Your First Visit
Your first visit will begin when you check in with our clerical staff, after which you will meet with one of our team members to review your medical and pregnancy history in detail. This intake history is typically performed by either our expert fetal nurse sonographers, or a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) fellow (a fully-licensed Obstetrician/Gynaecologist obtaining additional subspecialty training in the care of high-risk pregnancies). During this process, each of your pregnancy investigations to date (including ultrasounds, laboratory tests, genetic screening results, etc.) will be studied and uploaded into our electronic medical record system for future reference.
Once your history has been reviewed, a comprehensive ultrasound will be performed, examining your baby (or babies) in-utero from head to toe. This ultrasound will usually require approximately an hour to complete, after which you will be asked to have a seat in our waiting room while the images are reviewed with a MFM specialist. Occasionally, you may be asked to return to the ultrasound room if further images or different views are required. You do not need to be fasting or have a full bladder for these ultrasounds.
Next, your case will be studied by the OFC team in detail. An interdisciplinary discussion between the MFM specialists, paediatric subspecialists, prenatal genetics team and nurse-sonographers may be required to confirm the diagnosis and to determine whether a fetal therapeutic procedure may be necessary. During this review period, we ask that you remain in our seating area. We ask for your patience, as occasionally, your visit can last several hours. Please bring reading materials and snacks, and anticipate that you may need to request the entire day away from work for this appointment. We are pleased to offer any necessary documentation to confirm with your employer that you were attending a day-long medical visit.
You will be invited into one of our consultation rooms to review the ultrasound findings with one of our OFC MFM specialists, and a plan will be made regarding next steps in your pregnancy care. Your questions will be answered in detail. The optimal location and mode of your delivery will also be reviewed. Often, additional investigations such as genetic testing, bloodwork, cardiac echocardiograms or MRI scans may be recommended before a final recommendation can be made. Other OFC team members are available to support you throughout your journey, including our social workers, perinatal mental health team or clinical nurse specialists.
Prior to leaving Mount Sinai Hospital, a clear plan will be put in place, including any follow-up visits for ongoing surveillance. A detailed consultation letter will be forwarded to your referring physician, a copy of which will be given to you.
Please come prepared to be on-site for the full day. We do our best to keep to your appointment times, but delays are common, owing to the complexity of the conditions that we treat and the in-depth consultations we strive to provide. We appreciate your patience understanding.
- Health card and hospital card. You will need your health card. If you have a Mount Sinai hospital card, please bring it with you, otherwise one will be issued to you at your first appointment.
- Previous test results. Please bring results of any investigations to date, or ask your referring physician to fax these to our attention.
- Snacks and reading materials.
Bring your partner, a friend or other support person
Your family or friends can play an important role at your first visit: they may serve as an extra set of ears to take in complex information, or may provide comfort and support at a challenging time. We encourage you to invite your family into the counselling room so that, they too, can learn about the condition affecting your baby.
We welcome involvement from younger family members during your pregnancy. If you are attending your first visit with young children, you may want to bring a support person who can provide some assistance with childcare during the lengthy ultrasound and counselling sessions.