High Risk Pregnancy
For the most complicated of pregnancies, turn to us with confidence
At VCU Health, we’re experts in high-risk pregnancies. We have the experience and advanced technologies to keep you and your unborn baby as healthy as possible during your pregnancy and after your baby is born. And we’ve gathered this team all in one place.
We understand what can cause complications for both you and your baby, and we’re leaders in treating those matters. Our passion is to bring you and your entire family the advantages of our experience and training, state-of-the-art technology, the latest research and proven care.
Our groundbreaking commitments to high-quality care
If your unborn baby has serious health concerns, or you have a condition that makes a healthy pregnancy more difficult, you can turn to us with confidence. We’re committed to you and your baby before, during and after birth:
- Level III Regional Perinatal Center. The most state-of-the-art care for newborns in Central Virginia is here at VCU Health. Virginia has recognized us as a Level III Regional Perinatal Center. (“Perinatal” means “related to birth”). This honor reflects our commitment to keeping our team of experts on standby to care for newborns that we know to have health issues, as well as for those who unexpectedly need some of the most advanced care available. We’re trained and ready to offer lifesaving resuscitation at birth and to care for infants born before they reach full term, babies with severe birth defects and those who can’t feed or breathe on their own.
- Newborn (or Neonatal) Intensive Care Unit (NICU). At our NICU, we’ve built one of the region’s most experienced neonatal teams. And we’re ready to provide the highest levels of care for seriously ill newborns. Our physicians, nurses and other specialists are devoted to you and your baby. We’re committed to offering you the latest and greatest care, every single hour of every single day. As an example, we were Central Virginia’s first NICU with all-private rooms, to give you, your baby and your family the comfort and quiet you need.
- Perinatal Triage and Emergency Treatment Unit. If you have an urgent health condition related to pregnancy, our experienced staff has prepared a specialized emergency room for you. (Perinatal means “related to birth.”) It’s located right in the Labor and Delivery area, where our team provides care using some of the most advanced technology available for both diagnosis and treatment.
- High-Risk Antepartum Unit. If you have either a chronic health condition or a high-risk pregnancy, our compassionate staff here brings experience in advanced care for women in late pregnancy, just before the baby is born (antepartum). It’s part of our mother-infant unit, and our focus is on providing specialized attention to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.
- Antenatal Testing Unit and High-Risk Clinic diagnoses possible birth defects and genetic conditions before a baby is born (antenatal). (Learn more)
- Genetic counseling
- Advanced ultrasound diagnosis
- Research. As a teaching hospital, we continue our history of academic excellence by exploring treatments to prevent or reduce high-risk pregnancies. Our researchers are pursuing exciting work to stop and ultimately prevent preterm labor. And we’re leading cutting-edge studies related to other dangerous conditions that can affect the health of an unborn baby.
High-risk pregnancy team: Bringing you and your baby our best
You’ll be impressed by the confidence our team can inspire, to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. Your team might include:
- Maternal-fetal medicine specialists, experts in caring for you and your unborn baby
- Geneticist and genetic counselor, for health conditions that pass down through families
- Neonatologist, physician who specializes in the care of newborns
- Placental pathologist, to evaluate the health of the placenta, which provides nourishment and oxygen to the baby
- Specialists in pediatric surgery, neurosurgery, urology, orthopaedics, cardiothoracic (heart and chest) surgery and general surgery
- Other high-risk support specialists, like those in our Level III Regional Perinatal Center
- Perinatal nurses, for care before birth
- Ultrasound specialists
- Diabetes care specialists
- Respiratory therapists, and radiology and laboratory technicians
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us: (804) 828-4409.
Identifying birth defects: Antenatal Testing Unit and High-Risk Clinic
With our Antenatal (before birth) Testing Unit and High-Risk Clinic, we’re leading the way in what’s possible in the diagnosis of birth defects and health conditions passed down through families. We work hard and smart to diagnose health conditions before a baby is born. And we have the tools and training to provide detailed, accurate information about any condition we find.
Our experienced, compassionate team includes a perinatologist, an obstetrician with special training in caring for mothers and babies before birth. And we work closely with your general obstetrician, genetic counselors and other dedicated staff.
Together, we offer advanced testing, diagnosis and care for you and your baby, including:
- 3-dimensional and 4-dimensional ultrasound
- Amniocentesis, a test taking a sample of the liquid surrounding the unborn baby in the uterus
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Before pregnancy or after: Genetic counselors provide answers
As specialists in genetic counseling, we understand health conditions that can affect your unborn baby. Our medical experts have special training in genetics (for conditions passed down through families), neonatology (care of newborns) and pediatrics, including heart doctors and surgeons who focus just on babies and children.
If we suspect or diagnose a health condition in your baby, we’ll assemble an experienced team. And whenever possible, you’ll meet with these doctors before the baby is born, to learn all you can about any condition and plans for care.
Advanced diagnosis through advanced ultrasound
With our commitment to bring you the latest advancements in care, we use a variety of technologies to diagnose birth defects or inherited conditions that can run in families in your unborn baby. So as early as possible in your pregnancy, we can decide with you the best way to care for you and your unborn child. Not every baby will need these tests. But they can be an important part of care for those who do.
Ultrasound is one technology our team uses extensively, and we’re experts at using it to evaluate the health of an unborn baby. Ultrasound uses only sound waves to create images, so it’s safe for both you and your baby. Our facility is accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. This means that in addition to our special training and experience with this technology, we consistently show our excellence in using it.
We also perform many other advanced tests to diagnose birth defects or inherited conditions. Learn more about our commitments to life-changing care for high-risk pregnancies.