Visiting Our Fetal Care Center

The Fetal Care Center provides support and coordinated care at every step of your baby's care journey.

Here you'll find an overview of what families can expect when visiting the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Fetal Care Center.

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Fetal Care Center Consultation: What to Expect

The Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital understands the emotions parents experience when they learn their infant has a complex medical condition. Our nurse navigators serve as the initial point of contact for all appointments from the first visit, throughout the pregnancy, and after delivery. 

Planning Your First Diagnostic Visit

Your first appointment may consist of a full day of diagnostic testing and meetings with different pediatric specialists who will care for the baby after birth.
These appointments and diagnostics tests may include the following, depending on the infant's diagnosis:  If the baby is a candidate for delivery at the Fetal Care Center's high-risk infant maternity unit, follow up appointments at the hospital will be scheduled with the OB hospitalist group and the fetal care nurses.

The Role of the Fetal Care Nurse Navigator 

​The Fetal Care Nurse Navigator will accompany the parents throughout the day and answer any questions he or she may have.
The nurse navigator will also schedule follow-up appointments with subspecialists and answer any questions throughout the pregnancy and until delivery. A tour of the Fetal Care Unit and the intensive care unit where the baby will stay after delivery will also take place.
Our Fetal Care Center Nurse Navigators are available 24 hours a day to coordinate appointments and consultations within the center and the hospital's pediatric specialties. Nurses are available via phone or text to answer any questions, relieve anxiety and help parents feel at ease. The goal is to help the parents feel fully prepared for the day of delivery and the days following the birth.

Out-of-Town Patient Families

For patients coming from a far distance, our care team can help arrange for accommodations close to the hospital. For more information on accommodations, please visit Hotel & Devonshire Apartment Accommodations

One Week Before Delivery 

A week before delivery, the parents will have a pre-operative huddle at the Fetal Care Center, where they will have the opportunity to meet with the the clinical team that will be involved in the baby's care. 

Day of Delivery

On the day of delivery, the expectant parents will be assigned a pre-natal room in the Fetal Care Center's Special Delivery Unit where the IV will be placed, and the mother and baby will be monitored. The clinical team will meet to go over the plan of care before delivery. Family members are welcome to remain with the expectant mother until it's time to deliver. 
When it is time to deliver the baby, the expectant mother will walk to the OR. Once the anesthesia is in place, a companion may accompany the mother in the operating room. Photos are welcome in the operating room.
For more information on delivery accommodations, please our Fetal Care Center's Special Delivery Unit  page. 

Post-Delivery & ICU Transfers

The baby is brought to the mother for bonding and photos shortly after delivery. Some infants are taken to the resuscitation room in the operating room for stabilization first, depending on their condition. Fathers/companions are welcome in the resuscitation room.
Infants are typically transferred to one of the high-level ICUs within the hospital shortly after delivery and meeting Mom.
Once the mother is stable, an Labor & Delivery (LnD) nurse will accompany the mother to the baby’s ICU room via wheelchair. Mothers are usually discharged from the Fetal Care Center's Special Delivery Unit about 48 hours after delivery. They can then visit the baby in the ICU as often as they’d like before or after discharge. Once the mother is discharged, she is able to stay alongside the baby in the ICU. 
For more information, about our high-level ICU, please visit our Neonatology page. 

After Discharge 

The OB Hospitalist that delivered the infant will follow up with the referring OB/MFM after delivery and discuss any needs for follow up care for the mother. After the infant is discharged from the hospital, the fetal care nurses continue to serve as a resource for families in need of follow up appointments with pediatric specialists

Hospital & Nursing Support Services 

Lactation consultants are on staff to assist mothers with their feeding choices, whether they choose to breast-feed, bottle-feed or both.  Individualized breast milk coolers in each of the maternity rooms and in the NICU. 
To further support our patient families, our Child Life department offers Sibling Workshops to help older siblings adjust to the new baby, and our Child Life specialists are available for to answer questions and provide support. They can even bring mobiles to the ICU for the babies. 

For more information, please visit Child Life

Children's Experiences

The Nicklaus Children's Children's Experiences department offers a variety of services and programs to help make your hospital stay more comfortable. Services include: 
  • Music therapy
  • Social workers
  • Extended accommodations for out-of-town families
  • Pet therapy
  • Preparing for the NICU program
For more information, please visit Children's Experiences