Fetal Concerns

UnityPoint Health - Meriter - Center for Perinatal Care

Fetal Care Coordination Team

The Fetal Care Coordination team is part of a team that provides excellent care and support during your pregnancy. Your team includes Maternal Fetal Medicine Physicians, Pediatric Specialists, Genetic Counselors and Nurses. Each team member has much experience caring for families during difficult pregnancies. We're always available to answer your questions. If we can't answer your question, we will connect you with someone who can.

Fetal Care Coordination Team.jpg
(pictured left to right - Casey Winchester, BSN, RN; Jenny Kessler, BSN, RN; Tracy Mueller, BSN, RN; Macy Femrite, BSN, RN)

How we can help

Learning that your baby has a health concern can be stressful. We want you to know you are not alone. Providing care coordination and excellent care is our focus through your pregnancy. There will likely be several appointments added to your schedule. We will attend consults with you and send you home with notes. These will review the current plan and reasoning behind it. We will check in with you after many of your appointments. Additionally, we work with your providers to develop a Plan of Care to guide your care team while you and your baby are in the hospital. We'll help you understand everything, as well as the plan for your baby before, during and after birth.

Appointments & Referrals

Our team of experts accepts referrals for the assessment, diagnosis and care coordination for a range of medical, obstetric and genetic conditions that may add complexity to a pregnancy. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (608) 417-6667.

Conditions Treated

Fetal Conditions
  • Fetal anomalies
  • Multiple gestation
  • Growth restriction
  • Other fetal condition(s) that may affect the pregnancy

The Perinatal Palliative Care Program

The Perinatal Palliative Care Program (PPCP) is a component of the Meriter Pregnancy and Infant Loss Program that helps families whose infants are diagnosed prenatally with a life-limiting condition such as Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, anencephaly, or bilateral renal agenesis. Before it was discovered that a baby's life may be short there were plans for before, during and after his or her birth. Although those plans change, the goal of perinatal palliative care is to make the time with the baby meaningful in a way that is best for the family. Families are looking for compassionate, family-centered care. The PPCP helps families preserve hope while preparing for the possibility or certainty of the death of their baby. The PPCP offers families continuity of care with the knowledge that a variety of resources are available to them.

Your Care Team

The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to caring for grieving families. It is a collaborative effort between physicians, spiritual care, nursing, social work and program staff.

Program Coordinators
The role of the program coordinator is to manage program planning, coordination, and quality monitoring to ensure that all patients at UnityPoint Health - Meriter hospital who experience a pregnancy loss or neonatal death receive high quality and compassionate bereavement care. The coordinators also work directly with families and carry a caseload of families for whom they provide follow-up support.
Staff Nurse
The role of the staff nurse is to provide anticipatory guidance, empathetic support, information, and options to parents from the time of admission until discharge from the hospital. The staff nurse is to follow and carry out the standard of care for bereaved families on his/her unit.
Grief Support Staff
Grief Support staff are members of the health care team (nurses, chaplains, social workers and genetic counselors) who have completed a bereavement counselor training program. The main difference between the role of a staff nurse and the Grief Support staff is that in addition to providing anticipatory guidance, empathetic support, information, and options, Grief Support staff provide follow-up support to parents for up to one year or for as long as the Grief Support counselor deems necessary. Grief Support staff do not provide mental health counseling or therapy. They function in a supportive role to bereaved families. Grief Support staff will refer families to the appropriate community mental health professional if families' grief becomes complicated by other factors.
Social Worker
The perinatal social workers in the program have been trained as Grief Support staff. The social workers may function as grief support staff for some families and as social workers for other families, depending on the need.

HUGS Program: Hope Understanding and Grief Support

HUGS is a volunteer-based bereavement support group for parents who lose babies in the hospital. Our volunteers have all lost babies themselves and understand the complexities of this type of grief. By talking with someone who has experienced infant loss and been able to work through it, the HUGS Program inspires families and acts as a bridge back into society.