MATERNAL-FETAL MEDICINE (MFM), also known as Perinatology, is a branch of Obstetrics focusing on the specialized treatment of high-risk pregnancies. A Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OBGYN) who has completed an additional 2 to 3 year fellowship in MFM. Maternal-Fetal Medicine experts deal with complex maternal and fetal issues that extend beyond the scope of “routine” pregnancy. This includes specialized diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, the care of pregnant women with medical and surgical complications, the care of fetuses at risk of an adverse outcome, and postpartum complications. MFM specialists work alongside the patient’s Obstetrician to provide consultation or direct care for complex situations before, during, and after pregnancy. Management strategies include both medical and surgical options such as amniocentesis, fetal monitoring, chorionic villus sampling, and fetal surgery.
Litigation against MFM specialists (Perinatologists) is uncommon, though MFM specialists are frequently called upon to render testimony in cases concerning complications of pregnancy and delivery. Such cases, often involving catastrophic fetal complications or pregnancy loss, are unfortunately quite common.