What to expect at your visit
Most families are referred to our clinic by their primary care provider. As soon as we receive your referral, one of our cardiac nurses will call you to set up your appointment and answer any questions you have.
The Fetal Cardiac Clinic is located in the Fetal Health Center at the Children’s Mercy Adele Hall Campus. Please bring your photo ID and insurance card when you come for your appointment. It’s helpful to write down any questions you have ahead of time and bring along a support person to your appointment.
At your first appointment, one of our specially trained fetal cardiac sonographers will do a screening echocardiogram (a type of ultrasound that closely examines your baby’s heart). You do not need a full bladder or any other special preparation for the exam. Your cardiologist, nurse and nurse practitioner will immediately review your results and meet with you to discuss their findings.
When there is a new diagnosis, it’s common for families to have questions. Our goal is to answer everything we possibly can before you leave your appointment. We are also available by phone at (816) 234-3209 for anything you need to ask between visits.
We know that this can be a stressful time for you. If our nurses can’t take your call right away, they make every effort to return messages the same day.
What happens next?
Depending on your situation, here’s what you can expect after your initial appointment:
If your tests look normal and we have no concerns, you’ll continue your regular pregnancy care with your primary care provider, such as an obstetrician, nurse midwife or maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
We may want to monitor you and your baby with some follow-up tests. You’ll still continue to see your primary care provider and we will collaborate with him or her on your care.
We may recommend a post-delivery echocardiogram for your baby shortly after birth. We’ll coordinate a plan for this with the hospital where you plan to deliver and your primary care provider.
In some cases, your baby may benefit from immediate access to expert care from the Children’s Mercy neonatology and cardiology teams after birth. If that’s the case for you, we will recommend that you plan to deliver your baby right here in our Special Care Delivery suites in the Fetal Health Center. This allows you and your support person to stay close to your baby as much as possible after delivery.
In every circumstance, we will work together with you and your primary care provider to make a plan that best fits your family’s unique situation.