastroschisis and intestinal abnormalities, and myelomingocele and hydrocephalus.

Care for Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects roughly 7 to 10 percent of pregnant mothers. Our Diabetes Center Gestational Diabetes Education Program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for providing the highest level of care for women who develop GDM during their pregnancy.

Visit the Diabetes Center Gestational Diabetes Education Program for more information on the center and managing your GDM.

Genetic Counseling

Genetic counseling can help you understand if your baby is at risk for a birth defect or inherited disorder. Risk factors can include abnormal test results, environmental exposures, family history, medication and ultrasound findings.

Our genetic counselors are experts in prenatal assessment and testing. We help women who are currently expecting or are planning a pregnancy in which the baby may have birth defects or a genetic condition.

Genetic counseling begins with an initial visit to discuss your health history, your family's and your partner's. Your genetic counselor will help you understand your risks, any recommended tests, and the meaning of any test results. Your counselor will work closely with your doctor to develop a care plan for you and your baby.

Universal Carrier Screening

Genetic diseases can be passed down to babies from healthy parents who are “carriers,” but do not show symptoms of the disease. Therefore, the majority of babies born with a genetic disorder often do not have a known family history of the disease.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, we offer universal genetic carrier screening, which involves a simple blood test. The screening informs us if you and your partner carry genes associated with genetic diseases. This allows you to learn if you are at risk of having a child with a genetic disorder. To learn more, download our patient handouts:

Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is considered the leading perinatal center for Middle Tennessee. We provide services and a level of care unavailable elsewhere in the region.

Depending on your baby's diagnosis, she or he may be cared for in the NICU after delivery.