High Risk Pregnancy
Access to Specialized Care
Pregnancy is an exciting time—but it can also come with its own risks. A high-risk pregnancy can threaten the health of the mother or her fetus and requires special care from specially-trained medical staff.
Desert Care Network’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Center is a state-designated prenatal diagnostic and perinatal center. Using specialized technologies, the center cares for women with high-risk pregnancies and offers genetic screening and counseling. Our staff includes a physician specialist, called a perinatologist, working with registered nurses and sonographers who coordinate with your personal obstetrician/gynecologist to ensure a high level of care.
When you work with our clinic, you will:
- See our perinatologist during each clinic visit.
- Have access to same-day scheduling for certain follow-up services.
- Receive a visit from our perinatologist following your birth experience at Desert Regional Medical Center.
What does it mean to be high risk?
While some pregnancies may become high risk as they develop, many women have a higher risk of developing complications before they even become pregnant.
High-risk maternal conditions include:
- Age, either over 35 or adolescent
- Autoimmune disorders
- Diabetes, pre-existing or pregnancy-related
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid disorders
High-risk pregnancy history of:
- High blood pressure (preeclampsia)
- Multiple births (twins or more)
- Pre-term labor
- Suspected birth defects
State-Designated Prenatal Diagnostic & Perinatal Center
The California Prenatal Screening (PNS) Program, which designates prenatal diagnostic and perinatal centers, ensures that prenatal screening and follow-up diagnostic services are available to all pregnant women in California. This includes blood tests for spine and brain defects, Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS). These assessments indicate risk and are not diagnostic.
For mothers with results that indicate high risk of birth defects, the PNS Program provides free follow-up diagnostic services at our state-approved diagnostic center.
At the Maternal Fetal Medicine Center we offer comprehensive services for both you and your unborn baby.
- Ultrasound. An imaging method used to view an unborn baby. This can provide information on the fetus’s growth, development, and overall health.
- Biophysical profile (BPP). An exam that checks fetal breathing, movement, muscle tone, and amniotic fluid levels.
- Detailed anatomy scan. This specialized scan performed at high-risk Maternal Fetal Medicine Centers evaluates possible fetal or genetic abnormalities.
- Fetal echocardiogram. Performed by a specially-trained sonographer, this test provides a detailed ultrasound of the fetus’s heart.
- Middle Cerebral Artery (MCA) Doppler. Evaluates blood flow to the fetus’s brain.
- Nuchal translucency exam. Evaluates gestational age, maternal reproductive organs, and takes measurements.
- Umbilical Artery (UA) Doppler. Evaluates blood flow through the umbilical artery.
- Transvaginal cervical measurements. Measures the cervical length as this is key in assessing for preterm delivery.
- Genetic counseling. This determines the risks of passing on hereditary diseases to the fetus. Counseling will identify risks, investigate various disorders, analyze hereditary patterns, and review available options with the family.
- Genetic testing. This identifies whether or not the fetus carries certain genetic disorders.
- Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). This procedure tests the placenta for chromosomal abnormalities and has a 99% accuracy rate.
- Amniocentesis. Ultrasound-guided procedure to draw fluid from the amniotic sac, which is then sent to the lab for testing of potential birth defects.
Quality Care for Fetal Monitoring
Desert Care Network is award-winning when it comes to caring for pregnant women.
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) Accredited
Our center is accredited by the AIUM for obstetrics, fetal echocardiography, and adjunct detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound. Being accredited by the AIUM means we follow strict parameters set by AIUM regarding performance and recording of high-quality ultrasound exams.
California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program – Sweet Success Affiliate
Sweet Success is a diabetes education-based program developed for women with pre-existing diabetes (type I or type II) as well as for those who develop it during pregnancy (Gestational Diabetes).
Our staff at Desert Regional Medical Center and JFK Memorial Hospital receive comprehensive education and support to assist in promoting improved outcomes for high-risk pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes and those who develop gestational diabetes.
Sonographers certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography® (ARDMS®)
Our Maternal Fetal Medicine center’s sonographers have passed rigorous assessments attesting their exceptional patient care.
Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care by Blue Shield/Blue Cross
Rated on quality, cost, and accessibility, Desert Regional consistently demonstrates low incidences of episiotomies, low C-section rates, and helps moms deliver no earlier than full term unless medically necessary.
Perinatal Care Certification by The Joint Commission
Desert Regional meets and exceeds strict standards of care for maternal, fetal and newborn health. Some of these standards include commitment to reducing maternal complications, unnecessary induction of labor, elective deliveries, prematurity rates, and costs associated with lengthy hospital stays.
Desert Care Network’s Perinatal Services
Within our network, we provide:
- Full labor and delivery departments at all three Desert Care Network hospitals
- The Coachella Valley’s Only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for premature infants and those who need specialized medical care
- A Healthy Beginnings program offering prenatal, childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care classes