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Maternal Medicine

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We are one of two Maternal Medicine Centres (MMCs) of excellence in the East of England for pregnant women with pre-existing medical disorders or pregnancy-related medical conditions, treating women referred from across the East of England.

About

Our specialist maternal medicine team including doctors, physicians, nurses, midwives and other specialists are trained in providing the highest standards of care pre, during and post pregnancy, resulting in the best outcomes for both mother and baby.

As a Maternal Medicine Hub, the team here in Cambridge will support the East of England Maternal Medicine Network in ensuring women and their babies are cared for in the most appropriate environment, as close to home as possible. We endeavour to provide equitable care for every woman who requires access to our services.

Focus on improvement in Maternity care

Recent reports highlight that many incidents resulting in maternal or fetal death were as a result of pre-existing medical conditions and could have been avoided with the correct level of care and intervention including better education in the pregnancy planning stage so that conditions during pregnancy can be managed appropriately.

NHS England has an aim to reduce maternal deaths by 50% by 2025. To support this, they have granted extra funding to establish a national Maternal Medicine Network with regional hubs, so our long-established maternal medicine service will be able to treat more women within the East of England and raise the profile of the service so that every woman who needs specialist care will be able to access this. The East of England’s other hub is located at Norfolk and Norwich NHS Foundation Trust.

Who is the service for?

Pregnant women from across the East of England with significant pre-existing medical conditions or pregnancy-related medical conditions. This includes neurological, heart, endocrine / glandular, joint and connective tissue, bowel, kidney / renal, lung / respiratory, liver and metabolic disorders, haematological / blood disorders including sickle cell disease, thrombosis and coagulation problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.

Ongoing antenatal care

Once you have been referred to the maternal medicine team, your pregnancy care will be managed between doctors and midwives. We work in collaboration with your local team and consultants from a wide range of specialities (neurologists, gastroenterologists, oncologists, rheumatologists, anaesthetists, obstetric physicians, obstetricians), conducting regular multidisciplinary meetings to discuss the safest management for women and their babies.

Reviews and appointments will be tailored according to your condition and your individualised needs. We are aiming to offer continuity of care throughout pregnancy, as we know this is crucial for women with complex medical needs.

Referrals

At your first appointment, your midwife will collect detailed information about your medical history and will contact the maternal medicine team for further input if necessary. The team will contact you directly and will plan all the required follow-up appointments for the rest of your pregnancy.

Your GP can also refer you by downloading the following form and emailing it to maternal medicine.

When completing a referral to Maternal Medicine please state the priority status in the subject heading (urgent or routine), we reserve the right to alter the priority status following review.

Please ensure all medical history is included in your referral.

Patient information

Find out what to expect when you come to our hospital for your maternal medicine appointment.

Before your appointment

You should receive your appointment within one to two weeks of referral. You are welcome to bring a relative, close friend or carer with you to your appointment. You are also welcome to ask for a chaperone and we will endeavour to provide one for you.

We suggest you wear comfortable clothing with easy access to your upper arms, as we will need to take your blood pressure. Please remember to check your appointment letter for anything specific you have been asked to take with you. In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring the following:

  • A list of questions you may want to ask
  • A list of medications, knowledge of past medical history, any test results that may be relevant
  • Any letters from other specialists that are relevant to your condition

During your appointment

You can expect your appointment to take 10 to 30 minutes. You may need to have blood tests at your visit which will be performed either by the maternal medicine team or phlebotomist.

Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the nurse or doctor know and the students will be asked to step outside.

On your appointment you will be seen by one or more of our specialists (both physicians and maternal medicine specialists) so that combined management plans about your care can be formed. They will take a detailed history from you, examine you if necessary and organise appropriate tests. They will discuss any treatment you need and arrange any follow-up appointments that may be required in the obstetric medicine clinic.

After your appointment

Follow-up appointments will be discussed and planned during your first appointment. If there are urgent results which require treatment or a change to your follow up, you will be contacted by telephone by either the doctor or maternal medicine midwife.