Fetal Care Institute

No parent ever wants to hear that their baby has a birth defect. The expert team of caregivers at the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital understands the fear, confusion and stress that comes along with a complex prenatal diagnosis and has the tools and expertise to help.

Since the program started in 2009, the Fetal Care Institute has been changing lives through innovative fetal medicine, the latest technology and compassionate, family-centered care.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

The St. Louis Fetal Care Institute is the most comprehensive program of its kind in the Midwest. By bringing together a team of specialists that include, maternal-fetal medicine, nursing, social work, genetics, diagnostic imaging, neonatology and more, the Fetal Care Institute has the experience to care for families facing even the most complex and high-risk pregnancies.

Fetal Heart Program

From early diagnosis to delivery and surgery after birth, the Fetal Heart Program at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon is a leader in innovative care. With the most experienced cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons in the region, the Fetal Heart Program, in collaboration with the Fetal Care Institute, has the expertise to handle the most challenging cases. Using state-of-the-art technology, some heart defects can be detected as early as 18 weeks of gestation. The Fetal Heart team coordinates care for babies with complex heart diagnoses with maternal-fetal specialists, cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, neonatologists, genetic counselors and social workers to create a plan of care for each baby’s unique situation.

For babies needing intervention immediately after birth, our dedicated team has the capability to perform deliveries at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon, just steps away from the region’s only pediatric hybrid cardiac catheterization suite. There, our heart experts conduct advanced diagnostics and fix complex heart problems in a single procedure, allowing for safer care and quicker recovery.

PAAL Program

The question of “why” often goes unanswered for families who experience the loss of their baby, making the grieving process more difficult. While advanced genetic testing is available, it is often not covered by insurance and families lack the resources to cover the cost. The Providing Answers After a Loss program (PAAL) brings together genetic counselors, perinatal pathologists and the latest lab testing to help families understand the diagnosis and its risk of recurring in future pregnancies, all at no cost to them. Through this program, families receive the answers they need, enabling them to make informed decisions about future pregnancies, while receiving support from the Fetal Care Institute team along the way.

How Your Support Will Help

By supporting the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute, you are helping us make a difference in the lives of babies and families in the following ways:

Technology Updates. As medical technology continues to improve at an astonishing rate, equipment (large and small) must be periodically replaced. Donor support allows us to purchase everything from fetal heart monitors to high-definition, 3D ultrasound equipment.

Research. In addition to supporting research projects aimed at improving outcomes on a number of prenatal interventions, donor support allows us to assist families with the cost of genetic testing through the PAAL program.

Staff Education. Donor support enables our staff to attend annual conferences and other educational opportunities to gain additional certifications, network with staff from other fetal care programs and stay informed about advances in the field.

Cardinal Glennon patient Billy