If you’re pregnant or planning to expand your family soon, one of the most important choices regarding your prenatal care is precisely what type of doctor to go to for your pregnancy needs.
While it may seem like the most obvious choice to go with your regular OBGYN or locally known and trusted midwife team, your selection may not always be so black and white.
Exploring your options and selecting the type of provider you think is best for you and your family is key to a successful pregnancy, from conception to comprehensive and compassionate postnatal care.
The first thing to understand about your pregnancy care is that you may need a high-risk pregnancy specialist to work directly with your OBGYN throughout your pregnancy if you’re considered high risk.
At HRPC, we understand that choosing a high-risk pregnancy specialist can feel overwhelming, but we are here to help you take the guesswork out of the process.
Let’s discuss the role of high-risk pregnancy specialists, including when you may need one, in further detail.
What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy Specialist?
Often referred to as maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) doctors or perinatologists, high-risk pregnancy specialists are specialized OBGYNs who have completed specialty training and comprehensive education to manage all types of high-risk pregnancies and fertility issues effectively.
What Do High-Risk Specialists Do?
It is important to remember that your specific care will be based entirely on your unique fertility, pregnancy, and postnatal needs.
A high-risk pregnancy specialist can help with any of the following tasks:
- Providing personalized recommendations for care based on your unique high-risk concerns that may affect the mother and child
- Closely following and monitoring a mother’s at-risk issues
- Ordering and providing testing and treatment for the best interest of the mother and child
- Handling advanced imaging
- Performing genetic testing
- Managing high-risk pregnancies alongside your OBGYN
Who Should See a High-Risk Pregnancy Specialist?
In general, we recommend regular visits with a high-risk pregnancy specialist to anyone who is
- experiencing fertility issues or difficulty conceiving
- at risk for a high-risk pregnancy due to previous premature or abnormal pregnancies
- at increased risk of complications during pregnancy
- living with preexisting conditions that should be monitored before conception and throughout pregnancy and postpartum
You may fall into one or more of these categories if you are currently living with
- Autoimmune disorders
- Blood clotting disorders
- Seizure disorders
- Heart issues
- Infectious diseases
- Mental health disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Nutritional issues
Collaborative Pregnancy Care Provider Options
When deciding on the head of your care team for fertility, prenatal, and postnatal care, you will most likely choose between the following types of providers to work alongside your high-risk pregnancy specialist.
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Midwives are trained and certified gynecological professionals. They can help with various pregnancy stages, from early exams to deliveries.
For most, midwives are considered the more holistic option for pregnancy and childbirth.
A midwife is best suited for those considered healthy with no preexisting conditions.
A midwife can only assist with vaginal births but can partner with OBGYNs to handle a cesarean section if necessary.
Obstetrician / Gynecologist (OBGYN)
An OBGYN is a professional medical doctor with extensive education and training in the specialized care of women throughout the fertility, prenatal, and postnatal stages of pregnancy.
While not a high-risk pregnancy specialist, an OBGYN can help diagnose and manage high-risk pregnancy conditions and complications alongside your chosen specialist.
High-Risk Pregnancy Care You Can Count On
At HRPC, we believe in a team-minded approach to your pregnancy journey. We work collaboratively with your other doctors with one goal: a healthier pregnancy for you and your growing family.
We are here to tell you that you don’t have to navigate the risks of a high-risk pregnancy alone. Contact us today to learn more about our care philosophy and choose a maternal-fetal medicine doctor that is right for you and your family.