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What Is Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Ultrasound?

06. 29, 22

Ultrasound is the most commonly used medical imaging technology in pregnancy to view the unborn fetus and determine the health of the pregnancy. Ultrasound is extremely helpful in the first (0-14 weeks), second (14-28 weeks), and third (> 28 weeks) trimesters. Most women have at least one ultrasound exam during pregnancy. Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, is used to ensure both the mother and fetus are doing well. Current ultrasound technology allows for traditional two-dimensional (2D) imaging as well as the more recent 3D and 4D (or 3D video) evaluations.


XBit 90

XBit 90

What Does MFM Mean in Pregnancy?

For mothers-to-be whose pregnancies aren't routine, the obstetrician may make a referral to a Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist for extra specialized care.

What Is MFM?

A Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist is a doctor who helps take care of women having complicated or high-risk pregnancy. The complications can be maternal or fetal. Some women start pregnancy with medical conditions that need special follow up and monitoring while other women may develop a medical condition as a result of being pregnant.  An MFM also watches and monitors the fetus during pregnancy to be sure the baby is growing and developing normally. Some fetuses have structural differences or conditions that need to be followed closely throughout the pregnancy.

How Ultrasound Imaging Works?

Ultrasound imaging devices work by emitting high-frequency sound waves (far above the threshold for human hearing) that are reflected by the tissues of the human body. The handheld device both emits and detects these sound waves, measuring the time it took each wave to be reflected back to the handpiece.

Because certain tissues, like bone, fluid, and soft tissue, reflect sound differently than others, certain boundaries can be identified in the timing of reflected ultrasound pulses. This is what creates the image you and the physician see in the ultrasound monitor, or sonogram.

There are no known or proven harmful effects of medical diagnostic ultrasound to human fetuses when using standard clinical settings on the machines.

XBit 90

XBit 90

The Importance of Ultrasound in Pregnancy

ㆍIn the first trimester, ultrasound is used to identify the location, viability, and number of fetuses present. Most importantly, it confirms the gestational age of the pregnancy to allow for proper timing of care throughout the remainder of pregnancy. Finally, screening for chromosomal/genetic problems can be provided to patients if desired through various nuchal translucency screening programs.

ㆍIn the second trimester, ultrasound imaging is used to evaluate the fetal anatomy and possibly to evaluate the cervical length as a marker of risk for pre-term birth often based upon certain risk factors.

ㆍIn the third trimester, ultrasound is used to assess fetal growth and well-being based upon various clinical indications to be reviewed with individual care providers. If fetal growth is determined to be poor, our physicians may evaluate the blood flow in the umbilical cord in order to determine the health of the placenta.

ㆍUltrasound is also used to guide the specialist when performing invasive testing such as Chorionic Villous Sampling (evaluation of placental tissue) or amniocentesis (evaluation of fluid taken from the sac surrounding the baby).

Your Maternal Fetal Medicine Ultrasound

ㆍMost sonograms are performed by abdominal ultrasound (on top of your skin). In some cases, a vaginal ultrasound allows us to better visualize of the details of the baby or the mother's cervix.

ㆍSafety: Although there is no evidence that fetal ultrasound is harmful to the developing baby, we will limit your baby's exposure to unnecessary sound waves by obtaining images efficiently.

ㆍFriends and Family: While we encourage patients to bring a support person to their ultrasound exam, please consider that it can difficult to have children at the exam for many reasons.

ㆍPictures and Videos: We will provide images of the baby. We have a policy against videotaping the ultrasound exam.

ㆍOur ability to obtain images is affected by fetal position and scanning characteristics of each patient.

ㆍOn the day of the procedure, it would be best to wear a 2-piece outfit.  You can eat normally before your appointment. You do not need to drink additional water before the appointment.

ㆍPlease allow extra time, at least 15 minutes, for parking in the multistory garage and walking into the building.

The last words

In the field of obstetrics and gynecology, XBit 90 has a wealth of clinical solutions to meet the needs of health examination and diagnosis. Breast, pre-pregnancy follicle assessment, early pregnancy, middle and late pregnancy examinations take care of women's entire pregnancy; XBit 90 also pays attention to infants and fetuses, evaluates their growth and development. Contact us now!

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