At Children's Hospital Colorado, we work to improve the health of moms and babies in our care, but also to create maternal fetal provider resources to advance the field across the country and beyond.
When pregnancies don't go according to plan, our maternal fetal medicine experts are here to provide expertise and guidance. In the videos below our providers discuss high-level care for specific conditions that you might not see on a consistent basis.
Gene editing technology: CRISPR
CRISPR/Cas9 is a molecular tool that scientists have adapted to modify DNA. Researchers first identified it in bacteria as a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) and are studying it as a potential therapeutic for genetic diseases.
In this video, Medical Director of the Colorado Fetal Care Center at Children’s Colorado, Michael Zaretsky, MD, and Sean McGrath, PhD, from the University of Colorado Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine, discuss CRISPR. Dr. McGrath reviews what CRISPR is, how it works, its unique characteristics and associated safety concerns. Dr. Zaretsky discusses research that is being conducted at the Colorado Fetal Care Center in collaboration with researchers who are experts in the field. This research involves investigating the potential of CRISPR as a fetal therapy to correct mutations before delivery to improve outcomes for cystic fibrosis.
Postoperative pain management for caesarean deliveries: reducing narcotic usage
Mental health issues, including drug overdose, are among the leading causes of maternal morbidity both nationally, and here in Colorado. So minimizing opiate use for postoperative pain management in new moms is essential for their overall health and well-being.
In this video, Cristina Wood, MD, Medical Director of Obstetric Anesthesiology at our Colorado Fetal Care Center, discusses the innovative tactics her team uses to reduce postoperative opiate use while keeping moms comfortable during caesarean deliveries. Dr. Wood highlights what her research shows about how these strategies impact both postoperative opiate utilization and its associated side effects.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia diagnosis and treatment
Approximately one in 3,000 pregnancies are affected by a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a fetal abnormality where the fetus' abdominal contents herniate into the thorax, resulting in pulmonary hyperplasia and pulmonary hypertension.
In this video, Michael Zaretsky, MD, Medical Director of the Colorado Fetal Care Center at Children's Colorado, outlines CDH diagnosis guidelines, such as the measures maternal fetal medicine specialists should take in evaluating and making a CDH diagnosis. Dr. Zaretsky also discusses CDH treatment protocol for certain symptoms and situations.
Fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO) procedure and research
Fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO) is an experimental treatment that some in the medical community hypothesize is an effective treatment for moderate to severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Researchers started studying the effectiveness of tracheal occlusion nearly 20 years ago, but early studies found that it was no more effective than conventional treatments for CDH and that it was associated with premature delivery. Research at that time was also not conducted with patients in the severest category of CDH. Current research on FETO, including studies performed at Children’s Colorado, focuses on patients with moderate to severe CDH by strict criteria.
In the following video, Dr. Zaretsky details the history of the FETO procedure, explains the procedure itself and discusses recent research findings. Watch the following video to learn about the latest in FETO research and our approach to exploring FETO with families.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) diagnosis and treatment
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a fetus that measures small for its gestational age in pregnancy. IUGR is also known as fetal growth restriction and “small for gestational age,” and commonly refers to a fetal weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age. Early identification of IUGR is important as it carries risks for both mom and baby.
In the following video, Henry Galan, MD, professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and maternal-fetal medicine physician at the Colorado Fetal Care Center, discusses causes of IUGR, diagnostic and assessment techniques, treatment options and more.
Baby Care Plan: When and How to Use It
Most babies who have a prenatal diagnosis will need follow-up care or a consultation after they’re born. That’s why we created the Baby Care Plan, which is a tool families and referring providers can use to plan and schedule all the necessary care their baby will need after delivery.
In this video, Shelly Whitmore, manager of physician relations, and Nicholas Behrendt, MD, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at the Colorado Fetal Care Center, describes what the Infant Action Plan is and how providers can use this resource with their patients. Together, they explain the advantages of using this tool and provide an example of how having a plan in place is invaluable.
Prenatal Genetic Screening for Chromosomal Abnormalities
Prenatal genetic screening can provide insight into possible fetal chromosomal abnormalities, also called aneuploidies. These abnormalities signal that a baby might be at risk conditions such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13). In the following video, Kestutis Micke, a genetic counselor with the Colorado Fetal Care Center at Children’s Colorado, provides an overview of prenatal genetic screening. He explains that while prenatal genetic screening doesn’t provide an exact diagnosis, it allows parents to make informed decisions about their pregnancy. He also discusses new, minimally invasive procedures that are improving accuracy and reducing the impact on patients.
Indications and timing for delivery after laser ablation for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)
While laser ablation can reduce complications and improve survival in pregnancies with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), prematurity is still a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with TTTS. In the following video, Dr. Zaretsky discusses findings from a study on the factors that influence premature delivery in babies with TTTS. You will learn about the average time to delivery following laser ablation as well as the most common maternal and fetal indicators for premature delivery.