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Maternity services

Pregnancy & birth

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Maternity services

Perinatal Center

The newly renovated and expanded Perinatal Center at St. Anthony’s Medical Center offers the latest technology and advanced care to women who are trying to get pregnant, or who have conditions that may be considered “high risk” during their pregnancy, such as:

  • diabetes
  • thyroid disorders
  • hypertension
  • blood clotting disorders
  • multiple births (up to triplets)
  • history of pregnancy loss

Other factors also may classify a woman as having a high risk pregnancy, including age (over 35), low fluid levels with a previous baby, preterm contractions, or other medical conditions outside a normal pregnancy. Your obstetrician will refer you to the Perinatal Center if he or she feels you need the additional level of services provided.

What to expect during perinatal center visit

Please plan to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before your appointment time. You will be asked to stop in the admitting department located on the main level to register. Upon arrival at the Perinatal Center, you will be greeted by our receptionist who will give you paperwork to complete.

To save time, print the appropriate forms below, complete and bring with you to your appointment.

A full bladder is preferred if you are having first trimester screening, otherwise no special preparation is necessary. Generally, after your test you will have an opportunity to speak with the perinatologist who will review the results of your exam and answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

Services offered

Maternal-fetal medicine specialists
Our board-certified maternal-fetal specialists (also known as perinatologists), will work in conjunction with your obstetrician to help you achieve a successful pregnancy and birth. They also can consult with you before you get pregnant if you have a condition that you think could cause problems.

3D/4D ultrasound
Our Perinatal Center was the first in St. Louis to offer 3-D/4-D ultrasound, an advanced technology that provides dimensional images of a baby. Ultrasound is used as a screening tool to check for structural problems such as heart defects or cleft lip/palate, or placental problems such as placenta previa. It is also very useful for detecting “markers” for chromosome problems, but is not diagnostic for such. This advanced resolution image, along with fetal testing, helps maternal-fetal specialists identify any potential risks while the baby is developing, allowing for the best possible care.

Diabetes management
Our specially-trained diabetes nurse educators work with pregnant women who have Type I, Type II or gestational diabetes and provide information about the impact of diabetes on pregnancy. Weekly classes taught by our nurse educators and a dietitian are offered to educate women on diet, blood sugar monitoring and medication (if needed).

Non-stress tests (modified biophysical profile)
This simple, painless procedure is done during pregnancy to monitor your baby’s heart rate over a period of time. During the procedure, you will sit or lie in a chair that allows you to lean back. Each chair is equipped with its own personal television. One of our experienced perinatal nurses will make you comfortable with pillows as they strap two devices to your abdomen - one monitors your baby's heartbeat and movement; the other records uterine contractions. This information is recorded onto a strip of paper that is interpreted by the perinatologist. Either before or after your monitoring, a sonographer will check the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby with an ultrasound. The test typically takes about 25 minutes; however, it can take longer if your baby is sleeping. It is helpful to eat something before the test to make your baby more active during the test. The non-stress test provides valuable information about your baby’s well-being, and may be used in the third trimester as part of an overall evaluation of the baby.

Genetic counseling
St. Anthony’s Medical Center has board-certified genetic counselors and can provide information about genetic screening and testing options for your baby. This includes: first trimester and quad screening, chromosome testing by amniocentesis or chorionic villous sampling (CVS), and detailed information relating to hereditary disorders and fetal anomalies.

Amniocentesis is an invasive test that involves taking a small amount of amniotic fluid from your uterus. It is primarily performed to check for chromosomal or genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18 and others, but may also be used to assess the baby’s lung maturity or check for amniotic infection. The procedure is performed by the perinatologist under sterile, direct ultrasound guidance in the Perinatal Center. Our highly experienced staff work to make this procedure as safe and comfortable as possible. Genetic amniocentesis results are reviewed by a genetic counselor. All other results are reviewed by the perinatologist or ordering physician.

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For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.

Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well­ being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.