Obstetrics & Prenatal Services
Normal & High Risk Pregnancies
Pregnancy is one of the most important times in a woman's life. Having the proper care and knowledge is essential to a successful term and delivery of your baby. We provide full pregnancy care, from conception through delivery and even longer. Our experienced team can help you every step of the way on this incredible journey. We offer specialized care in family planning, prenatal care and delivery.
Prenatal care is crucial to your baby's healthy development. Regular doctor's visits are recommended and will allow for professional monitoring of your baby's health. A regular appointment should include checking the baby's heart rate and checking your blood pressure, urine and weight gain. Ultrasounds can be performed to visually check on the baby's development.
In addition to our general obstetrical services, we also offer care for some high risk patients in conjunction with our perinatologists. We work closely with these specialists to assure that our high risk patients are receiving appropriate, up to date care. Our doctors strive to develop strong, trusting relationships with their patients and their referring specialists so the patients can always fell comfortable in sometimes difficult situations.
Some conditions that may increase the risk of complication during pregnancy or delivery include:
- Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid disorders
- Placenta Previa
- Twin Gestation
- Uterine Fibroids
- Abnormal Pap Smears
Complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, premature birth and recurrent miscarriages can also be treated by our specialists. For these women, we provide frequent monitor exams and special delivery techniques to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
After developing a partnership with your doctor over nine months, you can work together to ensure a safe and successful delivery. It is important to choose a doctor you trust for this memorable journey.
Infertility Evaluation & Treatment
Approximately 85% of couples will conceive in one year. However, for many couples it can be a struggle and may take longer. There are several reasons why a couple may have difficulty becoming pregnant. It may be due to either a male or female issue, or both. Common causes of infertility are irregular menstrual cycles, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine abnormalities, or abnormal semen parameters (sperm count). Infertility is considered “primary infertility” if a couple has never conceived, and “secondary infertility” if they have a child previously and are now unable to do so. Initial evaluations are individually tailored to each couple. An initial workup may require some labs on the woman and a semen analysis of her partner. Based on these results, a treatment plan will be initiated. Some causes of infertility will respond to medication which can be prescribed and monitored by our patients. Occasionally a patient does not respond to medication or is not a candidate for medication. This may then require a referral to an infertility specialist.
This visit is required for our obstetrical patients and is taught by one of our nurse educators. The nurse educator discusses all of the testing that is available throughout the pregnancy, nutrition, medications that are safe to take, etc. The patient will also receive pre-registration forms from the hospital to complete and return. This appointment is offered Mondays at 3:00 pm and Wednesdays at 9:00 am.
Please click on the following link to see the class offerings for expectant parents at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.
Certain pregnancies may need extra monitoring called non-stress tests. It simply involves extended fetal heart monitoring for about 15-30 minutes in the office. The doctors will let you know if you need this and when to start if so.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) & Nuchal Translucency (NT)
NIPT is a highly accurate new test that allows us to screen patients for some common prenatal genetic disorders such as Down’s syndrome (trisomy 21), trisomy 18 (Edward’s syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau’s syndrome) simply by drawing blood from the mother. Most of the time, it will also tell us the sex of the baby!
This test analyzes fetal DNA that is circulating in the maternal blood (called cell free DNA) from the breakdown of fetal cells found mainly in the placenta. It is 99% accurate with a low false positive (0.05%) and false negative (0.1%) rate.
Nuchal translucency (NT) is an ultrasound of the fetal neck that is often performed in conjunction with NIPT testing. A normal NT reduces the risk of cardiac and spinal abnormalities of the fetus.
NIPT is done any time after 10 weeks of pregnancy but can be done at the same time that we do the NT ultrasound which is 11 -12 weeks. The turnaround time for NIPT is about 10 days while the ultrasound is read immediately.
Who Gets Tested
Although we are offering this test on all of our pregnant patients, the decision to get tested is one of personal choice. Currently we do not recommend that twin pregnancies get screened.
We strongly encourage all high risk patients get screened. You are considered high risk if:
- You are 35 years old or older
- You have an abnormal ultrasound
- You have a personal or family history of genetic problems
Implications of a Positive Test
As we stated, these tests are highly accurate but are still considered screening tests. In the event of a positive test, we will refer patients for genetic counseling and possibly further diagnostic testing such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis.
Implications of a Negative Test
Even though these tests are highly sensitive and specific, it is important to remember that they are not 100% accurate. There are false negative results, so a negative test cannot absolutely rule out an affected fetus. At the present time, this is the best screening test available.
As these are new tests, the amount of money your insurance pays will vary by plan. Please contact your insurance carrier to verify your out of pocket costs.
These are the insurance codes that can help you check your coverage:
- Panorama (NIPT) - 81507
- NT Scan - 76813