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Maternal Fetal Medicine


What is Maternal Fetal Medicine?

Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) is a subspecialist field within obstetrics and gynaecology. In Australia, MFM specialists are obstetricians and gynaecologists who have undertaken at least three years of prescribed training and completed several additional assessments and examinations. 

MFM specialists are experts in ultrasound and complicated pregnancy, where there are either pre-existing medical conditions in the mother, complications which have arisen during the pregnancy, or conditions of the fetus. MFM specialists have particular understanding of the effects of maternal diseases upon pregnancy, and of pregnancy upon maternal diseases. They are skilled at ultrasound assessment of fetal abnormalities and diagnostic procedures such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis.  

Obstetric ultrasound

All of our MFM Specialists provide expert obstetric ultrasound services. In particular, they provide assessment of suspected fetal or placental anomalies, high probability screening results, and complex multiple pregnancies.


Preconception counselling

Preconception counselling provides an opportunity to assess a couple's risk of pregnancy complications and allows steps to be taken to alter that risk. It is commonly undertaken in women with medical conditions which may impact upon or be impacted upon by pregnancy. MFM specialists work with a patient's existing specialists to understand their particular pregnancy risks and plan out a way to optimise pregnancy outcomes. 

Preconception counselling may also be appropriate for couples who have had complications in previous pregnancies. In most cases, these couples can be reassured that future pregnancies are likely to have favourable outcomes, but often there are interventions prior to pregnancy or in early pregnancy which can improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Our MFM specialists are available for preconception counselling. They work with a patient's existing specialists to evaluate and optimise the conditions prior to pregnancy and then with the patient's obstetrician to determine a plan for the management during the pregnancy. 

Young Couple Expecting

Antenatal counselling

Specialist obstetricians are trained and experienced in the management of complex pregnancies. In some particularly complex cases MFM specialists provide additional expertise and advise a patient's obstetrician in the specifics of care.  

Our MFM specialists are available for antenatal counselling in complex pregnancies. They work with a patient's primary obstetrician to determine a plan for the management during the pregnancy. They do not provide complete obstetric care for private patients, and women requiring all of their care with an MFM specialist will usually be transferred under the care of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Service at King Edward Memorial Hospital where this is clinically appropriate and in consultation with the referring doctor.   

Doctor and Patient

Postnatal counselling

MFM specialists can provide care for couples who have had complications during their pregnancy. Primarily, this is to determine the cause of the complications, advise the likelihood of whether it is likely to recur in future pregnancies, and to make a plan of management for further pregnancies. 

Our MFM specialists are available for postnatal counselling. They have particular experience in preterm birth and late miscarriage, perinatal loss, placental disease, and maternal medical complications of pregnancy

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