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The Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine

The Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) provides care for women with complex pregnancies who reside throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Our fetal therapy service and telemedicine service also provides care to women from interstate and the Asia-Pacific region.

Our staff

The centre is staffed by maternal fetal medicine specialists, midwives, sonographers, a genetic counsellor and administrative staff. Care is multidisciplinary with all staff working together to provide families with the best possible care and support. The centre is accredited for the training of specialists, midwives and sonographers.

Partners in care

The MFM team works closely with other health practitioners including obstetricians, neonatologists (baby doctors), cardiologists and geneticists. Appointments to see other specialists will usually coincide with an existing hospital appointment.

Services offered by the Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine

Ultrasound

The centre provides specialised ultrasound scans and counselling for women with high risk pregnancies. It also provides an ultrasound service for inpatients of Mater Mothers' Hospitals.

In addition to providing ultrasound for complex pregnancy the centre has limited appointments for routine ultrasound scans including the following:

  • First trimester combined screening test (FTCS). This test assesses the risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21).
  • An 18 to 20 week ultrasound scan. This test is used to assess for structural abnormalities, such as spina bifida.

Most women will have their screening ultrasound performed in their local community. If a problem is suspected on ultrasound, a referral to the centre can be arranged.

Prenatal testing

The centre offers both chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis for women wishing to have testing for chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome. Prenatal testing is also available for known genetic defects such as cystic fibrosis.

Genetic counselling

Genetic Health Queensland (GHQ) provides a genetic counselling service at Mater Mothers' Hospitals.

Multiple birth pregnancies (e.g. twins or triplets)

The centre provides care for women with complex multiple pregnancies. The centre is well known for the treatment of twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a condition that can affect twins with a single placenta. Mater performed the first laser therapy for TTTS in Australia in 2002.

Fetal heart scans

Fetal heart scans, also known as fetal echocardiography are a detailed assessment of the baby's heart. A paediatric cardiologist attends the ultrasound scan to assist in the diagnosis of heart abnormalities and also to provide counselling.

The centre works closely with Queensland Paediatric Cardiac Service (QPCS), located at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. This assists in the planning of after birth care of babies with a cardiac defect.

External Cephalic Version (ECV)

ECV is the procedure of turning a baby from a breech to a head first position. A successful ECV means that a woman is able to plan for a vaginal birth. For further information please refer to Mater's External Cephalic Version brochure.

Fetal surgery

Fetal surgery is a rapidly developing area that can offer new treatment possibilities.

Counselling

The diagnosis of a fetal abnormality or other pregnancy problem can be a difficult time for parents. Counselling by the multidisciplinary team provides these women and their families with detailed information and offers ongoing support.

Case management

Midwife case managers work closely with MFM specialists and the multidisciplinary team to ensure that care is individualised and coordinated. They offer families a primary point of contact for information and support.

Research and education

The centre is internationally recognised for research and training in maternal fetal medicine. Women may be asked to participate in ongoing research projects—participation is voluntary and only after informed consent has been provided. Previous research studies have resulted in improvements to the care of complex pregnancies.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine enables women to have an ultrasound scan and consultation with a Mater specialist at a site remote from Mater Mothers' Hospital, e.g. North Queensland.

Access to support

A variety of support services are available through the centre, including access to social workers, pastoral care, indigenous liaison and bereavement support. Interpreters are available via telephone and face-to-face appointments if required.

Referrals

A referral from a doctor is required to access services provided by the centre. Each ultrasound scan usually requires a new referral. Women should access their local obstetric service prior to being referred to the centre, so that ongoing care can be coordinated locally.

Costs

Not all services provided by the centre are covered by Medicare or your private health insurance. A gap payment will be incurred for most services. Bulk billing is available for women with pension or health care cards who present their cards on the day of their service. If you have any queries regarding fees, please discuss them with our staff prior to your scan by telephoning 07 3163 1896.

Women travelling more than 50 kilometres for assessment in the centre may be eligible to have some of their expenses reimbursed by their referring hospital under the Patient Travel Scheme (PTS). Further information is available via Qld and NSW Health department websites.

Parking/transport

Mater Hill Busway station is situated in the middle of Mater's South Brisbane campus. You can access bus timetables at www.transinfo.qld.gov.au.

Parking is available on site at Mater's Hancock Street Car Park and Mater Hill car parks.

Preparation for your ultrasound scan

Please eat and drink normally as a full bladder is not required for your ultrasound scan. However we request that you do not empty your bladder within 30 minutes of your appointment, unless you are uncomfortable, as some fluid in the bladder improves visualisation.

Appointments

Appointments table

Please phone MFM reception on 07 3163 1896 if you are unable to attend your appointment. If you arrive late for your appointment it may need to be rescheduled.

Contact

Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine
Level 7
Mater Mothers' Hospital
Raymond Terrace
South Brisbane Qld 4101
Phone: 07 3163 1896
Fax: 07 3163 1890
Website: www.matermothers.org.au

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-430147
Last modified 08/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 19/7/2014
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