You’re expecting a baby — congratulations! Just as every woman is different, so is every pregnancy. Some proceed along smoothly with no surprises. Others may mean that you and your unborn baby need some extra-special attention.
That’s when you may need care provided by the OB providers at Cotton O’Neil Maternal Fetal Medicine, located inside Stormont Vail Hospital.
If you’re expecting a baby and already have an existing medical condition like diabetes or another chronic disease, your primary OB provider may refer you to Cotton O’Neil Maternal Fetal Medicine at any time during your pregnancy. Your primary OB provider may also refer you if you’re at a higher risk of complications, or develop complications during your pregnancy.
Cotton O’Neil Maternal Fetal Medicine acts as a consultative service to help manage your care in conjunction with your primary OB provider.
In either case, it’s normal to have some concerns and worries. The OB providers in Maternal Fetal Medicine are here to answer all of your questions, discuss labor and delivery options, and help ensure that you and your baby receive high-quality care.
Our experienced, board-certified specialists provide you with compassionate care to plan for a safe delivery of your baby. Our perinatologists (physicians who treat problems that arise during pregnancy), ARDMS (American Registered for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) board-certified sonographers, nurses, and social workers are specially trained to treat high-risk pregnancies.
Our high-risk maternity team provides consultations and care for hospitalized pregnant women who are at an increased risk of developing complications.
Our team’s expertise and experience has been recognized by the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. Stormont Vail Hospital became perinatal certified by The Joint Commission in 2017; it is the only hospital in Kansas to receive this certification and means we achieve high-quality standards in perinatal care that are critical to improving and maintaining the health of newborns and their mothers.
Conditions We Treat
Pregnancy is an exciting time for any woman. However, if you have an existing condition like diabetes or have an identified higher risk for complications, even an everyday health concern may require extra attention and monitoring during your pregnancy.
We specialize in caring for pregnant women who face unexpected complications or concerns. We offer genetic testing, sonograms, and diabetes management. We treat women with conditions including:
Abruptio placentaEither part of, or the entire, placenta separates from the site of implantation in the uterus before labor.
Amniotic Fluid Disorder (Hydramnios)During pregnancy, a liquid called amniotic fluid surrounds and cushions the fetus. Amniotic fluid disorder occurs when too much of this liquid builds up during your pregnancy.
Autoimmune DisordersThese disorders occur when your immune system doesn’t work as it should. Instead of fighting tissue that makes you sick, it finds and destroys your body’s healthy tissue. If you have an autoimmune disorder and become pregnant, it’s possible that your symptoms may worsen during pregnancy. For example, pregnant women with the disorder “myasthenia gravis (MG)” may experience symptoms that make breathing difficult.
Autoimmune disorders can increase the risk of complications, such as preterm birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy). However, women who receive the right care during pregnancy are often able to have successful pregnancies, and give birth to healthy babies.
Cervical Insufficiency, or Incompetent CervixThe cervix is weakened which increases a woman’s risk to miscarry mid-term or go into early (premature) labor and delivery. The exact cause of an insufficient or weakened cervix is unknown.
Chronic Maternal Health DisordersCertain health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can cause complications during pregnancy. They may also put your baby at risk for medical conditions, such as heart defects.
With the right care during pregnancy, many women with chronic health disorders can stay safe during pregnancy, and give birth to healthy babies. Our specialists will work with you to help you manage your condition, and keep you and your baby healthy.
Diabetes and Gestational DiabetesDiabetes occurs when your blood glucose level is too high. Gestational diabetes is a form of the condition that develops during pregnancy. Most of the time, levels go back to normal after birth. However, women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Fetal ConditionsFetal conditions are medical conditions that have affected the baby while it’s still in the womb.
Genetic DisordersGenes are passed down in families, from parent to child. A genetic disorder occurs when there is a mutation (change) in one or more genes. Some couples choose to have genetic testing, either to determine whether or not to get pregnant, or to screen for genetic diseases in unborn babies.
High Blood Pressure and Gestational High Blood PressureIf you have high blood pressure, blood flows through your arteries (blood vessels) too quickly. High blood pressure can raise your risk of serious medical conditions, such as heart attack or stroke.
Gestational high blood pressure occurs when you develop high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy. Usually, it disappears after six weeks postpartum.
High-Risk PregnancyA high-risk pregnancy increases the risk of health problems in your and your baby before, during, and after birth. You may have an increased likelihood of high-risk pregnancy if you smoke, are over age 35, have had surgery on your uterus, are carrying more than one child, or have chronic medical conditions.
Getting the right prenatal care, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding harmful substances (e.g. alcohol, tobacco) can help prevent or manage high-risk pregnancy.
Kidney DiseaseYour kidneys are responsible for filtering excess fluids or waste in your blood. If your kidneys aren’t working properly, you may have a kidney disease.
Women with mild kidney disease may be able to have healthy pregnancies. However, more severe kidney disease can increase the risk of complications, such as not being able to carry your child to term.
Multiple Gestation/BirthThis refers to when you’re carrying more than one child. Being pregnant with multiple babies (“multiples”) can increase the risk of some complications, such as preterm birth. But with the right medical care and close monitoring, many women who are pregnant with multiples give birth to healthy babies.
Pregnancy ComplicationsThese are health problems that occur during pregnancy. These problems can affect the mother, child, or both.
Preterm Labor/BirthPreterm labor is when a woman experiences labor – having contractions that change the cervix – occurring between 20 and 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Preterm birth is any birth that occurs before the 37th completed week of pregnancy.
Preterm Rupture of MembranesYour amniotic sac (the fluid-filled sac that contains and protects your fetus) ruptures spontaneously, causing the amniotic fluid inside of the sac to leak. It is considered “preterm” because it occurs before the 37th completed week of pregnancy.
Placenta PreviaDuring pregnancy, an organ called the “placenta” develops, and attaches itself to the wall of the uterus (womb). Placenta previa is where the placenta covers the cervical opening to some degree. There may or may not be painless vaginal bleeding after 20 weeks gestation that is intermittent or in gushes.
PreeclampsiaPreeclampsia occurs when you develop high blood pressure during pregnancy, as well as signs that other organ systems in your body are not functioning correctly. The kidneys and liver are the organs most commonly affected by preeclampsia.
Thyroid ConditionsThe thyroid is a gland in your neck that produces the thyroid hormone. This hormone regulates the rate of many activities in your body, such as how fast your heart beats, or how fast you burn calories. A thyroid disease causes your gland to make either too much, or too little, of the thyroid hormone.
During the first trimester (first three months) of pregnancy, your baby depends on your thyroid hormone for normal development of its brain and nervous system. Your baby’s thyroid begins to work on its own after about 12 weeks, but doesn’t make enough until 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Thyroid disease can increase your risk of complications during pregnancy and birth, such as preeclampsia or low birth weight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces). But with the right prenatal care, many women with thyroid disease are able to give birth to healthy babies.
To learn more about these conditions, please visit our page Understanding Maternal Fetal Terms.
At Your Appointment
After your physician refers you to Cotton O’Neil Maternal Fetal Medicine, you’ll get a call from a staff member to set up an appointment for you. You should expect to spend one to two hours at the first appointment. It’s our priority to make sure all of your questions are answered. For your first appointment, please arrive 30 minutes ahead to have time to complete your health history forms. If it is a follow-up appointment, please arrive 15 minutes early.
We recommend that you limit the number of people who will accompany you to your appointment (for example, a spouse or a parent). Please keep in mind that children are not allowed in the sonogram room. If your children must come with you, please bring an adult to watch them in the waiting room during your appointment.
If your appointment is diabetes related, please bring your blood sugar readings for the past seven days.
If you receive a sonogram in our clinic, we will be happy to tell you the gender of your baby if we are able to distinguish it clearly, but the main purpose of our examinations is to diagnose and most effectively care for you and your baby.
Meet Our Perinatologists and Providers
Our team includes perinatologists who are board certified in both Obstetrics & Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine. We also have board-certified sonographers, registered nurses, and social workers. Our well-trained, credentialed OB providers mean that you and your baby will receive world-class care right here in your community.