Fetal Therapy (Intrauterine Blood Transfusion)

Although uncommon, there are times when babies need medical treatment even before birth. At the Maternal and Fetal Specialty Center, we’re able to provide many of these treatments in a setting where the highest level of newborn and pediatric specialty care are also available.

Some types of fetal therapy we offer are:

• Intrauterine transfusion. This is a procedure where a baby is given blood before birth due to severe anemia. This is most often performed in cases of isoimmunization, where the mother has antibodies in her blood that destroy fetal blood cells.

• Amnioreduction. Some conditions cause there to be far too much fluid around the baby. This can make the mother very uncomfortable or can stimulate preterm contractions. Draining the fluid through a needle, or amnioreduction, can improve these symptoms.

• Medication administration. Sometimes a baby has a condition such as the heart beating much too fast. If treating the mother with medication doesn’t work, we may sometimes give medication directly to the baby before delivery.

• Draining fluid collections. In cases where there are large fluid collections in the baby that may cause damage during development or interfere with delivery, we might use a needle to drain the fluid prior to birth.