Center for Advanced Fetal Care for High Risk Pregnancy Support


The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at Mercy is part of The Family Childbirth & Children’s Center at Mercy and provides comprehensive maternal-fetal health services for high risk pregnancy patients. From diagnosis and counseling through treatment and follow-up, the clinical team provides the support needed at every phase of care. Mothers-to-be are counseled regarding weight problems, high blood pressure, predisposing factors that could lead to early labor and other health issues that may affect pregnancy.

Experts in High Risk Pregnancy

Dr. Robert Atlas, Chair of The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy, is joined by a team of perinatologists as well as sonographers, experienced certified obstetric nurses and genetic counselors. Our team of experts uses advanced technologies to provide counseling and support to expectant parents and their families.

Identifying a High Risk Pregnancy

If a problem has been detected with your unborn child (fetus) or you are at risk for developing a problem based on your personal medical history, The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at Mercy Medical Center can help. These risks include:

  • Abnormal amniotic fluid
  • Abnormal maternal serum screening (blood test)
  • Abnormal or suboptimal ultrasound
  • Congenital heart disease, mental retardation, or other syndromes
  • Congenital infection, such as Fifth disease
  • Family history, such as single gene disorder
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Maternal age of 35 or older
  • Maternal medical problems affecting the fetus
  • Recurrent pre-term labor and delivery
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Multiple gestation (twins or more!)

The team of doctors at The Center for Advanced Fetal Care also sees pregnant women with medical or surgical disorders, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure 
  • Preeclampsia (toxemia)
  • Diabetes or other endocrine disorders
  • Kidney or gastrointestinal disease
  • Infectious diseases

Diagnostic Services Offered at Mercy

The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at Mercy provides a full range of diagnostic services. The ultrasounds provided by our staff are interpreted by our maternal fetal medicine specialists, doctors whose area of interest is caring for pregnant women and their fetuses (unborn babies). Our sonographers have extensive experience with fetal ultrasound.

While some of our patients are high risk, we also see women for ultrasounds regarding size and dating of the pregnancy or fetal anatomy.

Our full range of services to detect fetal abnormalities includes:

  • CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) at 11-14 weeks
  • Diagnostic amnioinfusion, fetal biopsy Endovaginal ultrasound
  • Genetic amniocentesis (15 weeks to term)
  • Invasive testing
  • Molecular biologic testing for single gene disorders
  • Multivessel fetal Doppler blood flow studies
  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction) diagnosis of fetal infection, blood type, etc.
  • Rapid karyotype
  • Targeted two-dimensional ultrasound imaging

Additional Services

The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at Mercy is affiliated with The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at the University of Maryland Medical System, an internationally recognized Center for fetal medicine. For some patients and conditions, the fetus requires immediate treatment.

For the following services, we refer to our internationally renowned sister institution, The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at the University of Maryland Medical System, for around-the-clock care:

  • Drug therapy
  • Fetal blood sampling – cordocentesis
  • Fetal blood transfusion
  • Fetoscopic electrocautery and laser surgery
  • Gene therapy
  • Minimally invasive fetal surgery
  • Multiformat Fetal Echo
  • Percutaneous shunt placement
  • Treatment of fetal heart failure
  • Treatment of fetal hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism
  • Treatment of fetal infection
  • Treatment of fetal thrombocytopenia
  • 3-D Reconstruction and Fetal MRI 

Information on Our Doctors – Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists

All of our doctors are maternal-fetal medicine specialists, also known as perinatologists. A maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist is a doctor who has completed two to three years of a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship after completing four years of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency upon graduation from medical school.

Fellowship training provides additional education and practical experience to gain special competence in various obstetric, medical, and surgical complications of pregnancy. The MFM specialist is prepared to provide care or consultation for both mother and fetus (unborn baby) in a complicated pregnancy. In addition, the MFM specialist provides education and research concerning the most recent approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of obstetric problems.

Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists work together with your obstetrician or nurse midwife in providing consultations, co-management, or direct care for a complicated pregnancy both before (pre-conception counseling) and during pregnancy.

Information About Your Visit

The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at Mercy is located in Mercy’s Bunting Center. Please be aware that appointments can take up to an hour. If there are multiple appointments such as genetic counseling and ultrasound, it can take 2 hours.

We offer the following types of appointments:

  • Antenatal testing appointments
  • Ultrasound appointments
  • Genetic counseling appointments
  • General consultations

For more information or to schedule your appointment, call The Center for Advanced Fetal Care at 410-332-9192.

The Family Childbirth and Children’s Center at Mercy is a family-centered service for expectant mothers, newborn babies, pediatric patients, families and visitors.