Fetal Health Center
Fetal Health Center

Our approach to Maternal Fetal Medicine

Finding out that your baby's health is at risk can be overwhelming. When expecting moms and babies need special care, Children’s Mercy is ready with the region’s most comprehensive and advanced care for select high-risk pregnancies before, during and after delivery.

Diagnosis and testing

Each year, nearly 400 families like yours visit the Perinatal Clinic at the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center for a consultation. Here, you'll have access to advanced diagnostic services, like amniocentesis, fetal echocardiogram and diagnostic ultrasound to help your health care providers understand your baby’s condition. Our Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists coordinate with your obstetrician or primary care physician to balance the needs of both you and your baby.

Conditions we treat

Our specialty is helping babies with complex conditions. We see babies who have heart, gastrointestinal, lung conditions and others that require immediate attention.

See all commonly treated conditions.

Build your expert care team

At Children’s Mercy, we build an integrated team that includes every specialist who will be involved with your baby’s treatment. As an active member of your baby's care team, you will sit across the table from every specialist your child may need at one time. We'll talk directly with you about your child's diagnosis and treatment options and answer every question you have. Then, we will work together to create the best possible plan of care. Your team may also include:

  • Genetic counselors
  • Social workers
  • Obstetrics and care coordinator nurses
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Sonographers and radiologists who specialize in prenatal imaging

Meet the team.

Family-centered care

There's no better place for a baby with complex medical needs than Children's Mercy. Our family-centered care approach helps you feel comfortable and informed during your time with us.

Some moms will deliver in our spacious and comfortable birthing suites – located right in the Fetal Health Center so their baby is always close by. Others will plan to deliver at another hospital, but come to Children's Mercy to meet with the doctors who will care for their baby after birth. Either way, you can work with the region’s best pediatric specialists right from the start.

Starting with your very first visit with us, you’ll have your own specially-trained care coordinator nurse who will get to know you and your family and stay with you every step of the way. He or she will help you with scheduling appointments, completing paperwork and communicating with all your doctors to make your experience as simple as possible. After your baby is born, you can continue to work with the doctors who already know your family's history in a friendly, child-centered environment.

Read more about what to expect from your experience at the Fetal Health Center.

Fetal Cardiac Clinic

About one-third of families who come to the Fetal Health Center have a baby with a heart condition. As one of the top-ranking pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the nation, Children's Mercy can help you through the process of getting an accurate diagnosis, understanding the condition, and finding the best possible course of treatment. Learn about the Fetal Cardiac Clinic.

Fetal Surgery

Innovative partnerships between Children’s Mercy researchers and physicians make it possible to treat or manage certain problems before a baby is even born. Dr. Emanuel (Mike) Vlastos and the experienced Fetal Treatment Team offer minimally-invasive therapies as well as advanced fetal surgery for complex conditions such as repair for spina bifida and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Learn more about our fetal surgery services.

Special Care Delivery

More than 900 babies have been delivered at the Fetal Health Center since the doors opened. Some of the first babies we delivered are now healthy, active grade-schoolers. For babies who need immediate care from their team of specialists or the region’s highest level neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Special Care Delivery provides a meaningful birthing experience for you and immediate access to health experts for your baby. Read about the Children’s Mercy birth experience.

Meet Warren, the 500th baby born at the Fetal Health Center, who is now a healthy, active little boy. 

Safe transportation for expectant moms

Children’s Mercy provides safe and specialized transportation services for pregnant mothers at least 20 weeks gestation who are in need of immediate access to a higher level of care. Our team includes specialists for both mom and baby and is ready for dispatch 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Learn about safe transportation for expectant moms.

Want a second opinion?

If you’ve recently received a diagnosis or would like a second opinion, experience matters. We're happy to share our expertise with you. Call (816) 855-1800 to make an appointment with our team.

About the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center

In 2010, Elizabeth J. and James E. Ferrell gave a generous gift that helped create the Fetal Health Center at Children's Mercy. In collaboration with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, the Center fosters local, national and international partnerships between researchers and physicians. Together, we are leading the way toward innovative treatment options for moms and babies. 

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