Prenatal Assessment - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - Ascension Wisconsin

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Prenatal Assessment & Diagnosis

Pregnancy is a wonderful time of life that you will remember and cherish. It’s a time of dreams and optimism, of a beautiful process of life and development. It’s also the time to ensure a healthy process for both mother and child. A time of precaution and care, especially for those who are considered high risk.

Early Screenings & Testing

The Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians at the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Prenatal Assessment Centers and Fetal Diagnostic Centers are here to protect you and your unborn baby from complications using early screenings and watchful care throughout your pregnancy. Through early detection, care can often begin before you deliver.

If a problem is suspected, early screening is essential. Some screenings can be performed as early as 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Our physicians combine results of blood tests with ultrasound images to create a personalized risk assessment for a wide variety of concerns and complications.

Fetal Conditions

The following issues can be addressed and managed prior to a baby’s birth:

  • Cleft lip and/or palate
  • Congenital hernias
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Fetal anemia and intrauterine blood transfusions
  • Neurological defects
  • Urologic defects
  • Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome
  • Small babies and large babies
  • Orthopedic abnormalities, including club feet and scoliosis
  • Other abnormalities or challenges

Fetal Diagnosis

Using highly advanced diagnostic methods, we can pinpoint very early on abnormalities in a baby's development. Technology including amniocentesis, genetic testing and highly detailed 4D and 3D ultrasounds help us determine important information about the health and condition of the baby before birth and allow us to provide accurate and complete diagnoses and treatment options. We will address all concerns and provide education and counseling to prepare families for any fetal difficulty before, during and after delivery.

Diagnostic procedures for fetal abnormalities include:

  • Amniocentesis – Obtaining and testing amniotic fluid, between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, to identify or rule out chromosome abnormalities (e.g. Down’s syndrome, spina bifida or cystic fibrosis).
  • Genetic Testing and Counseling – Screening for other common hereditary illnesses including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, alpha and beta thalassemia, fragile X, and Tay Sachs disease.

If a problem is suspected with the developing, unborn child, patients may be referred to our Center for Fetal Diagnostics. There, our maternal-fetal experts will provide accurate and complete diagnoses and treatment options. They’ll also collaborate with pediatric specialists in cardiology, urology and various other surgical specialties at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Advocate Children's Hospital.

Non-invasive Tests for Fetal Abnormalities

  • Genetic and Detailed Ultrasounds – Uses 4D and 3D technology during the first, second or third trimesters.
  • Fetal Echocardiogram – Ultrasound testing to evaluate the structure and function of the baby’s heart and identify congenital heart defects.
  • Nuchal Translucency with Blood Test – Early blood test, between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, to determine if you are at risk for chromosomal abnormality.
  • Quad Screening – A blood test that screens for open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, abdominal wall defects and chromosome changes. Typically performed during the second trimester of pregnancy, between 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Maternal Blood Testing – To obtain fetal DNA.
  • Doppler Studies – Assess the health of the placenta by measuring the flow of blood through the umbilical cord.

Experienced Staff. Expert Care.

Our Prenatal Assessment Centers and Centers for Fetal Diagnostics are conveniently located throughout Southeast Wisconsin and are staffed by the area’s leading experts in maternal-fetal medicine. Physicians are long-time members of the medical staff at our hospitals and serve as medical staff for Wheaton hospital and outpatient-based Prenatal Assessment Centers in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and Racine.

All of our Centers are American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and Fetal Echo certified, which means they meet nationally-recognized standards and guidelines in providing you the best quality of care.

Request More Information

For more information about prenatal assessments and diagnosis available at Wheaton locations, please call 414-259-7480.

Prenatal Assessment Center at St. Joseph Campus

Women experiencing high-risk pregnancy will find comprehensive, experienced, comforting care at the Prenatal Assessment Center at Wheaton Franciscan - St. Joseph Campus.

Care Locations

Wheaton Franciscan - St. Joseph

Wheaton Franciscan - Wauwatosa Campus

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - St. Francis

Care Locations