Cardio Obstetrics Program
UR Medicine has a unique multidisciplinary program for pregnant people with cardiac disease. This is the only program of its kind in Upstate New York.
Although having a baby is an exciting time, having cardiac disease can put both parent and baby at risk for complications before and during delivery. There are a number of normal changes that pregnant individuals undergo during pregnancy to support the developing baby; however, for those with cardiac disease, these changes can put additional strain on the heart.
Individuals with cardiac conditions who are considering pregnancy or who are pregnant need to be followed and cared for by a team of specialists to help parent and baby have the best outcomes possible.
Women with cardiac conditions are followed under the UR Cardio-Obstetrics Program. This multidisciplinary team of physicians and care providers include those from the following Divisions and Departments:
What to Expect from These Teams
By working together to develop coordinated plans both before and after pregnancy, the team helps ensure that individuals have an integrative, multidisciplinary care team for their pregnancy.
Every other month, the Cardio-Obstetrics Team (including extended members such as care coordinators and inpatient nursing) reviews every patient with complex heart disease who is pregnant, assuring that everyone on both the cardiac and inpatient teams are ready to manage overall pregnancy care and delivery care.
In addition to providing complex cardiac care, UR Medicine offers additional referrals and care coordination for all aspects of a patient’s reproductive and cardiac care. Moreover, UR Medicine also offers easy access to a Behavioral Health Specialist to ensure that all our patients mental health needs –which can be strained during a complicated pregnancy – are supported.
Pregnant individuals who are born with structural heart differences are at higher risk for having offspring with structural heart differences. We offer AIUM certified Level II OB/GYN ultrasound including fetal echocardiography, assuring fetal assessment and fetal monitoring is available on-site. This allows the team to have all of the information available to help guide pregnancy management. We also work collaboratively with our Pediatric Cardiology colleagues and our NICU to provide comprehensive care for our patients.
Our integrated office also offers reproductive genetics services, which can help a patient assess if her cardiac disease is something that would have the potential to be passed on to her fetus, as well as help her understand screening options for common pregnancy concerns.
For those that are followed in ongoing care, our fetal and maternal care coordinators help families with maternal or fetal cardiac disease navigate all of the care that may be needed, including help with coordinating appointments, answering questions, and assuring they are aware of planned services and any test results.
Planned pregnancies are healthy pregnancies. Our team is happy to see individuals considering their reproductive options and to discuss pregnancy risks and benefits. For those individuals who wish to become pregnant, our team works together to ensure that individuals with cardiac conditions enter pregnancy as healthy as possible with medications and care optimized.
When a patient is not interested in pregnancy, having cardiac disease can make the options for contraception more limited. Our team works closely with the UR Medicine Complex Contraception Clinic to be certain that individuals have a full range of counseling and options to assure that all of their pregnancies are planned.