Perinatology

High-risk pregnancy care by expert perinatologists in San Diego

A pregnant woman embracing her child and smiling at her.

High-risk pregnancy care by expert perinatologists in San Diego

Being pregnant can be a joyful and exciting experience, and most women have a smooth pregnancy without any serious issues. But some moms-to-be have health conditions that can raise the risk of having problems during their pregnancy. Other women have normal pregnancies, but their obstetrician’s office may not offer detailed ultrasound exams. 


In either case, these women may be referred to a perinatologist. These physicians specialize in high-risk pregnancy care and perform detailed ultrasounds for women when requested by the obstetrician. 


At Scripps, our perinatal doctors partner with your obstetrician and care team to help you and your baby stay healthy and safe. We understand that having a high-risk pregnancy can cause uncertainty and concern, and we provide expert care with compassion and kindness throughout your pregnancy and delivery. In addition to caring for women in San Diego, our pregnancy specialists provide consultations and second opinions to women from across California and out of state. We’re here for you and your baby.

What is perinatology?

Perinatology is a medical specialty within obstetrics and gynecology that focuses on the care of pregnant women who have a higher risk of complications in pregnancy. Perinatologists, also known as maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists, care for the health and safety of both the mother and her baby during pregnancy, labor and delivery.


Perinatologists also offer pre-pregnancy consultations for women who are planning to get pregnant and have existing health issues that may lead to pregnancy complications.

Who needs to see a perinatologist?

Our perinatology team is highly skilled at performing ultrasounds throughout pregnancy. Your obstetrician may send you to a perinatologist (also called a maternal-fetal medicine specialist) for many reasons, such as routine ultrasounds or to further evaluate concerns about the health and safety of your pregnancy.


Some women have pre-existing health conditions that raise their risk of complications if they get pregnant. Other women develop problems while they are pregnant, such as gestational diabetes. 


You may need to see a perinatologist for many reasons, including:


  • You have diabetes or you develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) 
  • You have a history of heart disease or high blood pressure 
  • You are over the age of 35
  • You have a history of past pregnancy problems, including preterm labor or multiple miscarriages 
  • You develop preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure caused by pregnancy
  • You have an infectious disease, including hepatitis or HIV/AIDS
  • You have kidney or gastrointestinal disease
  • You are expecting more than one baby (for example, twins or triplets)
  • Your prenatal tests show anything unusual 

Our approach to treating high-risk pregnancy

As a leading maternal and fetal medicine center, Scripps provides expert, comprehensive care to our high-risk moms and their babies through evidence-based clinical perinatal medicine, education and research. Along with your perinatologist, you’ll have a multidisciplinary team of experienced professionals caring for you that may include your OB-GYN, sonographers, genetic counselors, advanced practice nurses, nutritionists and neonatologists. 


Your Scripps perinatal care team takes a personal and compassionate approach to your care. We pay attention to not only your medical needs, but also the stress and anxiety that can come with a high-risk pregnancy. We are committed to treating every patient with respect, integrity and honesty.

Perinatology treatments and services

Scripps perinatologists combine their expertise with advanced technology to diagnose perinatal conditions and develop a treatment plan specifically for you and your baby. We offer a comprehensive range of services from preconception to post-delivery. Your personalized care plan may include the following.

Specialty clinics

Scripps specialty clinics provide specialized care for pregnant women who have diabetes, heart problems and concerns about genetic conditions that may affect their pregnancy.

Virtual Tours

Scripps has four specialized birthing centers at locations throughout San Diego County. Take a virtual tour of our labor and delivery hospitals.

Support and resources

When you’re expecting a new addition to the family, you may have lots of questions. Scripps offers information, education, services and other resources to help you feel confident and supported during your pregnancy and delivery.

FAQs

Locations

Perinatology services are located within Scripps hospitals.