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Pregnancies that are complicated by maternal conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, twins, polyhydramnios or oligohydramnios (too much or too little fluid around your baby), Rh incompatibility, birth defects and other high-risk conditions require that your baby undergo special testing during your pregnancy. This is done to ensure that your baby is doing well.

Antenatal testing

The antenatal fetal testing clinic is a comprehensive multispecialty diagnostic testing area providing many services, including:

  • Non-stress test, or NST, in which your baby's heart beat is recorded over a period of at least 30 minutes and inspected for signs of distress and reassurance.
  • Fetal activity studies (biophysical profile or BPP) are a more detailed test of your baby that includes an ultrasound evaluation of your baby's movements, amniotic fluid and breathing.
  • Fetal echocardiography is a special ultrasound of your baby's heart that is performed in cases where the baby has been diagnosed with heart disease.
  • A comprehensive quad screen is a special blood test that you take during the second trimester that can help your doctor assess your risk of having a baby with a serious birth defect.
  • Cystic fibrosis screening

Obstetrical ultrasound

Our state-of-the-art obstetrical ultrasound unit provides full-time basic and advanced sonographic services to patients upon referral from their physician. Services include scans for dates and fetal growth, as well as scans for birth defects, echocardiography, genetic amniocentesis and other fetal diagnostic studies. Our ultrasonographers are trained in every aspect of this specialty. The clinic is supervised by a team of UF Maternal and Fetal Medicine physicians, who are specially trained in high-risk obstetrics.

These services are provided in a comfortable, low-stress clinical setting with recliners and educational videos.

Appointments are made at the discretion of your doctor. It is very important for you to keep your appointment once your doctor decides it is necessary for you or your baby to be evaluated in our antenatal fetal testing clinic.

Obstetric anesthesia team

The obstetrical anesthesia service provides 24-hour coverage for obstetrical emergencies, elective cesarean deliveries, post-partum tubal ligations, cervical dilation and evacuation procedures, as well as a full epidural service, including intrapartum and postpartum pain management. Pain management not only includes epidurals for laboring patients, but also for the control of immediate post surgical pain. To complement the high standards of the UF Health Jacksonville high risk delivery service, the obstetric anesthesia service provides their expertise in the total care and management of the obstetric patient.

Pregnancy in Epilepsy Program

The Pregnancy in Epilepsy Program, or PEP, at UF Health Jacksonville is a unique offering in our area for women of childbearing age with epilepsy, a condition that can put them at risk for complications during pregnancy. To ensure these women have a safe journey to motherhood, UF Health Jacksonville has created the Pregnancy in Epilepsy Program, known as PEP. The program uses a multidisciplinary approach to help address the unique challenges caused by epilepsy.

The care team includes physicians, social workers, pharmacists and epilepsy coordinators who offer individualized care to the expectant mothers every month, answer questions and provide additional needed resources. The program addresses the challenges and concerns of pregnant women with epilepsy. In addition, the team offers individualized care every month for women with epilepsy during their pregnancy.

PEP services include:

  • Offices visits with epilepsy physicians throughout pregnancy
  • Coordination with obstetricians
  • Consultation with pharmacists regarding anti-seizure medications
  • Epilepsy program coordinator offers counseling to patients
  • FAQs regarding pregnancy in epilepsy
  • Information on pregnancy support services
  • Pregnancy data registries that determine which anti-seizure medications cause birth defects
  • Specific recommendations on breastfeeding for women with epilepsy

Pregnancy and cardiovascular disease: Cardio-OB Program

Women with cardiovascular disease who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy can now be referred to an innovative Cardio-OB program at UF Health Jacksonville for specialized care. To ensure the health and well-being of mother and baby, the program offers a multidisciplinary team with dedicated cardio-obstetrics providers. These experts work together to provide counseling, appropriate testing and medication management to reduce the risk of cardiac complications during pregnancy.

Cardio-OB services include:

  • Counseling to understand risks and complications
  • Management of medications
  • Monitoring during pregnancy
  • Specialty care

Learn more about the program and how to refer patients.