Perinatology in Summerville, SC

Pregnancy can be a joyful, exciting time for expectant parents. Some pregnancies are more complicated than others and require special care from physicians trained in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) known as perinatologists, in addition to the usual prenatal visits with your obstetrician (OB).

If you're pregnant and classified as high risk, specialists at Summerville Medical Center’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic are dedicated to providing both you and your unborn child with the compassionate, expert attention needed to improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy and smooth delivery.

Our perinatologists can help you safely navigate your pregnancy if you're high risk. To learn more, please call (843) 970-5721.

What is considered a high-risk pregnancy?

Many factors can cause a pregnancy to be deemed as high risk. Although some factors are out of your control, others may be caused by existing conditions or issues that develop during your pregnancy and can be managed (or even prevented) with the right prenatal care and/or by making healthier lifestyle choices. High-risk pregnancies can be caused by:

  • Maternal age: Being 35 years old and older or 17 years old and younger
  • Being pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets or more)
  • Drinking alcohol, smoking or taking drugs before pregnancy
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Existing medical conditions, including:
    • Autoimmune diseases (e.g., AIDS, HIV or lupus)
    • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia)
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Kidney disease
    • Thyroid diseases
  • Medical conditions that develop during pregnancy, including:
    • Gestational diabetes
    • Preeclampsia and eclampsia
    • Genetic fetal conditions
    • Zika infection
  • Unmanaged mental illness

Our high-risk pregnancy services

The perinatologists at Summerville Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic provide a wide range of services to our high-risk obstetric patients, expanding the outstanding care for moms and babies provided at our hospital as part of our patient-centered maternity and childbirth program. A referral from your obstetrician is required.

Prenatal testing

When you’re pregnant, prenatal tests give you information about your health and your baby’s. They help detect any problems affecting your baby, like birth abnormalities or genetic diseases.

Our perinatologists use screening results to help you make the best health care decisions before and after your child is born. Doctors often recommend prenatal tests for all pregnant women, but some women will need other tests to check for certain problems. Services provided by the team at Summerville Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic include:

  • Amniocentesis
  • Diabetes care, including gestational diabetes
  • Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Management of multiple births
  • Ultrasounds to help check the development of your baby's brain, organs, umbilical cord and to check gender (if you want to know)

Genetic counseling

Summerville Medical Center is one of the only facilities in the Charleston, SC area with a team offering genetic counseling services. MFM genetic counselors help patients understand how their genetic condition or potential for genetic disorders affects their pregnancy. Having a family history of genetic syndromes or a previous pregnancy with a genetic syndrome are factors that may cause high-risk pregnancies.

Our genetic counselors are certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Our comprehensive program provides a personalized care plan for mothers throughout their pregnancy and delivery. We also offer genetic testing, including amniocentesis.

Gestational diabetes counseling

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common pregnancy complications, affecting approximately five to 10 percent of pregnant women. Gestational diabetes places pregnancies at risk for complications such as fetal growth problems, Cesarean delivery and metabolic abnormalities. After delivery, the mother usually will not continue to have diabetes. However, effectively optimizing blood sugar levels will decrease the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later.

Our maternal-fetal medicine physicians discuss this diagnosis with you, and our diabetes educator develops a plan of care to work with you to manage your blood sugars. Our clinic also offers education for prediabetes, Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Perinatal nurse navigator

Our perinatal nurse navigator provides support and education to mothers with high-risk diagnoses in pregnancy. Our perinatal nurse navigator helps develop a personalized care plan with a team of medical experts, coordinates appointments with specialists, facilitates communication between you and your doctors and advocates for you and your baby's wellness.

Our perinatal nurse navigator is here to:

  • Build a relationship with high-risk mothers and any mother in need of extra support during pregnancy
  • Coordinate care among the team of specialists involved in high-risk pregnancy and/or NICU infant care
  • Provide patients with the information they need to make educated decisions and help them focus on wellness during this exciting time
  • Be a consistent point of contact for families and physicians. Our navigator is available to help cope with all of the variations in care, whether that is a change from a routine delivery or an anticipated NICU stay for the baby.

No matter what condition you may be facing, our hope is to alleviate many of the concerns that expectant moms with a high-risk pregnancy experience. We fully commit to a high-quality, family-centered pregnancy and delivery for you and your baby.

For more information or to be referred to our perinatal navigator, please call (843) 970-5727.