Florida Perinatal Center, LLC offers state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, consultation for expectant mothers and pre-natal diagnosis including ultrasound and amniocentesis. Our office also provides routine ultrasound and testing for low-risk patients.
Your healthcare provider (OB/GYN, Midwife and/or nurse practitioner) and Florida Perinatal Center’s providers and staff will work closely together to ensure that you have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Patients are referred to our practice for the following services:
NIPT (Non-Invasive prenatal testing/Cell free DNA) This is a screening test that is able to evaluate fetal cells in the maternal blood stream. At this time it is recommended for all pregnant patients. Please confirm with your insurance company if they will cover you if you are not high risk.
It screens for 3 of the more common chromosomal anomalies- Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome)- an extra chromosome 21, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13. It also can detect some sex chromosome conditions where there may be an additional or missing sex chromosome (X and Y chromosome).
Maternal-Fetal Medicine consultation is helpful whenever a pregnancy is complicated by medical, obstetrical, genetic conditions, ultrasound abnormalities, medication/drug exposure, or other conditions that can potentially affect the fetus. Medical complications of pregnancy include any medical or surgical condition that has the potential of affecting the developing fetus. Examples include Diabetes, Hypertension (high blood pressure), heart diseases, thyroid diseases (Grave’s disease, hyperthyroidism, etc.), Connective tissue disorders (Lupus, arthritis, scleroderma, etc.), asthma, pneumonia, kidney stones, kidney infections, hepatitis, infections (HIV, syphilis, etc.), cancer, and many other conditions.
Ultrasound and prenatal screening involve testing for diseases or conditions in a fetus or embryo before it is born. The aim is to detect birth defects such as neural tube defects, Down syndrome, chromosome abnormalities, genetic diseases and other conditions, such as spina bifida, an opening in the spine.
Fetal echocardiogram, or fetal echo, is an ultrasound that takes pictures of a baby’s heart while the baby is in the mother’s womb. An ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images, so there is no radiation exposure. The optimal time to perform a fetal echo is between 20 and 22 weeks into a pregnancy. (not all conditions can be diagnosed in utero and ultrasound is limited by fetal position, maternal size and other factors not under our control)
Preconception counseling is recommended when you have a pre existing condition or family history that may affect the outcome of your pregnancy. This is where a Maternal Fetal medicine specialist may be helpful to you.
For those without such histories it is still recommended that you be evaluated before you get pregnant to review your medical history, your family’s history and heritage, undergo a physical exam, and have any necessary testing including a Pap smear and blood work as appropriate.
Florida Perinatal Center provides genetic counseling to guide you through the complex information about your chances of having a child with a genetic disorder or birth defect – as well as through the testing, treatment, and other options that might be available. The counselor’s role is to translate all the technical and scientific information and to help you sort out your feelings so that you can make informed choices and decide what’s right for you and your family.
Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
Amniocentesis is a procedure performed during pregnancy to examine a baby’s chromosomes. Most often, an amniocentesis is ideally done between approximately 16-20 weeks of pregnancy (gestation). During this procedure, amniotic fluid is removed for testing. The amniotic fluid contains cells that the baby has naturally shed. Cells within the amniotic fluid are examined in the lab to test for specific fetal disorders. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is also found in the amniotic fluid and can be measured in the laboratory.
Diabetes in Pregnancy
Eating right is one of the biggest challenges for people with diabetes and pregnant. With our help and support, you’ll learn how to incorporate your favorite foods into a diet that help you self-manage your diabetes. Our dietitians will tailor a nutrition plan according to your food preferences, and provide you with meal planning strategies, weight management tools to understand and manage the patterns of your particular condition.
Biophysical and Non-stress Testing
The biophysical profile combines an ultrasound evaluation with a nonstress test (NST) and is intended to determine fetal health during the third trimester. This test is performed if there is a question about fetal health and well being resulting from either an examination, maternal/fetal symptoms, or if the pregnancy is considered high risk.
First Trimester Screening
This prenatal test (also called the NT or nuchal fold scan) can help your healthcare practitioner assess your baby’s risk of having Down syndrome (DS) and some other chromosomal abnormalities, as well as congenital abnormalities.
The NT test uses ultrasound to measure the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the back of your developing baby’s neck. Babies with abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their neck during the first trimester, causing this clear space to be larger than average.