At Nemours, we offer fetal testing and specialist consultations for babies in utero (in the mother’s womb). We work with expectant parents facing a possible congenital (present at birth) condition or defect and try to get an early fetal diagnosis and figure out the next steps. And we connect you with the medical professionals you need who can provide care and treatment after your baby's birth.
Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management
We help expectant parents get an early fetal diagnosis of possible birth defects and determine next steps for the best treatment and care.
Thankfully, many congenital conditions can be diagnosed during pregnancy and treatment can often begin as soon as your baby is born. But early detection and treatment are key. That's why we're here — to help parents-to-be like you plan ahead and prepare.
While you wait for your baby's birth, we:
- Help you cope with unexpected congenital conditions by providing information, guidance, and support about what to expect.
- Coordinate fetal testing with diagnostic studies that reveal more detailed information than traditional fetal ultrasounds.
- Schedule consultations with any of our appropriate specialists, who can care for virtually any medical or surgical condition after delivery, and talk you through your treatment options long before the big day.
- Assemble an expert, personalized care team that includes physicians you already have, as well as our own highly skilled and experienced Nemours specialists. We'll work with all of your doctors to make sure everyone's on the same page throughout your pregnancy and after birth.
- Give you a little hope and peace of mind in knowing that
there are experts standing by, ready to step in to help your baby
If you’re pregnant and carrying a baby that may have a congenital condition, we'll work with you and your referring doctor to arrange for diagnostic testing (fetal MRI and/or echocardiogram) as well as specialty consultations, if needed.
Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management offers highly specialized care to families and their doctors to provide a comprehensive, interdisciplinary assessment of fetal abnormalities. Our goal is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential in life.
Please note: We don't deliver babies at duPont Hospital for Children (there are no OB/GYNs or perinatologists on our staff), but we can make arrangements to have your baby delivered here, if needed.
Contact our Perinatal Coordinator at (302) 651-6812, for more information.
Who Refers Patients to Us?
Moms-to-be and expectant couples often come to our program from
- perinatologists: also sometimes called “maternal-fetal specialists” or “maternal-fetal medicine specialists”, obstetricians who’ve had additional training in high-risk pregnancies
- obstetricians/gynecologists: also called “OB/GYNs,” physicians with at least four additional years of training after medical school in women’s health and reproduction who can handle complicated pregnancies and perform caesarean sections, or “C-sections”
Fetal Conditions We Commonly Diagnose
As technologies evolve, our ability to pinpoint fetal conditions during pregnancy and to treat them at or after birth is always expanding. Below are some (but certainly not all) of the more common problems that can be diagnosed before birth.
- bladder, kidney, and genital disorders
- conditions of the brain and nervous system
- cleft lip and cleft palate
- congenital heart defects
- eye (ophthalmic) disorders
- genetic disorders (e.g., Down syndrome)
- infectious diseases (e.g., chicken pox, rubella)
- orthopedic problems
- pediatric surgical conditions
Our Perinatal Care Services
Learn more about the perinatal care services we offer at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and our team who will be helping you and your family.
We Care for Babies Once They're Born
So we don't deliver babies; there are no OB/GYNs or perinatologists on our staff. Moms and babies are usually safest and best-served with their own doctors and hospitals that are best-equipped to take care of them during pregnancy and delivery.
While rare, your baby may require medical intervention during or immediately after birth. In this case, we can arrange for you to deliver here, at duPont Hospital for Children, or, when available, the hospital of your choice under the care of your personal physician.
Wherever you decide to deliver, we will make sure you and your doctors have all of the information and recommendations to ensure your baby gets the most efficient, highest-quality care.
Critical & Follow-Up Care at duPont Hospital for Children
Our Critical Care Transport Team can safely and promptly transfer your baby by ambulance or helicopter to duPont Hospital for Children for care or surgery with the specialists you’ve been working with already.
But our care doesn’t end after your child is born. Our team will continue comprehensive follow-up to make sure problems that may not be obvious before or even at birth are detected as soon as possible. And we’ll keep providing you care and support as long as necessary to give your baby the best chance at a healthy future.
If an operation is necessary once your baby's born, you’ll be able to meet with your surgeon well before the delivery so we can address all of your questions and concerns ahead of time.
Our surgical staff is made up of highly-trained pediatric specialists including board-certified surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses who are dedicated entirely to pediatric surgery, for even the tiniest of patients.
Surgical Services at duPont Hospital for Children
While surgery is usually performed at the duPont Hospital for Children, our specialists can sometimes provide care at one of our partner hospitals. If needed, our Critical Care Transport Team can also safely and promptly transfer your baby by ambulance or helicopter to duPont Hospital for Children from most area hospitals, so your newborn can receive care from the specialists you’ve seen during your pregnancy.
The heart of our Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management program
is our perinatal coordinator, who can guide you through the process and and coordinate fetal test and consultations with specialists if necessary.
Our multidisciplinary team includes a collection of board-certified pediatric specialists who may be involved in your child's care:
- cardiologists (who specialize in the heart and circulatory system)
- cardiac surgeons (who operate on the heart and can perform other non-surgical procedures like cardiac catheterization)
- pediatric surgeons (who operate on any area but the brain, bones, and heart)
- nephrologists (who specialize in kidney care)
- neurologists (who specialize in the nervous system — the brain, skull, spinal cord, spinal column, and nerves that travel throughout the body)
- neurosurgeons (who perform operations involving problems in the brain, skull, spinal cord, spinal column, or other parts of the nervous system — such as brain tumors, injuries, birth defects, etc.)
- ophthalmologists (eye doctors who are also eye surgeons)
- orthopedists (who focus on the bones, muscles, and joints)
- plastic surgeons (who specialize in reconstructive or corrective surgery)
- infectious disease specialists
- urologists (who treat problems with male and female urinary tracts, as well as the male reproductive system)
- geneticists (who specialize in the study of how physical traits and characteristics are passed down from generation to generation)
- medical imaging/radiology specialists (including radiologists, doctors who interpret all of the various types of imaging studies, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, fetal MRIs, etc.; and X-ray technologists, or “techs,” who are certified specialists trained to perform these tests and assist radiologists with some of their more complex studies)
Which Physicians Will Your Baby Need?
Of course, which or how many of our specialists you see will depend entirely on your child’s diagnosed or suspected condition. You may not need any of these specialists, actually. But if you do, you can take comfort in knowing you have an experienced team working to give your baby the best start in life. And if you're expecting a baby that may have multiple abnormalities or concerns, you can feel confident in knowing that some of the best physicians around are on hand to help.
Thanks to our award-winning, state-of-the-art electronic health record (EHR), every member of your care team can see exactly what’s going on with your care at the same time. That means information on every test and diagnosis are available quickly and from any of our locations.
You're Part of Our Team
We consider you — the parents — the most important members of your baby’s care team. We want you to be an active participant in the diagnostic and planning process. That’s why we’ll take the time to explain the diagnosis in understandable terms and present all of the options available.
We encourage you to nurture and care for your baby the same way you would any child. If you choose to breastfeed, we have breast pumps, a breast milk storage facility, and more available to help you bond with and feed your baby.
If you have another child (or children), our Child Life Department can keep siblings-to-be from feeling forgotten and confused. Our child life specialists are professionals specifically trained to help children and their families understand and manage challenging life events and stressful health care experiences. They can help your family comprehend what’s going on and what might happen when their new baby brother or sister arrives.