What is the Fetal Medicine Unit
The Fetal Medicine Unit at the Leeds General Infirmary is run by a team of experienced and highly specialised fetal medicine consultants and midwives. We work closely with members of other teams to ensure that you receive the right care for you and your baby both during and after the birth of your baby.
The Leeds Fetal Medicine Unit serves a population of 50,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber and is one of only 15 specialised fetal medicine centres across the country. We receive about 1000 new referrals each year and carry out around 3500 scans.
We work with consultants and nurse specialists from clinical genetics, neonatology, paediatric surgery, paediatric cardiology, paediatric neurosurgery, paediatric neurology and paediatric nephrology. All of these specialties are located on the LGI site which means that, if your baby requires expert care in hospital after birth, mother and baby will not be separated but will be cared for within the same hospital. We are unique in being able to offer this co-located care with no other unit in the country providing co-located maternity, fetal and all paediatric services on the same hospital site.
In our clinics we:
- scan women at high risk of a fetal abnormality
- confirm the diagnosis of fetal abnormalities, when present
- provide detailed information about the diagnosis and likely outcome
- offer a range of diagnostic tests to help make a diagnosis and inform decision making
- liaise with, and refer to, other specialists, when needed
- advise couples of their choices and provide ongoing support during the pregnancy and afterwards, where appropriate
- liaise with referring hospitals to enable care to be provided close to home, where appropriate
- monitor certain babies throughout the pregnancy and in some cases arrange delivery at the LGI, when the baby is likely to require specialist care after birth
- undertake interventional and therapeutic procedures, such a fetal blood transfusions
- assess multiple pregnancies (twins and triplets) for possible complications
Most women are able to return to their local hospital for ongoing care during their pregnancy, often only needing to be seen in FMU once or twice but some will need to return to the FMU on a regular basis for monitoring until the time that their baby is born. It is important that all women maintain contact with their community midwife and local maternity team throughout their pregnancy to ensure that both mother and baby receive appropriate antenatal care.