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Cardinal Glennon / Services & Programs / Fetal Care Institute / What to Expect from Your Visit

The SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute offers fetal care coordination. Our team-based approach to care allows us to create the right plan for you, your family and your unborn child. This method of coordinating care lets us provide families with the most accurate information, so that you, as parents, can make more informed decisions. We hope to provide as much information and support as possible to you and your family throughout this journey. Our team knows that every case is unique. We’ll work with you to meet the specific needs of you and your family.

Ultimately, we aim to achieve the best possible outcomes for you, your baby and your family. We do this by:

  • Incorporating cutting-edge technology to diagnose, monitor, and treat your baby
  • Improving communications between doctors, nurses, staff, and your family, as well as providing support and advocacy programs
  • Doing everything we can to prepare for and treat complications during complex deliveries

Keeping Safe During COVID-19

The uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, combined with a unique pregnancy, can cause a stressful situation. Our team is here to support you and do everything we can to provide you, your baby and your family with compassionate, state-of-the-art care. Things may look a little different, but we are here, ready to help in the safest way possible.

Your Journey

A family’s journey with the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute starts with a call. You can refer yourself or your physician can do so.

Preparing For Your First Visit

After that first call, our team will review your case and one of our care coordinators will contact you to welcome you to the program. At this time, they will arrange your initial visit.

Your care coordinator will plan your initial visit. They will contact your OB/GYN to obtain your current medical records, arrange appointments with pediatric specialists who will be involved in the care of your baby, as well as maternal fetal medicine specialists who will be responsible for your care. They will also schedule any additional testing that will need to be done at this initial appointment.

Before your visit with the team at Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute, a fetal nurse coordinator will call to provide information about your upcoming appointment and conduct a pre-visit COVID-19 screening.

If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 before any of your appointments, please call us at (314) 268-4037 for help. This will not stop you and your baby from receiving care but will allow us to help you develop a treatment plan that will keep you and our team safe. COVID-19 symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Your First Appointment

Your first visit at the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute will likely last a full day. This visit will consist of meeting with specialists, and additional testing, such as detailed ultrasounds and possibly a fetal MRI and fetal ECHO (echocardiogram). Throughout the day, we will collect all of the diagnostic information gathered from these tests, speak to you about your family history and discuss your unique family needs.

You will also meet with a wide variety of caregivers and medical specialists who will work with you throughout the entirety of your pregnancy. Depending on the needs of you and your baby, you will speak with pediatric and maternal fetal medicine physicians, specialized in the care of certain conditions. You may also meet with a genetic counselor, social worker, sonographer, Footprints℠ coordinator and financial counselor.

After all of your consultations, our team will meet as a group to discuss your case: the prognosis, any uncertainties, and recommendations for the pregnancy and delivery.

We will then meet with you and your family to discuss your unique situation, present available options and answer any questions you may have. We may also provide guidance regarding:

  • The monitoring of your pregnancy
  • Follow-up testing
  • Interventions
  • Therapy during pregnancy and after delivery
  • Delivery time and location
  • Mode of delivery
  • Follow-up after birth

We know how important it is to have your support system at your appointments with you, which is why you are still welcome to bring two healthy adult visitors with you. We also offer virtual visits for anyone who can't join you in-person at the appointment. Your nurse coordinator can help with arrangements for this.

When you arrive at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, a staff member will ask you and the person accompanying you about your risk of having COVID-19 and take your temperature.

Based on CDC recommendations, anyone who enters the building will be required to wear a mask or face covering. Once checked in, you will be directed to the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute.

The level of compassionate care you will receive from our team has not changed, but things may look a little different. The health care team will be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which might include a mask and goggles. They will meet with you in one of our nesting rooms, an ultrasound room or our conference room.

Appointments with some specialists might be conducted virtually. We will work with you to make this as easy for you as possible. This may mean conducting virtual visits from the comfort of your home. If you don’t have access to the appropriate technology or a reliable Wi-Fi connection at home, we can arrange to do these virtual visits at the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute using one of our iPads.

It is important to be aware of the stress a unique pregnancy can cause, especially during these changing times. The emotional health of our moms is very important to us, which is why we screen each patient for perinatal depression at all of her visits.

Our team is here to support you, and we want to make sure you know it is okay to ask for help! We are only a phone call away at (314) 268-4037 (select option 2) if you need to talk.

Follow-Up Care

Every pregnancy is different. Some situations require more frequent follow-up visits with our team and the team of pediatric specialists involved in your care, to better plan for delivery. Others may simply require general monitoring throughout the pregnancy.

Throughout your time with us we will work with you to create a birth plan that’s right for you. Our goal is to develop a plan of care that can be shared with everyone involved in the care of you and your baby during pregnancy, at delivery and into the future.

Communication is the cornerstone of our program and we are here for you every step of the way. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call, we’re available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Simply call 314-268-4037 and we’ll be there to listen.

The CDC has stated that pregnancy may cause an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. We join them in recommending that all of our moms:

  • Continue going to prenatal and postnatal appointments.
  • Take precautions including wearing a mask, practicing frequent hand washing and social distancing when around other people.
  • Avoid activities where taking protective measures and maintaining social distancing may be difficult.
  • Make sure you have at least a 30-day supply of your medicines.
  • Talk with your healthcare team about how to stay safe and healthy.
  • Seek care immediately if you have a medical emergency.
  • Be aware of the stress this challenging time can cause. Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you need to talk, our team is only a phone call away at (314) 268-4037.


Even during the pandemic, our team will help you plan for the delivery of your baby with compassionate, state-of-the-art care.

Testing for COVID-19 before delivery is up to the discretion of each care provider. Your doctor will let you know if you need to have a test and how you should go about being tested.

All employees and visitors are screened for COVID-19 when they enter the hospital.

The team at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - St. Louis wears the same PPE as the team at the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute wears for appointments. During delivery, they will also be wearing medical gowns, which is standard practice.

If you have COVID-19, you will deliver in a special area of the mother and baby unit to keep other hospital visitors and the team safe. Our team will do our best to keep you and your baby together for your entire stay, even if you have COVID-19.

If your baby requires a stay at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - St. Louis NICU or the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Dana Brown NICU, they will be allowed to have the same two healthy visitors for their entire stay. Visitors are allowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All visitors are screened for COVID-19 each time they enter the hospital.

The visitor policy varies at each hospital and is subject to change. It is important to check with your care team before delivery to learn the most up-to-date policy.

Support & Advocacy

The team behind Footprints℠ provides an extra layer of emotional, spiritual and psychosocial support to all of our SSM Health Cardinal Glennon St. Louis Fetal Care Institute families. Having a new baby is an emotional experience and with the special situations many of our families face, this extra level of support is extremely helpful throughout the pregnancy and beyond.

The Footprints℠ team serves as an advocate and support system for our mothers, babies, and families, provides tours of different areas of the hospital that families may utilize such as the Dana Brown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and assists with the development of delivery plans.

The Footprints℠ team listens to families' concerns and wishes and facilitates communication with medical, nursing and supportive services to ensure family goals, concerns and wishes are honored. Footprints℠ also coordinates resources and care with the Social Services team to make sure you and your family are supported every step of the way. Bereavement and other emotional support services are also available.

The All of You Matters program is here to support you through what can be a challenging time. The innovative program provides complimentary counseling and mental health support services to our mothers and their partners.

Providing Answers After Loss (PAAL) program supports families who experience the loss of a pregnancy or the passing of a newborn, where the underlying cause is unknown. Our team will work to help find answers and provide counseling and support.

The PAAL Program

Our team provides support and counseling for families after unanswered loss of pregnancy or newborn.

Learn More About PAAL

All of You Matters

The overall well-being and mental health of you, your family and your baby-to-be are all critical components of your overall health.

Learn More About All of You Matters

Footprints℠ Program

The Footprints℠ staff is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children living with complex medical illnesses.

Learn More About Footprints℠

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