Prenatal Diagnostic Center
The Center for Perinatal Care offers prenatal diagnostic services to women for routine and high-risk pregnancies. We use advanced technologies and practices in a caring environment so you receive comprehensive fetal diagnostic ultrasound imaging, testing, counseling and care.
Depending on your medical history, age and overall health, your doctor may recommend you have prenatal tests during your pregnancy to determine how you and your baby are progressing.
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. Ask your provider for a referral.
Fetal Ultrasounds and Genetic Screening
- First Trimester Screen – This is a noninvasive screening test that estimates the chances that a woman may have a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18 or trisomy 13. The test is usually done between 12 and 14 weeks gestation.
- Noninvasive Prenatal Testing/Screening (NIPT) – This is a noninvasive screening test available to women with a higher risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18 or trisomy 13. This blood test can be done after 10 weeks gestation.
- Anatomic Survey – This ultrasound is offered around the 20th week of pregnancy and is used to screen for fetal growth, structure and genetic abnormalities in low-risk pregnancies. Additionally, we evaluate for maternal uterine and ovarian well-being.
- Targeted Ultrasound – This ultrasound is offered around 20th week of pregnancy and is used to screen for fetal growth, structural, and genetic abnormalities in high-risk pregnancies. Additionally, we evaluate for maternal uterine and ovarian well-being.
- Fetal Echocardiogram – This ultrasound is offered to women with a higher chance of having a baby with a heart defect. It is typically done after the 20th week of pregnancy. Our center is one of four units in the midwest to be accredited for fetal echocardiography.
- Amniotic Fluid Volume Index (AFI) – This ultrasound measures the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby.
- Biophysical Profile (BPP) – This ultrasound evaluates fetal well-being through measurement of the amniotic fluid volume and observation of fetal breathing movements, body movements and tone.
- Non-Stress Tests (NST) – Non-stress testing involves monitoring an unborn baby's heart rate over time. The test is performed by a nurse within our Perinatal Clinic.
Diagnostic Genetic Testing
- Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) – This is a diagnostic prenatal test that examines placental tissue to determine if a baby has a chromosomal abnormality. The test is usually done between about 12 and 13 6/7 week of pregnancy. There is a small risk of miscarriage with this test.
- Amniocentesis – This is a diagnostic prenatal test that examines cells found in the amniotic fluid to determine if a baby has a chromosomal abnormality. The test is typically done after the 16th week of pregnancy. There is a small risk of miscarriage with this test.
Ultrasound Practice Accreditation
The Ultrasound Practice Accreditation Council of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is pleased to announce that Center for Perinatal Care– Prenatal Diagnostics department at UnityPoint Health– Meriter has been awarded ultrasound practice accreditation in the areas of:
- Adjunct Detailed Fetal Anatomic Ultrasound
- Fetal Echocardiography
- Obstetric—First Trimester
- Obstetric– Second Trimester
- Obstetric– Third Trimester
AIUM Accreditation is achieved by meeting rigorous voluntary guidelines set by the diagnostic ultrasound profession. All facets of the practice were assessed, including the training and qualifications of physicians and sonographers, ultrasound equipment maintenance, documentation, storage, and record-keeping practices, policies and procedures to protect patients and staff; quality assurance methods, and the thoroughness, technical quality and interpretation of the sonograms the practice performs. AIUM Practice Accreditation is a triennial cycle and requires demonstration of exceeding standards consistently in between cycles.