Maternal–fetal medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on managing health concerns of the mother and fetus prior to, during, and shortly after pregnancy.
Maternal–fetal medicine specialists are specialists within the field of obstetrics. They may perform prenatal tests, provide treatments, and perform surgeries. They act both as a consult during lower-risk pregnancies, and as the primary obstetrician in especially high-risk pregnancies. After birth, they may work closely with pediatricians or neonatologists. For the mother, perinatologists assist with pre-existing health concerns, as well as complications caused by pregnancy.
During pregnancy, a variety of complications of pregnancy can arise. Depending on the severity of the complication, a maternal-fetal specialist may meet with the patient intermittently, or become the primary obstetrician for the pregnancy. Post-partum, maternal-fetal specialists may follow up with a patient and monitor any medical complications that may arise.