Pregnancy & Congenital Conditions for Babies, Mothers | MedStar Health

What is this program?

Woman with new born baby

Special Moms/Special Babies is a unique obstetrical service at MedStar Health that provides coordinated, focused pregnancy care for mothers who themselves have a congenital health problem or who are carrying babies with congenital problems.

Who would be a candidate for the program?

Any mother whose pregnancy is affected by her own congenital health condition, such as repaired congenital heart disease, or genetic conditions or syndromes, such as osteogenesis imperfecta.


Any mother who has been identified prenatally as carrying a baby with a serious congenital problem that will need evaluation and treatment immediately after birth. Such problems include babies with severe heart problems, unusual twin complications, brain or spinal problems, or similar severe problems.

Why is this program needed?

Mothers who themselves have congenital medical problems have extremely complicated pregnancies needing consultation and input from different medical specialists. The Hospital Center is a major tertiary care center, with all medical specialists and intensive care settings. It shares both a campus with Children's National Medical Center (CNMC) as well as unique care programs, such as the Washington Area Congenital Heart program and the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment program. 

The Special Moms/Special Babies service provides coordination with both these hospitals for all the medical treatment needed during the pregnancy, as well as specialized delivery services for high-risk babies and mothers.

What does the program involve?

Single site, high-risk obstetric care with specialists trained and experienced in the management of complicated pregnancies, including:

  • Detailed ultrasound evaluations, including first trimester screening
  • Prenatal diagnosis procedures, including amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling
  • Fetal monitoring for well-being
  • Consultations with in-house needed subspecialists, such as obstetric anesthesia, neonatology, cardiology, medical genetics, and surgery, to ensure that the medical problems unique to that high-risk pregnancy are carefully addressed
  • Collaboration with CNMC for fetal evaluation and referrals for care after delivery
  • Delivery care specialized for the needed maternal and fetal health problems

    • Delivery in specialized operating room settings at the Hospital Center with maternal monitoring and specialist supervision
    • Immediate availability of CNMC personnel for evaluation and care of the infant
    • Coordination and performance of deliveries at CNMC for infants whose medical problems are so severe they cannot afford the time needed to transport them from another hospital
  • Post partum care in intensive care settings as indicated

What insurance is accepted?

The program accepts most private insurances, including Tricare, Cigna, BlueCross/BlueShield, DC Medicaid and Medicaid PPO's, and straight Maryland Medicaid. Special approval for other insurances may be possible in certain circumstances.

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