High-Risk Pregnancy

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U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital - Obstetrics & Gynecology 2023-24

Nationally Ranked in Obstetrics & Gynecology

UT Southwestern Medical Center is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's top hospitals for obstetrics and gynecology care.

For women who have high-risk pregnancies, our maternal-fetal medicine specialists have the experience and expertise to manage the most complex cases. At UT Southwestern Medical Center, we provide the full range of services to address inherited conditions, underlying health problems, and complications that develop during pregnancy.

Specialized Care for High-Risk Pregnancies

Maternal-fetal medicine is care for women with high-risk pregnancies. A high-risk pregnancy can result from a chronic health condition present before pregnancy, or from a health condition that develops during pregnancy in either the mother or the unborn baby. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists provide care before, during, and after high-risk pregnancies to support mothers and their babies and help provide the best possible start in life.

We’re recognized throughout North Texas for the care and management of women with complicated pregnancies. At UT Southwestern, we’re more than a maternal-fetal medicine practice – we’re a university health system that offers pregnant women quick access to a wide range of adult and pediatric subspecialists.

Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists are available to:

  • Provide consultations for women with certain risk factors
  • Manage care for moms with complex medical problems, such as congenital heart disease, cancer, or pulmonary hypertension
  • Manage care for women whose fetus has complex congenital abnormalities

Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy

Certain factors can lead to a high-risk pregnancy, such as:

  • Advanced maternal age (35 or older)
  • Lifestyle choices, such as tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drug use
  • Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressurecystic fibrosismultiple sclerosis, obesity, breathing problems such as poorly controlled asthma, and blood-clotting disorders
  • Previous surgeries, such as multiple C-sections, multiple abdominal surgeries, or surgery on the uterus, such as uterine fibroid surgery
  • Pregnancy complications, such as abnormal placenta position, poor fetal growth, or preterm labor
  • Multiple pregnancy, such as twins, triplets, or more

High-Risk Pregnancy Management

UT Southwestern’s maternal-fetal medicine specialists work with adult subspecialists at UTSW, and neonatologists and pediatric subspecialists from Children’s Health to coordinate care for women with high-risk pregnancies. As a team, we work closely with each woman to decide how to best manage care for her and her baby throughout pregnancy, during delivery, and after birth. 

Our high-risk pregnancy services include:

  • Preconception and prenatal counseling
  • First-trimester genetic screening
  • Comprehensive ultrasound screening in facilities certified by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
  • Prenatal diagnostic testing such as amniocentesis and fetal blood sampling
  • Maternal-fetal medicine evaluation and consultation for pregnancy complications
  • Coordination of care among adult and pediatric subspecialists at UT Southwestern and Children’s Health during pregnancy and delivery and after birth
  • Specialized in utero procedures, such as fetal transfusions and fetal shunt procedures
  • Genetic counseling to discuss testing options for inherited and sporadic genetic conditions during pregnancy

We offer free classroom and online prenatal classes on labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and baby care, and hospital tours for prospective parents to see where they will go through the childbirth process.

Coordinated Care with Community Physicians

Our team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists works with community obstetricians to evaluate and manage complicated pregnancies. Together with adult and pediatric subspecialists, we coordinate any type of care women and their babies might need.

Should the situation require a complete transfer of care, our maternal-fetal medicine specialists are among a few in Dallas who accept high-risk patients and provide total obstetrical care. We welcome referrals from our community, across Texas, and surrounding states.

Care for Critically Ill Newborns

William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital maintains a Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nursery, staffed by pediatric neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners. A Level IV NICU at nearby Children’s Health cares for newborns who require surgery soon after birth.

Maternal-Fetal Transport

Our maternal-fetal transport service can assist women who experience complications during labor and delivery. If their doctors determine the baby needs care at a Level IV NICU, the baby can be transported to Children’s Health immediately after birth. There, UT Southwestern faculty coordinate the baby’s care with a team of neonatologists and pediatric surgeons.    

Patient Success Stories

When Valorie Butler found out that her unborn child had a health problem, UT Southwestern physicians planned their care and helped her baby develop into a healthy little boy.

Gabriela Benavides developed pulmonary arterial hypertension while she was pregnant. See how UT Southwestern specialists worked together to help her deliver a healthy baby girl.

Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer

Saving Twin Babies

Read in D Magazine about one of Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer’s most challenging cases: A woman carrying twins, one of whom had a development problem. Dr. Horsager-Boehrer is Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the maternal-fetal medicine division at UT Southwestern.