Pregnancy is a remarkable and transformative time in a woman’s life, filled with anticipation and joy. However, for some expectant mothers, the journey may pose unique challenges and concerns. When a pregnancy is classified as high risk, it requires additional attention, specialized care, and a deep understanding of the potential complications that may arise. In this article we learn more about high-risk pregnancy, shedding light on what it means, the factors that contribute to it, and the crucial steps both medical professionals and expectant parents can take to ensure the well-being of both mother and baby. 

We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to engage with Dr. Stafeil, a board certified physician in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine at SSM health, who graciously took the time to answer a few questions for us. 

What is maternal fetal medicine?

Maternal-Fetal Medicine, sometimes known as perinatology, is a subspecialty of obstetrics in which physicians manage complications of the mother and fetus. We assist women considering pregnancy as well and women who are currently pregnant. Prior to pregnancy, we help women with pre-existing conditions prepare for a healthy pregnancy. We also work with managing medical concerns during the pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum period.  

What is considered high risk for pregnancy?

There is a spectrum of high-risk pregnancies. Some high-risk pregnancies are still managed by a patient’s primary obstetrician, but other women with more serious medical concerns need to be followed by a subspecialist. We work with women who have pre-existing conditions such as: chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, heart conditions, etc. Women with pregnancy complications such as preterm labor, multiple gestations (twins/triplets), growth abnormalities, fetal abnormalities are also often managed by Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists.  

What type of care do you offer?

We provide consultative services to review the medical concerns and provide a plan for pregnancy management for a patient’s primary obstetrical provider.  In some situations, it is recommended for a patient to have their obstetrical care followed by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.  At our clinic we provide complete care throughout pregnancy and postpartum. We also perform ultrasounds throughout the entire pregnancy and perform ultrasound guided-diagnostic procedures, such as amniocentesis.  

What made you choose this profession?

I appreciate the opportunity to work with our patients and their families, helping as many women as possible achieve successful outcomes. The technology of ultrasound is a lot of fun, especially with the advancements of improved image quality and 3D/4D ultrasound.  The most rewarding part of my profession is the counseling and spending time with patients, discussing the medical concerns , reviewing the management, and addressing their concerns. 

At SSM Health, they understand that every pregnancy is unique, and are able to support each expecting mother through their high-risk pregnancy journey.  By being proactive and seeking appropriate care, expectant mothers can empower themselves to navigate this unique journey with confidence. Thank you so much Dr. Stafeil and SSM health for this information!

Madison Family
Madison is such a cool city. We love it around here. We live here too and our vision is to create a platform where real parents share real stories and we can all learn from one another. You will get to know real moms doing life right here in our neighborhoods and find information on a wealth of topics – local summer camps, preschools, swim lessons, shops and boutiques, events and experiences as so much more.


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