Should You See a Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctor?
Updated: Sep 30
What are maternal-fetal medicine doctors? If you're trying for a baby and it's going smoothly, you might not ever have to come across one. In short, maternal-fetal medicine doctors are high-risk pregnancy experts, usually supporting women who've had pregnancy issues in the past, carrying more than one baby, or older than 35.
As a mom who got pregnant over 40, I'm familiar with the complications of older pregnancies, but supporting high-risk pregnancies and women and learning how to support someone after miscarriage is no easy feat. In learning more about different doctors, specialists, and experts, we're making an effort to share stories and experiences from people working in the medical field.
Meet Dr. Shannon Clark
I recently spoke with Dr. Shannon Clark from @babiesafter35, Board Certified OB/GYN, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, Professor, EBM, Advocate, and Mother of Twins. She's also on TikTok under the username @tiktokbabydoc with almost 228K followers as of August 2021!
After becoming an OB/GYN, Shannon spent an extra three years studying to sub-specialize in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Despite her excellent bedside manners, Shannon was never fully able to understand her patients until she experienced having a high-risk pregnancy herself.
Shannon and her husband met when they were 38 and began trying for kids after 40. After a miscarriage and five rounds of IVF, Shannon was discouraged from her losses. She was finally able to become pregnant with twins using donor eggs and IVF, but her pregnancy soon became complicated. She delivered at 31 weeks and had both twins spend time in the NICU for 5-6 weeks.
What's the difference between a maternal-fetal specialist and OB/GYN?
OB training requires four years of residency after medical school. This allows OBs to practice, deliver babies, and perform gynecology work. Maternal-fetal specialists require more training as a sub-specialty of OB work. Typically training three years more, maternal-fetal specialists undergo training for medical/surgical complications, complicated fetal conditions, and special diagnoses.
Shannon’s unique experiences gave her a unique insight into the struggles that her patients go through. She educates women of all backgrounds from high-risk pregnancies to breastfeeding on her social media, and we love that she's able to do so from a place of personal experience, training with her patients, and love & compassion for her work.
From this Episode
In this episode, Shannon shares her specialized knowledge in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and answers my questions about high-risk pregnancies. Click here to listen to this episode of the Pretty Little Tribe Podcast and make sure you rate us five stars wherever you're listening.