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Fetal Medicine Program

When a genetic disorder or birth defect is suspected or known in a developing fetus, pregnancy care takes a different path than expected. Our program provides multi-specialty pediatric care for pregnant women and their families when facing a complicated pregnancy. Our fetal and neonatal subspecialists coordinate prenatal diagnosis and treatments with your obstetrician to provide seamless care for the mother and her unborn child throughout a high-risk pregnancy.

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Personalized Care

The Fetal Medicine Service at Children’s Hospital ensures that newborns can be treated by subspecialists as soon as they’re born. By determining when a pregnancy may lead to higher risk factors for genetic disorders or congenital defects, we can begin consultation with specialists early on, and thanks to our highly-ranked Northern California pediatric transport services and our staff of board-certified specialists trained for neonatal intervention, we’re a leading source of fetal and neonate support.

Coordinated Fetal Health Services

  • The Fetal Medicine Program is designed to allow for comprehensive neonatal care, from delivery to transport to surgical intervention or other treatment plans.
  • Coordination of services with your obstetrician and family doctor ensure that your child receives seamless integrated attention when it matters most.

Comprehensive Care for Neonates

  • Our multidisciplinary team draws from various departments including cardiology, infectious disease, endocrinology, genetics, hematology, pulmonology, neurology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and audiology.
  • Neonatal Cardiology is a prominent part of the Fetal Medicine Program. We treat disorders of the brain, kidney, liver, and gastrointestinal systems as well.
  • We're also a leading provider of breathing support, infection control, and neurological development in at-risk neonates.

Conditions We Commonly Treat

General Surgical Conditions
  • Gastroshisis
  • Omphalocele
  • Congenital Pulmonary Airway Malformation (CPAM)
  • Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)
  • Intestinal Atresias 
Cardiac Conditions
  • Double Outlet Right Ventricle
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Ventricular Septal Defect
  • Hypoplstic left heart syndrome
  • Atrioventricular canal defect
  • Transpositon of the great arteries
Craniofacial  Surgery
  • Cleft lip/palate
Nephrology and Urology
Neurological Conditions
  • Absent corpus callosum
  • Arthrogryposi
  • Complex congenital malformations
  • Holoprosencephaly
  • Tumors
  • Ventriculomegaly
Orthopedic Conditions
  • Club Feet

More than a dozen pediatric medical and surgical subspecialty programs are involved in the provision of state-of-the-art, compassionate, and coordinated care during the prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal phases. This unique collaboration of experts helps ensure the best possible care for mother and baby. Your team may include the following specialties:

  • Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Craniofacial Surgery
  • Development Specialists
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Medical Genetics
  • Infectious Disease Specialists
  • Lactation Support
  • Neonatology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Maternity Nurses
  • Neonatology Nurses
  • Nursing Care Coordinators
  • Obstetrics
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology (ENT)
  • Palliative Care
  • Perinatology
  • Psychosocial Counselors
  • Radiology
  • Urology

Benefits of Early Diagnosis

Major advances in medicine, genetic testing, and diagnostic modalities allow us to diagnose and treat fetal conditions like never before. Our highly-skilled pediatric subspecialists oversee a full range of diagnostic services for mothers with high-risk pregnancies. Diagnostic tests may include fetal ultrasound, fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fetal echocardiogram (fetal eco), or genetic testing.

Common Referrals

  • A family history of a child with a congenital abnormality or genetic disorder
  • Indications of risks identified through genetic testing
  • Health conditions which may affect the fetus
  • Abnormal prenatal screening or chromosome analysis
  • Suspected fetal structural abnormalities

Coordination Of Delivery

We provide in-depth prenatal consultation and carefully coordinated newborn care during the critical period surrounding delivery. Many patients deliver and continue care in their local community hospital, with follow-up from a Children’s Hospital specialist after birth.

At Delivery Care & Transport

When appropriate, specialists from the Children’s Hospital Fetal Medicine team are present for the delivery and transport of your child. Children’s Hospital is home to the East Bay’s level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

If your baby requires surgery or intensive care after delivery, our highly skilled Critical Care Transport Team will facilitate transport to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

Follow-Up Care

Routine follow-up care appointments are coordinated by parents and their pediatrician.

Additional Information