Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a perinatologist?

A: A perinatologist is an obstetrician who has special training in maternal-fetal medicine or high-risk obstetrics. The perinatologists at the San Diego Perinatal Center are all board-certified obstetricians (and therefore, fellows of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology), who are also board certified in the subspecialty of maternal-fetal medicine.

As perinatologists, we:

  • Provide total prenatal care for patients with both low- and high-risk pregnancies.
  • Provide consultation and recommendations for pregnant patients under the care of another health care provider.
  • Perform detailed ultrasounds for pregnant women with or without a referral.
  • Provide genetic screening and prenatal diagnostic services as a designated California state prenatal diagnosis center.
  • Provide preconception counseling to assess overall health and pregnancy-related risks, and make recommendations to help with future pregnancies.

Our dedicated team of specialists collaborates with each other, with our patients and with other healthcare providers to ensure the highest level of care for pregnant women or women thinking about getting pregnant.

Our patients deliver at the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. A perinatologist, a neonatologist (high-risk specialists for premature and newborn babies) and a anesthesiologist are always available, even on holidays.

Q: Am I high risk?

A: You may be considered high risk if you have any of the following:

Current Medical Conditions or History of:

  • Hereditary anemia
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Prior pulmonary embolus
  • Prior deep venous thrombosis or history of blood-clotting disorder (e.g., protein S, protein C deficiency, etc.)
  • A blood-clotting disorder or if you are taking blood thinners
  • Severe lung disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Connective tissue disorders like lupus
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Abnormality of uterus

Prior Pregnancy with:

  • Intrauterine fetal death
  • Death of a new born
  • Baby born with anomalies
  • Multiple pregnancy losses
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Preterm labor or premature delivery
  • History of chromosomal abnormality

Current Pregnancy with:

  • Poor fetal growth
  • Suspected fetal malformation/birth defects
  • Decreased fluid around the fetus
  • Twins, triplets or more
  • Preeclampsia
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Gestational diabetes

You may also be considered high risk if you require medications that may be harmful to the fetus.

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