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Maternal-Fetal Medicine (High-risk Pregnancies)

mom and baby

Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM), or Perinatology, refers to the specialized care of pregnant women and their fetuses. Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists are experienced in a wide variety of complex maternal-fetal conditions and will partner with you to keep both you and your baby healthy.

It is our goal as maternal-fetal medicine specialists to care for normal pregnancies as well as those who are high-risk. Our doctors monitor and evaluate women throughout their pregnancies and deliver them at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Learn more about our Birthing Center.

Meet our maternal-fetal medicine specialists.


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What is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist?

Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Johns Hopkins, explains the role of a maternal-fetal medicine specialist (MFM) and how MFMs collaborate with general obstetricians to achieve healthy outcomes for both mother and baby in high-risk pregnancies.

Conditions evaluated and treated include:

  • Maternal conditions or diseases, including:
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Preeclampsia (toxemia)
    • Maternal metabolic diseases, including diabetes (both pregestational and gestational types)
    • Infectious diseases (to include parvovirus, toxoplasmosis, hepatitis, HIV, and AIDS)
    • Platelet alloimmunization (NAIT or FMAIT) (e.g. Rh negative mother sensitized to an Rh positive fetus)
    • Maternal lupus (collagen vascular disorder)
    • Poor past obstetrical history (e.g. past preterm deliveries, preterm labor, preterm cervical dilatation, premature rupture of membranes, repetitive pregnancy loss)
  • Multiple gestation (twins and higher order multiples)
  • A known/suspected fetal anomaly
    • Suspected abnormal fetal growth
    • Macrosomia (a baby that is too large)
    • Fetal growth restriction (a baby that is too small)
  • Maternal family history of:
    • Cardiac disease
    • Renal disease
    • Gastrointestinal disease
    • Cystic fibrosis
  • Prenatal genetic testing and consultation. Our genetic counselors and maternal-fetal medicine specialists work side by side to diagnose and provide comprehensive care for the following:
    • AFP (alpha fetoprotein) blood test (including the suspicion of a neural tube defect)
    • Antenatal serum screening (triple screen/quad screen) with an increased risk/suspicion of a chromosomal abnormality such as Trisomy 21 [Down syndrome], Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18
    • The need for invasive fetal testing procedure(s) or other in utero therapeutic techniques (i.e., blood sampling/transfusion, platelet infusion, fetal bladder stent placement, chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis (amnio) for maternal age or other factors

For Patients

Patients may schedule appointments by calling 443-997-0400.

For Physicians

If you are a referring physician who would like to consult with one of our maternal-fetal medicine specialists, please call 410-955-1421.

Transport Program

We also serve physicians for consultations at a variety of clinic sites throughout the states of Maryland and Delaware. Please contact the David A. Nagey Perinatal Outreach Program to coordinate a visit at one of these sites at 410-955-8496, or contact these clinics directly.