CARING FOR MOTHER & BABY’S HEALTH BEFORE DELIVERY
Mother and baby care start during pregnancy while the baby is still in the womb. Maternal Fetal Medicine is just as important as the childbirth itself. It is a sub-specialty under Obstetrics & Gynecology that focuses on the management of high-risk pregnancies and pregnancy complications affecting the mother and/or her unborn baby.
When to see a Maternal Fetal Medicine Expert
Pre-existing medical conditions
Mothers with pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, kidney diseases and thyroid diseases will have to be managed to ensure a safe pregnancy. Management will require optimization, monitoring and treatment.
Advanced maternal age
Pregnancy beyond the age of 35 bears an increased risk of complications such as hypertension, diabetes, miscarriages, stillbirths, birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. Pregnant mothers in this category will require close monitoring, screening and diagnostic tests.
Previous complicated pregnancies
Mothers with a history of preterm labour, cervical insufficiency, miscarriages or other pregnancy-related complications as well as mothers who has or has had a child with birth defects, genetic disorders or unexplained fetal demise; should be assessed, counseled and closely monitored.
Multiple pregnancies, either with twins, triplets or more, whether spontaneous or conceived through artificial reproductive techniques, are at a higher risk of birth defects, fetal growth restrictions and preterm labor, among other issues. These conditions will require screening, diligent monitoring and a proper delivery plan.
Women who are obese have a greater risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy; therefore, they will require monitoring and treatment for a good pregnancy outcome.
A Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist is trained to detect and identify certain birth defects during a detailed ultrasound. If a birth defect is detected, further diagnostic tests will be required. Following that, the pregnant mother will also require a tailored antenatal and delivery plan aiming to optimize the quality of life of her unborn child.
Maternal Fetal Medicine at Columbia Asia
According to Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, in 2022 there only 23 maternal fetal medicine specialists in the entire country as opposed to the need for at least 86 to meet the demands of communities nationwide. Columbia Asia is fortunate to have such experts to address multiple health issues of the pregnant mother and her unborn child, as well as to prepare future mothers and investigate their health condition to ensure they can bear a child safely. The following are services under Maternal Fetal Medicine at Columbia Asia:
- Pre-pregnancy counselling for patients with medical/surgical disorders or Obstetric & Gynaecology problems.
- Comprehensive antenatal management & care: twins and higher order pregnancies, high risk pregnancies, advanced maternal age, pregnancy above 35 years old etc.
- Advanced & specialised ultrasound scans: Nuchal scans, detailed fetal anomaly scans, 3D/4D scans, fetal Doppler scans, etc.
- Identifying & managing fetal genetic problems & birth defects
- Diagnostic obstetrical and gynaecological ultrasounds
- Latest fetal genetic & chromosomal tests & procedures (eg. NIPT, amniocentesis, etc.)
- All obstetrical and gynaecological procedures & surgeries