Your First Visit - What to Expect

Welcome to The Fetal Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Our team of pediatric medical and surgical specialists is here to guide and support you and your family each step of the way. Our goal is to provide you with the information and care you need to prepare for the birth of your baby, as well as what to expect after delivery.

What to Expect

What will my first visit be like?

Your first visit to The Fetal Center will be coordinated by one of our nurse coordinators. You can expect to meet with many of our fetal team members as we discuss details of your diagnosis, treatment and long-term prognosis of your baby. We encourage you to bring a family member, friend, or support person to your visit as this can be a very long (and sometimes emotional) day.

Will there be more testing at my first visit?

Yes, your first visit may include diagnostic testing and evaluation. We may repeat some tests that your obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine physician has already completed in order to get a more detailed look at your pregnancy. Depending on your baby’s diagnosis, this could include fetal ultrasounds, echocardiograms, MRI, fetal monitoring, and others, as we work to confirm and fully evaluate the suspected condition. 

Who will I meet with during my first visit?

Your diagnostic testing will be completed by members of our fetal team and could include an RN coordinator, sonographer, maternal fetal medicine specialist, and other specialists depending on the condition or diagnosis. After the diagnostic evaluation is complete, you will meet with additional members of the team to explain the findings, results and next steps. Team members during this consult time would include a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, fetal surgeon, genetic counselor, social worker and a nurse coordinator.  Depending on your diagnosis, you may meet with other pediatric specialists who may be involved in your baby’s care (cardiology, neonatology, urology, and other disciplines).

What will I learn during my first visit?

After your diagnostic testing and consultation with the team, we will explain all of the findings and answer any questions you have about your baby’s diagnosis. We provide several educational resources and detailed information on your baby’s condition and will walk through each of them with you to make sure you understand the findings. As a team, we will also talk through any treatment options and long-term expectations so that you have all the information you need to make a decision that is best for your family. We are also here to provide supportive care and can answer any questions or concerns during your visit or after.

What will happen after my first visit?

Your baby’s diagnosis and several other factors will determine what happens next. We will provide you with all the information you will need to make decisions about next steps that are best for your family. We will continue to work closely with your obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine specialist throughout your pregnancy and are available to provide any additional support and treatment needed. Our team is always here to support you and will help with recommendations and planning of any next steps including, fetal monitoring, delivery plan options, and any specialized care that may be needed after your baby’s birth.

Where can I find more resources or information?

Our nurse coordinators are available for you to call with questions and concerns. To help prepare you for the birth and care of your baby, the nurse coordinator will arrange a tour of one of our Intensive Care Units, which could be the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)  or Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) depending on your baby’s needs. We will also make sure you go home with information and educational resources to help you better understand your baby’s diagnosis and what to expect after delivery. A family support coordinator is available to provide emotional and spiritual support to you before and after your baby’s birth. Additional support such as social work, psychology, interpreter services, and accommodations for families that live outside of central Ohio are available.

Please speak with the team about these services and any additional support you need by calling (614) 722-BABY (2229)

Referring Physicians: Make a Referral 

Patients: Speak With Our Team

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