High-risk pregnancy care in Central Denver

At Rose Babies Center for Maternal Fetal Health we offer experienced and compassionate high-risk pregnancy care. The term “high-risk pregnancy” can bring expectant families a lot of anxiety during a time they expected to feel joy and excitement. This designation, however, just means that our team of experts will work closely with you and your obstetrician throughout pregnancy and childbirth to ensure that you and your baby are as safe and healthy as possible.

For nearly 70 years, Rose Babies staff and doctors have been dedicated to creating the safest, most meaningful experience for every family.

Yolanda Howard, Rose Babies High-Risk Navigator

Patients of the Rose Center for Maternal-Fetal Health benefit from streamlined care coordinated by our Rose Babies High-Risk Navigator, Yolanda Howard, RN. Yolanda is the go-to resource for high-risk patients. She acts an advocate, educator and supporter for patients from their initial diagnosis of “high-risk” through delivery. Yolanda coordinates care and communication with all members of the care team, including specialists, OB/GYNs, surgeons, therapists, nursing staff and much more.

Yolanda has more than three decades of experience as a registered nurse working with patients in labor and delivery and in high-risk perinatal care. She has been caring for Rose Babies and their moms for more than 20 years. Yolanda is a mother of four NICU babies herself and a breast cancer survivor. Her interest in patient navigation began after her own experience with a navigator during her cancer treatment. “I feel like I can give back in this unique way because I’ve experienced what it’s like to have a navigator by my side.” Yolanda is passionate about walking beside patients with compassion, kindness and expertise.

Contact Yolanda Howard, Rose Babies High-Risk Navigator at (720) 216-4290.

Who would benefit from a high-risk consultation?

  • Moms younger than 17 years old and older than 35
  • Health history of multiple miscarriages, premature birth or preterm labor
  • The pregnancy includes multiples (twins, triplets or more)
  • Cervical insufficiency and cerclage
  • Fetal medical conditions, such as heart disorders or genetic conditions
  • Mom’s medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational or preexisting diabetes, liver or kidney disease, obesity, bariatric surgery, family history of genetic disorders, cardiac disease, thyroid disease and autoimmune conditions (i.e. lupus)
  • Depression and other mental health conditions
  • Abnormal antenatal screenings for chromosomal abnormalities
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Problems with the placenta, such as placental insufficiency or placental previa or abruption

High-risk conditions we treat

Medical complications affecting mom:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Clotting disorders
  • Later-age pregnancy
  • HIV/AIDS

Complications that develop during pregnancy:

  • Amniotic fluid abnormalities (oligohydramnios and polyhydramnios)
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Preterm labor
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Multiple pregnancy losses
  • Placental conditions (Placental abruption and placenta previa)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count)
  • Pre-eclampsia

Medical conditions affecting baby:

  • Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Gastroschisis
  • Giant neck mass
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intraperitoneal intrauterine fetal transfusion
  • Lower urinary tract obstruction
  • Omphalocele
  • Sacrococcygeal teratoma
  • Spina bifida
  • Twin reversed arterial perfusion sequence
  • Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome

Gestational diabetes

Rose Diabetes Center offers a three-part educational series to benefit expectant mothers with gestational diabetes. Learn more about the risks of pregnacy.

Services for high-risk pregnancy care

Rose’s team of maternal-fetal medicine doctors, specialized nurses and support staff offer an additional level of pregnancy and childbirth support, working with you and your obstetrician to ensure the very best care. Services offered include, but are not limited to:

  • First trimester ultrasounds for congenital abnormalities and genetic screening
  • Detailed diagnostic ultrasound
  • Cerclage
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
  • Amniocentesis
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Fetal heart monitoring (non-stress test)
  • Counseling about exposure to medications, radiation and possible toxins
  • 20-week detailed assessment of fetal anatomy with genetic counseling
  • Collaboration and co-management with your obstetrician for your pregnancy care plan
  • Evaluation and treatment of both maternal and fetal health complications
  • Inpatient management of pregnancy complications

Pregnancy for women 35 years old and older

More women are starting their families later in life: nearly 10 percent of first-time moms are 35 years old or older. Luckily, improved technology has helped make these pregnancies and deliveries easier.

Many experts recommend women who are planning to have children after 35 freeze their eggs when they are younger, part of a process called assisted reproductive technology. A woman’s egg quantity and quality may be reduced later in life. It is also possible for older women to receive a donor egg from another woman if they are unable to use their own eggs.

Risks for mom and baby

A woman who is older than 35 is considered to have advanced maternal age and will have a high-risk pregnancy. While prenatal and postpartum care is important for any mother-to-be, women who are high-risk will be monitored more frequently from pregnancy onset through birth. Advanced maternal age mothers have more ultrasounds and blood tests to monitor the baby and mother’s progression.

Babies born to older mothers have an increased risk of genetic abnormalities. All women are born with a certain number of eggs, and as a woman ages, so do her eggs. When you become pregnant later in life, there is a risk that chromosomes won’t pair up correctly or may become damaged. This may result in genetic disorders.

The following are some risks that both mother and baby may face:

  • Miscarriage
  • Difficult time getting pregnant
  • Pre-gestational chronic hypertension
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Cesarean section
  • Milk-supply issues
  • Stillbirth
  • Twins, triplets and more are more likely, especially with fertility treatment
  • Baby may have genetic disorders like Down syndrome

Advantages of having a child later in life

If you are looking to become pregnant later in life, a discussion with your OB/GYN before you begin trying to conceive may put your mind at ease. You and your doctor can discuss whether you are healthy enough to conceive and if your body is ready for pregnancy. Here are some of the advantages of raising a child when you are older than 35:

  • Your kids might be smarter. One study shows children born from mothers who waited later to have kids made better grades and were more likely to attend college. Another study shows that compared to 40 years ago, children who are born to mothers 35 or older today tend to score better on the verbal ability portions of cognitive ability tests.
  • You may be more prepared financially. Raising a child is expensive. The USDA reports that raising a child from birth to 18 years old costs more than $245,000 for a middle-income family when considering food, housing, childcare, education and other expenses. If you are having a child after 35, it is more likely you are settled in your career and you and your partner have your finances under control.

Staying healthy during pregnancy when you are older than 35

Here are some ways you can take care of yourself when going through pregnancy:

  • Get regular physical activity
  • Talk to your OB/GYN about the amount of weight you should be gaining
  • Focus on eating foods or taking supplements with folic acid, calcium, iron and vitamin D
  • Don’t skip any prenatal appointments and ask about the risks and benefits of genetic abnormality testing

Prenatal genetic counseling

If you and your partner are newly pregnant, you may have the option to receive genetic testing at Rose Medical Center. These tests identify the likelihood of certain genetic diseases and disorders being passed on to your child. Not every expectant mother needs genetic counseling and it is recommended that if a woman elects to receive genetic counseling, that she do so before she becomes pregnant to help asses her risk factors.

Group B strep and pregnancy

If you are pregnant it is important to educate yourself about group B streptococcus (GBS), also called “baby strep.” Approximately 25 percent of pregnant woman carry GBS. In pregnant women, group B strep can cause infection of the placenta, womb, urinary tract and amniotic fluid. It is possible for women to pass the infection to their babies during labor and delivery.

Most children who are exposed to GBS during labor and delivery do not have any problems. Although, some can become ill from coming into contact with the infection. Luckily, at Rose Medical Center we can prevent and treat group B strep. Our physicians test mothers to see if they have group B strep. If an expectant mother tests positive, she will receive intravenous (IV) antibiotics to kill the bacteria during labor. If your child does get GBS, he or she will also be treated with antibiotics.

Why choose Rose for high-risk pregnancy care?

When experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, sometimes during pregnancy, hospitalization may be required. To provide the best care for our high-risk moms-to-be, Rose Medical Center has a special 11-bed perinatal unit located on the third floor of the hospital. Nurses in this unit are specially trained to provide individualized and compassionate care for expectant mothers and their babies.

We offer that extra level of support you need to help cope with your anxieties and fears. Through support groups, parent education and extra one-on-one care, our team is here for you.

Our care team

Our perinatologists, also called maternal-fetal medicine doctors, have received specialized training in caring for women experiencing high-risk pregnancies. Our doctors are supported by a team of nurses and technologists who are also uniquely qualified to care for high-risk mothers and babies. Our team partners with your obstetrician to plan the safest pregnancy and delivery possible.

At the Rose Center for Maternal-Fetal health, you will have the confidence of knowing you are being treated by one of our highly experienced clinicians dedicated to helping guide you through the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Our mother-baby care team is made up of:

  • Perinatologists
  • Obstetricians
  • Expert neonatologists and experienced neonatal nursing staff
  • Perinatal nurse practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Sonographers

NICU

With a high-risk pregnancy, it is possible that your baby will require a stay in our Level III NICU after birth. As part of the HealthONE System, we work closely with the Level IV NICU at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children—the largest NICU in Colorado. If your baby requires a higher level of care, we will rapidly transfer him or her to this Level IV NICU.