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Family Birthing and Maternity Services, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport CT

Maternal Fetal Screening

St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport CTThe Family Birthing Center at St. Vincent's Medical Center offers moms and dads-to-be the perfect complement of high quality care combined with the latest technology in an atmosphere of trust and caring through Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Prenatal testing and diagnosis

St. Vincent’s Antenatal testing unit is equipped to perform a variety of routine and specialized tests that can be scheduled throughout pregnancy. From genetic screening to targeted ultrasounds, our experienced maternal-fetal medicine team at St. Vincent’s Medical Center offers advanced precision testing to monitor your child's development. 

Our perinatal team is available to assist in the management of complicated pregnancies, and our antenatal testing center provides access to the highest level of obstetrical ultrasound and fetal surveillance. The unit includes the latest in screening equipment, yet is designed to inspire a relaxed, at-home feeling. 

We have an AIUM accredited ultrasound unit that provides the full menu of obstetrical ultrasound, including enhanced (multiple U/S marker) 1st trimester Down syndrome screening, 1st trimester anatomical screening, targeted ultrasound evaluation, 3D ultrasound, cervical length screening, and fetal echocardiography. In addition, our unit provides routine and consultative GYN ultrasound imaging, incorporating 3D imaging and color Doppler modalities.

St. Vincent’s offers reassurance to mothers-to-be early on with its enhanced first trimester ultrasound fetal screening. Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine Dr. William Cusick has performed these screenings since 2000, longer than any doctor in Connecticut. The result is earlier identification of any abnormalities and the opportunity to pursue specialized medical services earlier in pregnancy.

Prenatal testing is available for most birth defects.   When optimally performed and interpreted by experts, ultrasound can both "screen" for a variety of major defects and can also make a specific diagnosis.  For other types of defects - particularly Down Syndrome  - screening tests such as ultrasound may not be diagnostic themselves but can  help identify those patients at highest risk who might consider a diagnostic test. Diagnostic tests can tell with certainty whether a fetus has Down Syndrome, but provide limited information about other types of birth defects.

Diagnostic tests

The two diagnostic tests for Down syndrome and other chromosome abnormalities  are:

  • Genetic amniocentesis (14-20 weeks) or
  • Chorionic villus sampling or CVS (10-13 weeks)

These diagnostic tests can tell whether a fetus has Down syndrome with nearly 100 percent accuracy.  However, this certainty comes with a potential price.  These tests are “invasive” and require sampling either the amniotic fluid or the placenta with a needle.  Although the risk is small, approximately one in 200 babies will be lost as a result of genetic amniocentesis and one in 100 will be lost as a result of CVS.  Also, neither test can detect the majority of birth defects associated with normal chromosomes.

Genetic testing & counseling

Often, parents to-be have questions or concerns based on family histories that can be addressed by genetic counseling. Set worries aside by learning the facts. Call 203-576-6201 to schedule an appointment with a counselor at St. Vincent’s.

Targeted ultrasound

The Family Birthing Center is equipped to perform targeted vaginal ultrasounds (formerly known as Level II ultrasound)  at an early gestational age and provide diagnostic information early in the pregnancy.

Antenatal testing services

To help ensure fetal well-being throughout pregnancy, we provide non-stress testing, biophysical profiles, fetal versions and PG gel insertions.

Fetal echocardiography

Fetal echocardiography is a more comprehensive examination of the fetal heart than the standard examination and includes identification of additional cardiac structures not defined in the standard evaluation.  A color Doppler ultrasound is often used and the physician may utilize pulsed Doppler, 3D, and 4D ultrasound,  depending upon the circumstances of the examination. It is an important part of Genetic Ultrasound, a new test that identifies more than 95 perecent of fetuses with Down syndrome, when performed during the second-trimester of pregnancy.

Maternal pelvic health program

This program focuses on the prevention and treatment of pelvic floor issues that can arise during and after pregnancy. Through education, exercise and support, women learn how to overcome conditions such as urinary incontinence, pelvic prolapse and vaginal pain.

Contact us

To find a St. Vincent’s physician who can discuss your health concerns or those of a loved one, please click on our FIND A DOCTOR tool and search by specialty, practice, location or keyword. We’re here to help you locate the medical expert you need.

To speak with a St. Vincent's Care Line representative, call (877) 255-7847

To speak with somone at the front desk of the Medical Center, please call (203) 576-6000

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