The Children's Heart Center

For Prenatal Patients (Fetal Cardiology Services)

In the exciting new field of fetal cardiology, pregnant mothers can learn about the diagnosis and management of heart problems in their developing baby. By assessing the baby’s heart before birth, it is possible to then care for the baby before birth, during delivery, and after the baby is born.

Some reasons why a mother may be referred to a fetal cardiologist for a consultation include:

  • Routine ultrasound tests suggest possible heart problems or an anomaly in the baby’s other organ systems that may be associated with a heart defect.
  • A history of congenital heart disease in the family.
  • Exposure to certain infections, drugs or medicines that are known to cause heart defects in babies.
  • Medical conditions that can affect development of the baby’s heart (such as diabetes or lupus).
  • Amniocentesis or other test detects a chromosomal abnormality in the baby.
  • The baby may have been diagnosed with a condition that is often associated with heart problems, such as Down syndrome.
  • The baby has an abnormal heart rhythm.

The Children's Heart Center provides such fetal cardiology services as:

  • Fetal cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram)
  • Management of abnormal fetal heart rhythms
  • Counseling for prenatal patients and their families
  • Consultations with experts in maternal-fetal medicine (obstetrics), pediatric cardiac surgery, neonatology, genetics, and others as needed in order to develop comprehensive recommendations for care before, during, and after birth.