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Fetal Medicine

The Fetal Medicine Unit was set up to care for women whose unborn babies are at risk of or affected by a serious abnormality.

We have a team of specialists with extensive experience in fetal medicine that diagnose, counsel and offer specialist tests or treatments to pregnant women whose unborn babies are affected by serious conditions. We get around 1000 referrals a year from Luton, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. We have the support of a dedicated specialist fetal medicine midwife. We work closely with fetal cardiologists, geneticists, neonatal consultants and paediatric surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

What we do
We care for women whose unborn babies are at risk of or affected by a serious abnormality. In addition to performing detailed scans, we perform diagnostic tests in order to confirm the nature of the abnormality if not obvious on scan. We explain the effect that this will have on the unborn baby during pregnancy and on the child once it is born.

We also monitor babies with growth restriction, multiple pregnancies and babies at risk of severe fetal anaemia. Some women have medical conditions that place the unborn baby at risk and we monitor such pregnancies.
We hold regular meetings with the neonatal consultants and geneticists to discuss the optimal management of our patients. When it comes to delivery, along with the neonatal team, we plan the best time, place and mode of delivery for the women we care for.

How to refer to us
Indication for referral –

  • History of chromosomal abnormality in a previous pregnancy
  • History of fetal structural abnormality in a previous pregnancy
  • Family history of cardiac abnormality
  • Women with genetic disease requesting invasive tests
  • Women requesting invasive tests to exclude chromosomal abnormality
  • Woman who are high risk of neural tube defect following mid trimester serum screening
  • Women with a suspected fetal abnormality
  • Women who may benefit from uterine artery Doppler at 23 weeks
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Cervical length scans
  • Suspected placenta accreta/increta/percreta
  • Significant blood group antibodies that can lead to fetal anaemia
  • Medically indicated assessment of fetal gender (for sex chromosome linked diseases)
  • Screening in multiple pregnancies
  • Complications in multiple pregnancies
  • Monitoring of twin to twin transfusion syndrome

Specialist services provided –

  • First trimester nuchal translucency scans
  • Detailed second trimester fetal anomaly scans
  • Uterine artery Doppler
  • Maternal cervical length measurement
  • Fetal growth and fetal Doppler scans
  • Assessment of fetal anaemia
  • 3D and 4D Scans
  • Multiple pregnancy assessment
  • Fetal echocardiography clinic
  • Pre-pregnancy counselling
  • Post-natal counselling

Procedures performed –

  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
  • Amniocentesis
  • Amniodrainage
  • Multifetal reduction
  • Feticide

Teaching and Research
We are a dynamic unit and keep a breadth of the latest research findings. We teach ultrasound scanning to obstetric trainees in our region.

How to find us
Antenatal Clinic, Maternity Reception, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Lewsey Rd, Luton, LU4 0DZ

Information and Useful links for patients
Information on antenatal results and decision making can be found at Antenatal results and choices
Information on cleft lip and palate can be found at Cleft lip and palate association
Information on Downs syndrome can be found at Downs Syndrome Association
Information on caring for a child with a disability can be found at Contact a Family
Information on stillbirth can be found at Stillbirth and neonatal death society
Information on premature birth or delivery can be found at ‘Bliss’ website
Information on multiple births can be found at Twins & Multiple Births Association
Information for Muslim bereaved parents and families can be found at Children of Jannah

Staff

Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist