Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital – Fetal Center

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It’s a diagnosis no expecting mother wants to hear. “Most of our patients that come here have received a diagnosis of a congenital anomaly during their pregnancy,” said Janet Tucker, Le Bonheur Fetal Center nurse coordinator. But Le Bonheur Children’s Fetal Center in Memphis is staffed with some of the top specialists for those high-risk pregnancy patients, including neonatologists, obstetricians, and geneticists. “All of these doctors work here in the center,” said Dr. Giancarlo Mari, medical director of the Fetal Center. “This is what makes the Center unique, because there are many great doctors outside the Fetal Center, but what makes the difference is all these doctors work together.” The comprehensive center is the only one of its kind in the area, and offers everything from prenatal diagnosis, to prenatal intervention, and even exit procedures during delivery. “Half of the baby is delivered and the other half remains attached to the placenta,” said Dr. Mari. “That will give us the opportunity to operate on the baby, in the meantime, he or she is still attached to the mom.” It’s advanced procedures and technologies aren’t the only thing that make the Fetal Center unique. It’s also the comforting support of the staff. “We see the whole amount of the emotions as families go through grief – they’re all grieving the loss of a healthy child,” said Tucker. “There’s nothing minor when it’s your baby.” That’s why Tucker keeps close contact with the expecting mothers and their families, organizing personalized notebooks guiding them to which doctors and teams they’ll work with at the Center. “We always just try to keep in mind there’s so much going on, so they need that extra care, extra communication, extra human touch,” said Tucker. Extra human touch that can change and save lives. “This is a wonderful collaboration between the OB world and the pediatric world, where we’re talking to each other ahead of time,” said Tucker. Doctors at the Fetal Center tell 7 Eyewitness News each patient’s case is discussed in a weekly conference with 30 to 50 physicians to determine a clear plan of action for the expecting mother and her baby.

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