Pregnancy

As you get used to the new feelings of pregnancy, you may be taking steps to make sure you and your baby are healthy. You visited the doctor. You’re trying to eat right. You may be taking vitamins. 

Another important step? Getting the help you need from your physician and care team.

Care for high- and low-risk pregnancies

At The University of Kansas Hospital, prenatal care is personalized to fit your needs, whether you’re experiencing a routine or high-risk pregnancy. 

We provide medical evaluation as well as psychosocial, educational, physical, spiritual and cultural support for every mom-to-be, based on her individual needs. Other help includes tours of our new labor and delivery suites and classes on preparing for childbirth and breastfeeding. 

Advanced care for moms
  • Our doctors are experts in treating both low- and high-risk pregnancies. 
  • If you have a health issue, our doctors will work with your regular care providers. Our specialists have experience managing patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, cancer, kidney disease, blood problems, organ transplants and other conditions. 
  • Our physicians also provide care for women expecting multiple babies.

Center for Advanced Fetal Care 

How can you know – at this early stage – whether your unborn baby is healthy? The earlier you find out about any issues, the better you can manage your baby’s health.

Specialists with the Center for Advanced Fetal Care offer a first-trimester wellness exam to help parents-to-be make sure they’re doing everything they can to have a healthy baby. 

The exam includes:
  • Discussion about your medical and family history
  • A complete physical exam 
  • Detailed ultrasound 
  • Blood sample 
This 30-45 minute screening can detect chromosome abnormalities, malformations or birth defects, heart defects, and the presence of twins. It also may help physicians gauge your risk of preterm birth. If any of these complications are suspected, you may receive additional tests, including a follow-up screening at 20 weeks. 

Our full range of tests includes:

  • 2D and 3D ultrasound imaging 
  • Amniocentesis 
  • Diagnostic amnioinfusion 
  • First trimester wellness examinations that include: 
    • Nuchal translucency measurement 
    • An ultrasound to measure the thickness behind the baby’s neck. 
    • Ductus venosus screening 
    • Tricuspid regurgitation screening 
    • Biochemical markers 
  • Chorionic villus sampling
    The removal of a small piece of placental tissue to check for genetic disorders. 
  • Endovaginal ultrasound
    An ultrasound test, performed through the vagina, to monitor the growth of the fetus, listen to the baby's heartbeat and check for problems.
  • Fetal blood sampling (cordocentesis) 
  • Fetal biopsy
    The removal and testing of cells to check for disease.
  • Fetal MRI 
  • Fetal echocardiogram
    A test that provides a detailed evaluation of a fetus’s heart. 
  • Fetoscopy
    A procedure that allows the doctor to see the fetus through a tiny camera.
  • Molecular biologic testing for gene disorders 
  • Maternal and fetal blood flow studies
    An ultrasound test that measures the flow of blood through blood vessels. The test is performed to see if the fetus is receiving enough blood, nutrients and oxygen.
  • Polymerase chain reaction
    A DNA replication process to diagnose infections and hereditary diseases.
  • Preterm risk screening 
  • Rapid karyotype
    A test to diagnose fetal abnormalities. 
Some of these tests require complex, high-tech equipment. And they can only be done by staff who are specially certified. Our doctors and sonographers are among just a few in the region who are certified by the Fetal Medicine Foundation.

Treatment options
By identifying problems as early as possible, you give your baby the best chance for treatment before birth and proper care after birth. You also give yourself time to make decisions about care, to prepare for procedures, to deal with the emotional impact of a diagnosis or to find ways to accommodate any health challenges.

One stunning example: When identified and treated early, the risk of preterm birth can be reduced by as much as 40 percent.

Treatments
Sometimes we need to treat babies before they’re born. Our team has performed thousands of lifesaving procedures, including fetal surgeries to correct twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, heart defects and other disorders. 

Treatments include: 
  • Drug therapy 
  • Blood transfusion 
  • Gene therapy 
  • Fetal surgery 
  • Placing a shunt through the skin to help blood or other fluids flow
  • Treatment of abnormal heart rhythms 
  • Treatment of heart failure
  • Treatment of thyroid problems
  • Treatment of infections
  • Treatment of blood problems

Physician Spotlight


Kimberly Swan, MD

Clinical Focus
Minimally Invasive Surgery

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