What to Expect at Your Fetal Care Center Appointment

At the Fetal Care Center of Southern California, our centralized team is prepared to support you and your baby at every step. We know you have questions and want to know what the process will look like. Below, we have outlined what you can expect during your journey at the center.

What You Can Expect During Your MFM Consultation

At the Fetal Care Center of Southern California, our goal is to answer all your questions and work with you and your obstetrician to develop an individualized treatment plan. You can expect the best care and a team of experts that will be with you at every step.

Appointment Referral Process

When a fetal abnormality is identified during an ultrasound with your OB, your doctor may refer you to the Fetal Care Center. We will organize all necessary authorizations, your record retrieval and the referral request. Once all your information is received, we will contact you to schedule an appointment and conduct an OB history before you come in.

Nurse Coordinators

Our knowledgeable nurse coordinators are specially trained in maternal and fetal conditions and will navigate your care through the entire process. Your nurse coordinator will be a convenient, single point of contact as we work with you during the referral and appointment process. Please feel free to reach out to your nurse coordinator if you have questions or concerns at any time.

Comprehensive Fetal Diagnostics

During your first appointment, our specialists will perform any necessary fetal diagnostic screenings to confirm your baby’s diagnosis. In this single appointment, you may undergo any one or combination of the following assessments: fetal MRI, ultrasound, fetal echocardiogram or genetic tests.

Specialist Consultations

On the same day as your initial appointment, you’ll also meet with various specialists regarding your baby’s diagnosis. During these consultations, our experts will walk you and your family through the specific details of your baby’s condition and provide you with comprehensive educational resources. We have specialists from the following areas:

  • Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM)
  • Pediatric cardiology
  • Pediatric cardiothoracic surgery
  • Pediatric general and thoracic surgery
  • Pediatric neurology
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Pediatric urology
  • Pediatric otolaryngology (ENT)
  • Pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Pediatric orthopaedic surgery
  • Pediatric nephrology
  • Genetics

Comprehensive Treatment Planning

After your initial appointment, our team of experts will hold a meeting to develop a comprehensive plan for you and your baby. It will identify any necessary prenatal interventions, how to safely deliver your baby and any medical or surgical procedures that might be needed.

Once you have met with all your specialists and your treatment plan is outlined, you will have a final wrap-up session with our MFM and nurse coordinator to review your individualized plan of care. All notes and reports will be sent back to your referring doctor.

Pediatric Treatment After Delivery

Some treatment plans will require your baby to undergo surgery and/or stay in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after delivery. The NICU is a special intensive care unit for newborns who require around-the-clock care from a team of experts. While not all NICUs are the same, both CHOC and UCI provide the highest levels of NICU care. If your baby requires immediate surgery, CHOC offers the only Surgical NICU on the West Coast.

Not all babies will require immediate surgery after birth or a stay in the NICU. Some conditions will require medical treatment or pediatric surgery later down the road. CHOC offers access to physicians in more than 30 pediatric specialties and surgical services completely dedicated to children to provide holistic care for your child in a family-centered environment.