Across the Children's National Health System, caring for children is our passion. The Fetal Medicine Institute provides care even before children are born.
Our fetal medicine experts work with families whose unborn babies have a known or suspected medical condition. Our team of specialists works with referring obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists to develop a comprehensive fetal care plan for pregnancy, delivery, and the postnatal period.
Why Choose Us
Our goal is simple: Give all of our babies the best possible start in life. Beginning in pregnancy and transitioning to delivery and the newborn stage, we provide personal, comprehensive services to you and your baby.
Our fundamental goal is to provide you with the most accurate information about your baby’s condition. We aim to make sure that you are as informed as you can be to make decisions that are best for your baby, you, and your family.
Features of the Fetal Medicine Institute include:
- Expert care. Our team of specialists has extensive expertise in diagnosing developmental disorders in unborn babies, helping with complicated deliveries, and providing the necessary specialized care after birth. We also work closely with your referring physician to ensure seamless care for your baby as she/he journeys from unborn to newborn life.
- Personalized treatment. We appreciate that your pregnancy, delivery and postnatal needs are as unique as you are. We will create a personalized delivery plan that anticipates the needs of you and your baby. In most cases, infants in our care can be delivered safely in the local hospital, with a subsequent newborn follow-up visit in the first weeks of life. In rare cases, when a baby may need specialist intensive care soon or immediately after birth, we will discuss with your referring caretakers the need for delivery close to or at Children’s National. Should your baby’s condition call for a change in your delivery hospital, we will make all the arrangements to ensure that your experience is as comfortable as possible. Learn more about high-risk delivery.
- Advanced technology. We develop and apply the most advanced diagnostic techniques available for evaluating your unborn baby. In certain complex cases, we are capable of using advanced procedures, such as the EXIT procedure, a specialized delivery method for babies with heart or breathing problems. And our Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory uses state-of-the-art imaging to evaluate fetal brain development in the earliest stages. Learn more about the Fetal Imaging Program.
- Critical care of the newborn. We have over 100 intensive care beds, with the only level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the area, as well as the largest cardiac ICU in the region. In these intensive care units, we use the most advanced techniques to monitor the condition of sick newborns.
- Convenient follow-up care. Should your baby go home soon after birth, as happens in most cases, we will arrange for you to bring your baby for a newborn follow-up visit in the first few week of life. If several specialists are needed, we will aim to schedule all of your baby’s newborn follow-up visits on the same day if possible. This makes it easier for your baby to receive the expert comprehensive care she or he needs.
Learn more about fetal and transitional medicine at Children’s National:
Continuity of Care
Continuity of care from prenatal to postnatal life is at the heart of what we do. There are many specialists involved in diagnoses and care during pregnancy, delivery, and the newborn period. We ensure that there is seamless coordination among all of the specialists on your team through these phases. We do this by:
- Working closely with your referring medical team during your pregnancy, delivery, and follow-up care.
- Providing ongoing prenatal (during pregnancy) care. We remain in contact with families during the pregnancy to optimize the health of the mother and baby. Learn more about high-risk prenatal care.
- Evaluating the babies soon after birth. This early newborn visit can confirm (or exclude) concerns raised during the pregnancy. If we confirm a medical condition at this time, we can smoothly transition a baby into an appropriate care plan. For example, our Fetal Heart Program cares for hundreds of babies each year who are born with heart conditions.
- Keeping your team consistent. The members of our team that work with you during the pregnancy are the same people who will continue to work with you after your baby is born. This helps ease the transition to newborn care.
Meet Our Team
At the Fetal Medicine Institute of Children’s National, you and your baby will have access to one of the largest and most experienced teams of fetal medicine specialists in the nation. We have over 50 specialists working in our Fetal Medicine Institute from the following subspecialties:
Shaping the Future of Fetal Brain Health: Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory
There have been major advances in prenatal and neonatal (newborn) care in recent years, due in large part to babies and families who have participated in past research studies.
Currently, we are developing advanced techniques for diagnosing high-risk fetal conditions as early as possible. For example, the work of our Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory is focused on improving early detection of possible abnormalities in the baby’s developing brain. The Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory is one of the few centers in the world that can evaluate the fetal brain in the earliest stages of development.