The center also supports women later in pregnancy with fetal testing. Often performed in the third trimester, the fetal testing includes an ultrasound, known as a biophysical profile, and a non-stress test that monitors patient heart rate and contraction pattern — both of which are used to determine fetal well-being. Depending on the patient, these tests may be performed weekly or twice weekly.
The majority of patients who need fetal testing have hypertensive diseases of pregnancy, including chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes, and patients carrying past their due date. Although these comorbidities appear to be high-risk, Brown says they actually fall under the low-risk category for UF Health North.
“Well-controlled high blood pressure, hypertension or other diseases of pregnancy are all manageable, and most of those babies are born healthy at full term,” Brown said.
When a patient is determined to be high-risk, she will be referred to a high-risk care facility, such as UF Health Jacksonville. High-risk pregnancies may include, but are not limited to, the following issues:
- The baby has an anomaly, such as a heart defect or another structural problem that might require pediatric surgery after delivery.
- The patient is at risk for a preterm delivery (35 weeks or less) and needs a NICU.
- Patients diagnosed with HIV or other serious diseases, pregestational diabetes or epilepsy.
- The patient has a history of a kidney, liver or other type of transplant.
- The patient has a BMI of 45 or higher before pregnancy.