Prenatal care in Richmond, Virginia

At HCA Virginia Physicians, our obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and maternal fetal medicine doctors offer specialized prenatal care in the Greater Richmond region. In addition to fetal monitoring throughout pregnancy, they provide prenatal screening and testing—such as genetic testing and sonographic screening—to ensure your baby's health.

To visit one of our maternal fetal medicine doctors, schedule an appointment online.

At HCA Virginia Physicians, our prenatal care team includes maternal-fetal medicine physicians, genetic counselors, nurses and ultrasonographers. Our dedicated staff ensures you receive quality, compassionate care during your pregnancy.

We also offer advanced care for women who are considered high-risk or whose pregnancy may need more than routine care. We will determine the appropriate treatment plan and work closely with your obstetrician throughout your pregnancy.

Our services include:

Perinatal consultation

In some cases, women who are high-risk become pregnant. In other cases, issues may arise during a seemingly routine pregnancy. Either way, our board-certified maternal-fetal medicine physicians are available for both outpatient and inpatient consultations to evaluate both the mother and fetus to develop a plan of care. We will work closely with your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) to carry out this plan alongside your obstetric care plan.

Prenatal and perinatal counseling services

Our specialists offer counseling services to help mothers feel informed and prepared for pregnancy, including:

Gestational diabetes counseling

Gestational diabetes is a potential complication that can occur during pregnancy. The condition causes high blood sugar levels during pregnancy that can place women at risk for fetal growth problems, cesarean delivery and metabolic abnormalities after delivery. Our maternal-fetal medicine physicians will discuss this diagnosis with you, develop a plan of care, arrange a consultation with a diabetes educator and work with you to manage your blood sugars.

Preconception counseling

For women who want to have a baby but worry they may be at risk for complications, we offer preconception counseling. Common reasons for preconception counseling include a family history of genetic diseases, personal medical complications or poor outcomes in a previous pregnancy. The preconception visit allows our providers to identify risk factors, discuss potential interventions and help you begin your pregnancy informed and prepared.

Prenatal education

Our certified nurse midwives (CNMs) offer a midwife birthing class that is geared towards first-time parents who would like to learn skills to navigate labor and delivery with the help of a midwife. The class provides general information about labor and birth, tools and techniques to enhance and understand the process and helps partners learn how support a woman in labor.

Classes are held one Saturday per month from 9 am – 4 pm, in the Loudoun Community Midwives Lansdowne office.

For more information, contact Loudoun Community Midwives at 703-726-1300.

Prenatal screening and testing

We offer prenatal screening and testing to help expecting mothers and their families understand the health of the baby as their pregnancy progresses. In addition to overall health, prenatal screening and testing is able to diagnose genetic and structural issues that may be present at birth, including:

  • Cleft lip
  • Congenital birth defects
  • Edwards' syndrome (trisomy 18)
  • Down syndrome
  • Spina bifida

Prenatal genetic testing

Most babies are born healthy, however, the general risk of having a child with a birth defect is about 3-4 percent. The risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality increases with the age of the mother at the time of pregnancy.

The approximate risks of having a baby with a chromosomal disorder related to the mother's age are:

  • 20 years old and younger: one in 525
  • 20 to 25 years old: one in 475
  • 25 to 30 years old: one in 400
  • 30 to 35 years old: one in 204
  • 35 to 40 years old: one in 73
  • 40 to 45 years old: one in 23

This information is intended to help you decide which, if any, prenatal screening tests you would like to have performed during your pregnancy.

We offer the following prenatal genetic testing:

  • Alpha fetal protein (AFP)—This test screens for neural tube defects in your baby and can be tested in the mother’s blood or a sample of the amniotic fluid.
  • Amniocentesis—This test is typically performed when a mother is 15-18 weeks pregnant, by obtaining a sample of amniotic fluid. It is more than 99 percent accurate for ruling out chromosomal abnormalities and 95 percent accurate for detecting open neural tube defects.
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)—This test is typically performed when a mother is between 10 and 11 weeks pregnant and involves obtaining a sample of the placenta for genetic testing by either a vaginal or abdominal approach. CVS testing is more than 99 percent accurate for detecting chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Quadscreen—This is a non-invasive second trimester blood test performed when a mother is between 16 and 18 weeks pregnant, that screens for Down syndrome, Edwards' syndrome (trisomy 18) and neural tube defects.
  • Ultrascreen / nuchal translucency—This noninvasive test is performed when a mother is between 11 and 13 weeks pregnant. It predicts risks based on the patient’s age, a blood sample from the mother (obtained by a finger stick) combined with an ultrasound. This test detects 82-87 percent of Down syndrome pregnancies and 95 percent of Edwards' syndrome (trisomy 18) pregnancies.

Prenatal sonographic screening

Obstetric ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create a picture of your uterus or baby. We offer 3D and 4D ultrasound technology to identify potential prenatal issues.

Receiving an ultrasound during pregnancy will help:

  • Check the placenta, amniotic fluid level or cervix
  • Confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy
  • Determine there is a viable pregnancy developing in the uterus
  • Monitor the growth of your baby
  • To see if the baby has certain major structural anomalies

First trimester sonographic evaluation

During the first trimester sonographic evaluation, the doctor will:

  • Assess the viability (likelihood of a successful pregnancy) and determine gestational age (the period of time between conception and birth)
  • Screen for Down syndrome

Second trimester sonographic evaluation

During the second trimester sonographic evaluation, the doctor will:

  • Check for multiple pregnancies (gestations)
  • Perform a fetal echocardiogram to view the fetus' heart
  • Screen for Down syndrome again, as well as other genetic abnormalities
  • Screen for structural birth defects, including spina bifida, cleft lip and skeletal abnormalities