Maternal Foetal Medicine Specialist


Silhouette Of Pregnant Woman Standing

Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists are medical professionals specialized in handling high-risk pregnancies. When chronic health issues are identified in pregnant women, the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist works with the OB/Gynec or other hospital settings to ensure the well-being and health of the woman monitoring the growth of the baby and the changes in the body of the pregnant woman. MFM specialists also provide care for women facing unexpected issues with their pregnancy including bleeding, early labour, or high blood pressure. If the MFM specialist identifies birth defects in the foetus, he/she can start treatment immediately and potentially avert certain deformities or recommend blood transfusion, and surgery to provide support and care for the baby until he is ready to be ushered into this world.

All MFM are qualified physicians with specialization in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and would usually have completed about three years of additional education, and clinical experience to horn in specialized skills need to help pregnant women and the child

Ideally, women experiencing chronic health issues begin seeing an MFM at the pre-conception stage. Regular health care providers refer such women to an MFM if they suspect conditions like:-

  • High blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Problems during earlier pregnancies like premature delivery

  • Injury or sickness during pregnancy

  • Multiple pregnancies

  • Growth problems or birth defect for the baby

According to EMOG, other instances when a woman may be referred to an MFM include complications developed during pregnancy such as elevated blood pressure, seizures, heavy bleeding or diabetes/gestational diabetes. An MFM can provide advice for appropriate care during labour and delivery or assist with delivery. An MFM can also provide post-natal care, particularly when the delivery had complications.

For many women, a reference to an FM can be alarming, but it is important to remember that the attention from a specialist gives the baby and the woman best chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Most women who are diagnosed as carrying a high-risk pregnancy can be fine when they get appropriate care.

Some women, however, continue seeing their regular gym/ob for nearly all their appointments related to the pregnancy and periodically visit the MFM. In other instances, the MFM takes charge of all the care needed for the woman. Policies at the regular gym/ob’s practice and the condition of the woman will dictate the frequency at which she sees the MFM. Usually, more visits are essential in the case of a high-risk pregnancy and can include more ultrasounds compared to normal pregnancies. If a woman carrying a high-risk pregnancy does not have a large hospital in her neighbourhood, she may need to travel a great distance to see an MFM. In most situations, the MFM insist on a referral from the regular healthcare provider which is possibly essential to. As for the insurance part, most carriers do cover MFMs just as they would with other specialists. However, you should be aware of specific provisions enshrined in your policy.

Pregnant woman In White Shirt

The following are among conditions that could affect potentially need attention from a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist:

Preterm Birth

  • Water breaking or early contractions: Normal events related to labour start pretty early for some women, and that can present risks for the foetus, forcing the baby into this world much before it is ready. MFMs can administer drugs to slow down the preterm labour along with steroid injections to jump-start the biology of the baby and prepare him/her for the world outside if he/she arrives early.
  • Shortened cervix: The cervix helps the uterus to remain closed till it is time for delivery. But, in some instances, the cervix may thin down due to cervical insufficiency leading to early birth. MFMs can treat this phenomenon with medications or resort to surgery for preventing early birth.
  • Cerclage – In some instances, thinning cervix can be strengthened through surgery. The procedure involves sewing up the cervix to close it either via an abdominal incision or through the vagina to arrest pregnancy loss. Minimally invasive techniques are used by some surgeons for this procedure and can include robotic-assisted methods.
  • MFMs can also address other issues that could potentially cause pre-term birth, and particularly so when the mother had earlier instance/s of pre-term delivery.

Issues Related To High Blood Pressure

Hormones help to lower the blood pressure in healthy pregnancies to direct oxygen and food to the foetus. However, in some instances, a pregnant woman can experience higher blood pressure due to signals coming from the placenta triggering gestational hypertension, eclampsia or preeclampsia and the like.

Bleeding: The function of the placenta during pregnancy is to deliver vital nutrients and eliminate waste from the growing foetus. Post birth, a healthy placenta will detach from the uterus and moves out of the body of the mother. The mother may experience bleeding when the placenta sits over the cervix or when it starts detaching before birthing.

Doctors Conducting Delivery

Issues Related To Maternal Health

Pre-existing health issues can impact pregnancy and can include high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney ailments. MFMs can monitor these pregnancies and provide expert guidance on medication to manage the medical problems of the mother with minimum risk to her baby.

Infectious Disorders

An MFM help is also sought in instances where the mother suffers from infectious disorders such as:-

  • Hepatitis A, B, or C
  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Trichomonas
  • Rare infections

Thus, the role of an MFM or maternal-fetal medicine specialist is more relevant in instances of a high-risk pregnancy or other complications during pregnancy or birthing that your OB/Gynec may want an expert opinion on. Most MFMs practice in association with other OBs/Gynecs in a given geography and seldom take charge of an entire pregnancy or postnatal care.

6 Signs Alerts That You May Have an Anxiety Disorder


Each one of us had moments when we were anxious about something. Whether this involved speaking in public or going for an important job interview, it is safe to say we have all experienced some form of fear.
However, there is a clear difference between fear and anxiety disorder.

How do you tell that you to have an anxiety disorder? Some factors can help you discern between the two.

Crippling Anxiety

There is a difference between worrying on how a job interview went and was utterly terrified of something that you want to avoid it at all costs. The difference is usually that the emotions cause dysfunction and incapacitates and prevents you from performing certain tasks.
Certain physical symptoms may characterise the anxiety. The typical examples are dizziness, sweaty palms, pounding heart and shortness of breath. Sometimes these symptoms may include, tremors and twitches. Sometimes you may experience nausea.

Find psychologist in your area

The ultimate cure will involve in finding a right psychologist at Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the psychotherapy procedures done by the psychologist where most people with anxiety attacks opt for and has been proven to be quite useful. It is a relatively short-term process, but this does not mean that the cure is instant. It takes time. Be patient and you’ll get better in no time.

You Worry for a long time

Most of the time when you are experiencing normal fear or anxiety, it usually doesn’t last for long. It usually lasts a year or a day at most. With an anxiety disorder, the anxiety is extended for a much longer period. You may be thinking about something for days, week after week for six months or so.
It is usually referred to as anticipatory anxiety. Some people will agonise over a public speaking event for months. They may experience bouts of panic attacks every time they think about that particular event.

Lack of Sleep

Girl Sleeping With Brown Soft Teddy

Some people find it hard to sleep like a baby especially if there is an upcoming event. It is not necessarily an anxiety attack. The distinction is that while this person is calm and may even close his eyes calmly, most people with anxiety attacks cannot. They will keep tossing around and may find themselves staring at the ceiling every time they think of the subject of their anxiety.

Another way you can confirm that sleep disorders you are experiencing are a sign of anxiety disorder is to watch how you feel immediately you wake up. If you were anxious at night, you would most probably feel very anxious immediately you get up from bed in the morning. The anxiety will quickly take effect as you prepare for the day. In extreme cases, you may wake up with sweaty palms, or you may have tremors and twitches.

Feel Anxious About Being with People

Most people, including extroverts, are anxious about speaking in front of a large group of individuals. However, this is something they have learned to overcome over time. On the other hand, people suffering from anxiety disorder, particular people with social anxiety disorder cannot stand the thought of being around people

The idea of being a considerably large number of people is enough to trigger panic attacks. That though is usually compounded by thinking that people are acutely aware of the anxiety they are experiencing. For this reason, most people will try to avoid groups of people at all costs. Some people will avoid these situations even though it is an important aspect of their job or personal life.

Irrational Fears

The crux of all phobias could be said to be irrational fears. These concerns tend to be very specific, for example, the fear of certain birds, insects or even snakes. Most people will experience these fears even though they are aware that they are completely irrational or blown out of proportion. Some people fear that they are going to die. Others fear grasshoppers even though these insects have never been known to do any serious harm to any human being.

The fact that you recognise that what you feel is irrational is a defining factor that proves you are suffering from some form of anxiety. Some of these fears may become apparent only after you find yourself in an individual situation. For example, you may realise that you are claustrophobic after you get stuck in an elevator.

Muscle Tension

Many physiological problems may be part of frequent bouts of anxiety. These are common for those who suffer from social anxiety, but they are also typical for other types of phobias. Muscle tension is one of the physiological problems that can leave you feeling helpless and incapacitated.

The intensity of the muscle tension varies from person to person. For some people, the anxiety will manifest itself in clenching of their fists. Sometimes I would feel my jaws getting stiff and may I would not be able to talk coherently

The better way to fix the issue of muscle tension is to address the underlying issue. That is get treated for anxiety disorder. However, there are short-term solutions that can help you cope as you get help. Some of the solutions include.

Warm shower:

Spending time in the hot shower can release the tension in your muscles and help you relax.


A good massage is a proven way to get rid of muscle tension. You can either have someone do this for you or learn some self-massage techniques that could be helpful.



Woman in Yellow Sports Wear Stretching on Grass Field

The stretching exercises that you do during a yoga session are quite useful. The stretching and the release of muscles will help you to relax. You can turn it into a routine and do it every morning for a more relaxed day ahead. Just do what you’re comfortable.


A daily practice of meditation can help you come to terms with your thoughts and emotions. It will not happen instantly, but the relaxation you get from continuous practice will help you deal with the problem

Could nocturnal panic attacks disrupt your daily life?

Panic attacks can be a terrifying thing to experience. It can leave you feeling helpless and incapacitated. In some situations, it can make the experience even more complicated to handle. Nocturnal attacks are one of those things that complicate typical panic attacks.

Nocturnal attacks happen in the middle of the night. I used to wake up with the feeling something terrifying or terrible has happened. It would be worse when I was alone in the house. The realisation that you have to deal with the fear on your own can make nighttime attacks even more frightening.

Nocturnal and Anxiety Disorder

The hard truth is that more than half of the people who suffer from these attacks also happen to have an anxiety disorder. It will become a compound anxiety disorder because you start feeling your situation is getting worse. You may wake up with symptoms such as sweating, heavy breathing, and trembling.

For some people, there may be irrational fears. For example, they may wake up frightened and think that someone has broken into the house. Others have fears such the house being on fire or feeling like someone has been watching over you while you were asleep.

I used to have these panic attacks every couple of months, probably twice or thrice a year. An attack would typically last about 10 minutes and then it would subside. However, some people worry about these attacks for a long time before they reluctantly go back to sleep.

Grey Scale Photo of Topless Man Covering Face


According to psychiatrists, the difference in how people respond to these attacks is often a manifestation of their personality or childhood experiences. Sometimes circumstances can dictate how you respond. For example, every time I woke up in a room that was dark or not properly lit and I had to find the switch, I would be more panic.

Your Day to Day Life

After the panic attacks, you may find yourself thinking about it the next day. You will find yourself wondering if it will happen again. Instead of trying to fight these thoughts just acknowledge it as a natural reaction to what happened the previous night.

Do not try too hard to suppress them. Instead, just try and shift your mind slowly back to the task at hand. These thoughts are fine as long as you do not let them cripple you. In any case, the nocturnal attacks hardly happen every night in a row. Just allow yourself to focus slowly on something else and these thoughts will disappear.


Many different factors may be responsible for all the different types of panic disorders. Some scientists believe that it could be hereditary. Another possible factor is that it is a learned response acquired probably from childhood experiences.

Similarly, there is no explicit cause for nocturnal panic attacks. Some people wonder why you should have these attacks while sleeping yet all your mind is doing is dreaming. The explanation for this could be that the subconscious mind has a way of manifesting your conscious fears while you are asleep. You subconscious may have picked up those fears and acquired similar patterns that will sometimes be triggered while you are asleep.

Nightmares can also cause one to wake up in the middle of the night with a heightened sense of fear. According to some psychologists, this often happens when the nightmare is accompanied by heavy breathing and tricks the mind into thinking that they are experiencing a real panic attack. It happens more often for people who have already experienced a panic attack in their conscious state.

Dos and Don’ts

Most of these fears are irrational. You realise at the back of your mind that there is no one trying to break into your house. I used to feel silly, and I often kept it to myself. However, this is not a good idea. It can compound the problem even further. You may not fully acknowledge you have a problem. Irrational or not, you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed by it at all.

Another thing you need to avoid is going back to sleep immediately. But it does not work usually. The best thing is to find something that can distract you. You could go downstairs, get some milk or water, or you may also opt to go to the bathroom or check on the lights in your living room. The advantage with this trick is that it allows your mind to shift to other things that could genuinely distract it. Forcing yourself to think of something else does not work in most cases.

Another useful technique is to learn deep breathing exercises. When you experience an attack, there are physiological changes that will take place in the body. Deep breathing helps to bring your body back to the point of relaxation slowly. Try and avoid caffeine or alcohol. Both of these things will aggravate the problem and make it harder to recover.

Getting Help

As doctors recommended, you should seek the evaluation of a qualified health professional firstly. Unless a professional has already evaluated you, and you are only experiencing another typical attack. If someone you know experiences these attacks, you should make a point of seeking the doctor’s advice. It is important to establish that the person in question is going through a panic attack and not some other serious condition. Sometimes you may think it is a panic attack while it could be asthma, heart attack, or a serious medical problem with similar symptoms.

When you visit a doctor, they will do a diagnosis using an elimination process. The doctor will start by eliminating the most emergency conditions such as heart attacks, asthma and other conditions. And inquire you about your past medical history and the medication you’ve been taking.

The doctor may decide to give you some medication and psychotherapy treatment. Medication is not always necessary, so sometimes only psychotherapy will do. Psychotherapy is quite effective, and it will produce results within three months after the treatment.