Seton Center for Advanced Obstetrics

Institutes & Services > Women's Health Services > High-Risk Pregnancy > Seton Center for Advanced Obstetrics

How We Handle of Advanced Obstetrics

From advanced prenatal testing to genetic counseling, the experts at Seton Center for Advanced Obstetrics offer a comprehensive range of services for women experiencing complicated and high-risk pregnancies. Our highly trained obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists care for hundreds of women with unexpected pregnancy issues, meaning you can rest easy at TriHealth.

In addition, our partnership with Good Samaritan Hospital’s Special Care Obstetrics Unit and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as our involvement in the Cincinnati Children’s Fetal Care Center, means that your baby will receive the same patient-centered care that you do.

Prenatal Diagnosis

Your unique family history may give your maternal-fetal medicine specialists clues regarding medical conditions that you or your baby could be at risk of developing during your pregnancy. The Seton Center provides the following comprehensive testing for women who are facing complicated pregnancies or whose babies are at risk for birth or chromosomal abnormalities:


Ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of your baby. It can answer many questions about your baby's development, growth and anatomy, and can determine the presence of multiple pregnancies.


An amniocentesis is a procedure that allows your baby to be tested for genetic disorders. The procedure is performed at 15 weeks gestation or later. During an amniocentesis, the physician uses ultrasound to carefully guide a thin needle through your abdomen and into the uterus. A small amount of amniotic fluid, which surrounds the baby, is collected.

Most women have an amniocentesis to test for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. An amniocentesis also may be used to detect the baby's lung maturity and infection. Testing for open defects of the spine, such as spina bifida, can be accomplished by measuring a protein called alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in the amniotic fluid.

Chorionic Villus Sampling

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is another procedure that tests for certain genetic defects, including chromosomal abnormalities. The physician inserts a thin needle through the abdomen into the uterus to collect a sample of the developing placenta. This procedure can be performed as early as 10 weeks gestation, however, unlike an amniocentesis, CVS cannot detect open spinal defects.

Non-Stress Test


External fetal monitoring is used to measure the baby's wellbeing and placental function by graphing the accelerations in heart rate that correspond with the baby's movement. This test is typically performed during the third trimester.

Biophysical Profile (BPP)

By using ultrasound and fetal heart monitoring, the BPP test measures the baby's heart rate, breathing activity, movement, fetal tone and the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. It is more comprehensive than a non-stress test.

Healing touch

Healing touch is an energetic healing therapy available to inpatients upon request. This energy-based therapy involves a very light touch, either directly on the clothed body or around the body and has been used to treat a variety of acute and chronic health conditions, including stress or pain for pregnant women. Healing touch incorporates numerous techniques from multiple sources, all with the intent to obtain harmony and balance in the energy system – a system that flows through and surrounds our physical body. This system consists of three parts: an energy field, energy centers and meridians.

Genetic counseling

If you have had a baby with birth abnormalities or if there is a family history of developmental complications or a mental handicap, your obstetrician might recommend that you meet with a genetic counselor before you become pregnant or during your pregnancy.

You might benefit from genetic counseling if you:

  • Are age 35 and older at the time of delivery
  • Have had chemical, drug or radiation exposure during pregnancy
  • Have a personal or family history of mental retardation, inherited disorders or birth defects
  • Have a history of stillbirths, infant deaths or miscarriage
  • Have had an abnormal maternal serum screen for chromosomal or neural tube defects
  • Have had an ultrasound that shows the presence of a fetal abnormality
  • Have been told there is a suspected or known problem with the pregnancy

A genetic counselor can explain tests that are available and test results, provide information about various conditions, and discuss the chance that a condition might occur again in a family. If a birth abnormality or other problem is diagnosed during pregnancy, the genetic counselor can connect you with other families in similar situations. The genetic counselor can also work with your physician, neonatologist, and other pediatric specialists to develop a plan for your baby’s care during pregnancy and after delivery.

Cincinnati Children’s Fetal Care Center

Diagnostic Testing, Specialty Consultation – and More

A nurse coordinator provides referring physicians and families with information about the causes, effects and evaluation of babies with birth abnormalities. The coordinator will also arrange for any needed diagnostic testing, specialty consultation and a comprehensive multidisciplinary team evaluation for your family from professionals at the Cincinnati Children’s Fetal Care Center.

Physician Referrals and Insurance Information

Remember, our doctors are here to help you. Many of our patients are referred by a primary obstetrician, but women are welcome without a physician referral. We participate in most insurance plans, but encourage you check with your insurance provider to ensure that both the Seton Center physicians and Good Samaritan Hospital are members of your plan.

We are physicians, hospitals and communities working together to help you live better.