Some pregnancies, and babies, need a closer look to either ensure all is healthy or to diagnose, follow or manage a condition that will impact on health in the womb or once born.

Fetal diagnosis is available through Monash Health and is centralised to the Clayton campus.

Access to the fetal diagnostic service occurs in one of several ways:

  1. Direct referral from your GP, usually if there is a problem early in your pregnancy
  2. Referral from your maternity care provider (public antenatal clinic, obstetrician, shared care affiliate)
  3. Invitation for review in your pregnancy due a fetal complication or chance of complication that you are known to have as this has been cared for by the fetal diagnostic service previously

Health professionals / GPs who are looking to refer their patient for fetal diagnosis, please see the Referrals page for information and downloadable form.

You are not able to self-refer for fetal diagnosis.

Who will be seen?

All women who are initially assessed as needing to be seen by fetal diagnostics will be offered an appropriate appointment.

Many parents to be that are referred for fetal diagnosis do not need this service and the issue is either minor in nature, suitable for care in the existing setting or can be resolved with an ultrasound scan in Monash Health or with further testing that your referring doctor is able to arrange.

You may need to be seen if abnormalities persist on follow up testing recommended by FDU, and this will be communicated to your referring doctor if your initial referral is declined and your doctor will be able to discuss this with you.

When will I be seen?

All referrals are triaged (read by a senior doctor) and assigned an appointment on a daily basis. You will be contacted by a team member after your referral has been triaged. Sometimes this requires additional information regarding blood test results, down syndrome screening and ultrasound scans you have had elsewhere and you may be contacted to establish where these tests were done so that they can be added to the referral.

Wait times therefore vary from very short to several weeks in order of clinical priority.

What can I expect at my appointment?

You can expect a detailed ultrasound and explanation of the findings, likely diagnosis and implications for your pregnancy and baby by the fetal diagnostic obstetricians as well as a plan for the remainder of your pregnancy with regards to further testing, ultrasounds and the best hospital to give birth at.

This will also often involve other specialist doctors who care for children your baby has speaking with you on the day to explain what will happen later on after your baby(ies) is/are born.

Please allow adequate time for your appointment. It is also helpful to bring a support person as they may remember additional things from the appointment you do not and can also help ease any anxiety.

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