The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health: What to Expect

The members of The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health look forward to meeting you and helping you navigate through what to expect for the mother, baby and other members of the family. Our comprehensive approach allows families to get information from the pediatric experts and ask questions at every step during the pregnancy and beyond.

 

Before Your Visit With Our Fetal Health Team

Fast & Convenient Appointments

Whether families need further investigation to determine a diagnosis for the baby, more information to understand what the diagnosis means, or to start planning for specialized care after birth, we understand that time is of the essence. We will work with you to schedule a comprehensive appointment based on your schedule and needs.

Individualized Care

The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health will coordinate with your referring physicians to obtain the relevant medical, laboratory and imaging records. Our medical directors will then review your information to ensure that the necessary specialties are included at your consultation. There are times when other specialist consultations may be offered as new information about the baby becomes available.

In addition, we have excellent support team members available to meet with you, including social workers and child life specialists, who can help you determine and manage how this might affect other parts of your life or other children.

Almost all consultations are conducted in person, but may be held over the phone under special circumstances. Our team is available to assist you in all aspects of the consultation process, and we look forward to working with you.

Friendly & Available Team

If you need any immediate assistance before your visit, you can contact us any time of day and a clinical specialist will be available to help you. You can reach us at 1.866.338.2524 (1.866.FETAL24) – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During Your Visit With Our Fetal Health Specialists

Arrival

A member of our team will meet you upon arrival and escort you to your appointments. We hope to make your day as easy as possible, and we look forward to meeting you.

Imaging

If needed, some patients will have further imaging of the baby performed prior to the consultation to assist in the diagnosis and planning. This is usually performed before you meet with the specialists so they can have an opportunity to review the images prior to your consultation. 

Consultation

During a typical consultation, our physicians will discuss:

  • Expectations during the remainder of pregnancy
  • Preparing for delivery
  • What to expect when the baby is born
  • Medical care after birth
  • Any anticipated hospital course, including specific concerns and medical needs

Each family receives a folder containing information about the baby’s condition, Lurie Children’s and amenities. We also provide contact information for all of the physicians and team members who meet with your family. We are here to be a resource for you and your family.

Tours

If we anticipate that your baby will need specialized care in either the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), a member of our team will provide a tour for expectant parents and family members. This allows families to see a baby’s room, prepare for the time in the hospital and familiarize yourselves with what to expect during this journey with your baby.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the NICU and the Regenstein CCU

Pre-Delivery, Delivery & Birth Care

Each consultation is individualized based on the needs of the baby and where the mother is planning on delivering. We will work to help coordinate the following phases of care.

We will coordinate with your obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine physicians to ensure the key people are prepared for the delivery and expected plans for the baby after birth. Some babies go home with their families after birth, while others will need to stay in the NICU at Lurie Children’s or Prentice Women’s Hospital. In addition, as more information becomes available during your pregnancy, our medical directors review that information, adjust the plan as needed, and communicate back to all involved groups, including you.

Outpatient Follow-up Care

Many babies will be able to go home after birth and receive follow-up care as outpatients. Some babies will need evaluation by a specialist, repeat imaging or special testing after birth. Our team will work with your pediatrician to ensure your child is receiving the appropriate care. Outpatient care may include follow-up labs, radiology tests and/or office appointments.  

In-Hospital Care

Infants with conditions that require Lurie Children’s pediatric subspecialist expertise, constant monitoring, special testing or a surgical procedure are cared for in Lurie Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) after delivery. Some babies will be cared for in Prentice Women’s Hospital’s NICU by Lurie Children’s neonatologists. Our NICU is connected by bridge to make the transfer of babies delivered at Prentice safer and easier on both the child and the parents.

Under some circumstances, babies may be able to be cared for in their local hospital or NICU. We will help you plan for that care. If necessary, babies can be transported to Lurie Children’s from any delivery hospital.

Our intensive care units are open for parents to visit at any time of day. If a mother cannot visit immediately after delivery or remains hospitalized, we have a program in place for some delivery hospitals to allow mothers to connect with their babies via a secure video feed. 

Baby Care Connect allows moms who are still recovering after childbirth to have a video visit with their infants at Lurie Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU). Using iPads with a secure Polycom app, these moms can participate in family-centered rounds and discussions with the care team while also visiting with their child.

A mother and her newborn using our Baby Care Connect system.​

Baby Care Connect is currently available at:

  • Prentice Women’s Hospital
  • The Regenstein CCU at Lurie Children's
  • West Suburban Medical Center

Availability

The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health and your consultants are available to answer any questions that you have as the pregnancy progresses or after birth. You can contact our team at 1.866.338.2524 (1.866.FETAL24) or fetalhealth@luriechildrens.org, and we will get you the answer to your question.