High-Risk Pregnancies

Woman having a baby

Holy Cross Offers Peace of Mind for You & Baby

While most women have routine pregnancies and deliver healthy babies in our neonatal nurseries, others will require extra support. Whichever your circumstance, you can rest assured that Holy Cross has you covered. If you or your baby needs some extra support, our experts will provide advanced medical care for high-risk births and newborns.

Perinatal Diagnostic Center Provides Amplified Care for High-Risk Pregnancies

Our Perinatal Diagnostic Center at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md, provides diagnostic testing and ongoing care for women who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies. The Center’s team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists work in collaboration with your obstetrician to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.

  • Women may be referred to the center because they have a higher risk of developing a problem during pregnancy or at birth. This may occur due to:
    • Pregnancy after age 35
    • Hypertension or other conditions that increase risk for preeclampsia
    • Diabetes, including gestational diabetes
    • Multiple births
    • Risk of premature birth because of a medical condition
  • Advanced diagnostic pregnancy screening tools are used to identify any medical or genetic problems affecting the embryo or fetus, including:
    • Biophysical profiles to determine fetal health during the third trimester of pregnancy
    • Amniocentesis to evaluate amniotic fluid to check for genetic problems or infection
    • Fetal non-stress test to monitor fetal heart rate
    • Obstetric ultrasound to view the embryo or fetus in the mother's womb
    • Genetic counseling
  • The Center’s team can also provide a preconception health evaluation, which helps to identify any health conditions and risk factors that could affect a woman or her unborn baby if she becomes pregnant.

After delivery, newborns requiring special care have access to both of our hospitals. In Germantown, newborns can stay in our Neonatal Unit or in Silver Spring in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which cares for more newborns with complex medical issues than any other hospital in Maryland or the District of Columbia.

High-Risk Perinatal Center Provides Around-the-Clock Care

Our High-Risk Perinatal Center in Silver Spring and Antepartum Unit in Germantown provides 24-hour-a-day expert care for pregnant women who require hospitalization. This allows you to be closely monitored for complications to protect your health and the health of your baby.

The High-Risk Perinatal Center is designated a Level IIIB Perinatal Referral Center by the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS), which means that it is recognized as providing advanced level specialty care for high-risk pregnancies.

During your stay, patients' and babies' vital signs are closely watched utilizing the most advanced technology. You are cared for by a team of high-risk perinatal and high-risk birth experts, including board-certified obstetricians/gynecologists, perinatologists (experts in maternal-fetal medicine), and registered nurses with advanced training in fetal monitoring. A diabetes nurse specialist is also available to care for patients when needed.

Following delivery, if newborns require specialized services because of complex medical issues, they may be cared for in our hospital in Silver Spring, which has a 46-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit—the largest and most experienced NICU in the region.

Newborn care at Holy Cross Health is designed to meet each baby’s needs. Most babies are born without serious complications or medical issues and are cared for in a neonatal nursery, staffed by health care professionals who are experts in the care of infants. When more intensive care and support are needed, Holy Cross Health offers two hospitals that provided sophisticated and specialized treatment in the Level III NICU in Silver Spring and the Neonatal Unit in Germantown.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Holy Cross Hospital

The NICU features state-of-the-art technology to treat babies who are born early or have medical complications that require constant observation or specialized care. Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring is the largest in Maryland and cares for more critically ill newborns than any other NICU in the state.

Stay Connected to Baby Even When You Can’t Be There

When parents are away from their babies in the NICU at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, our NICVIEW system can help bring comfort to families and their infants. Thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to the Holy Cross Health Foundation, we purchased 12 NICVIEW cameras that provide a secure video stream over the internet from any web-enabled device. With our NICVIEW system, you always can be connected to your newborn.

Once infants are ready to go home, we help ease the transition. We offer a special discharge class, CPR training, and a caregiver support group. For families interested in spiritual support, chaplains are available to patients and families of all faiths and beliefs.

Neonatal Unit at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital

Our Germantown Hospital's Level II Neonatal Unit is a special care nursery for babies 32 weeks gestation and higher born with medical complications. We are pleased to offer eight private NICU rooms at Germantown. The same experienced Silver Spring providers and nurses staff Germantown to offer a continuum of care that fits the needs of our community. If a newborn requires more intensive care after the first 24 hours following birth, they will be transferred to the Holy Cross Hospital NICU in Silver Spring, or to another facility. 

Ryan Donald Basile Memorial Fund for NICU Families in Need

The Basile Fund helps financially vulnerable families who have babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) face the challenges of an extended hospitalization and helps prepare them to care for their babies once they return home. Providing families with Uber gift cards so they can visit regularly and providing phones for families who cannot otherwise receive updates about their baby are examples of this fund in action. Contributions to this fund go 100% to NICU families who struggle with the unexpected expenses of a prolonged hospitalization. 

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