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Introducing the New Maternal-Fetal Medicine Section

April 8, 2022

I have the great privilege of being the sole obstetrician on the Editorial Board of NeoReviews. The obvious question that many readers may be thinking: Why is an obstetrician involved in a neonatal medicine journal? However, many neonatal conditions may be significantly influenced by the pregnant patients' medical history; these medical conditions have direct influences on the 'health' of the pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.  

Fortunately, the majority of pregnant patients have uncomplicated pregnancies. However, with an increasing rate of comorbid conditions in pregnancy secondary to the obesity epidemic and other coexistent metabolic conditions such as chronic hypertension and diabetes, we see increasing rates of pregnancy complications including preeclampsia, preterm delivery, fetal growth restriction, and occasionally fetal and neonatal demise.1 

Preexisting medical conditions for pregnant patients can have direct implications for the pregnancy and the fetus, leading to a higher risk of pregnancy complications and adverse outcomes. In general, poor or suboptimal control of maternal medical conditions increases the likelihood of adverse outcomes for the pregnant patient and the fetus. Much of my job as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist is to help optimize control of maternal conditions in order to minimize pregnancy complications for both patients in the pregnant dyad. 

In the April 2022 issue of NeoReviews, we pivot towards a new feature named "Maternal-Fetal Case of the Month" that expands on the “Strip of the Month” feature with the purpose of focusing on a maternal condition and its impact on a pregnancy and the developing fetus. This revised feature will utilize clinical cases to review potential pregnancy implications of a variety of maternal medical conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, lupus, thyroid disorders, and infections through a neonatal lens. Some of the cases may involve the intrapartum course on labor and delivery including electronic fetal monitoring strips and some cases may focus more on the prenatal course. For neonatologists, I hope that this feature leads to an enhanced understanding of maternal disease and pregnancy-related conditions, which may help better elucidate potential neonatal implications. Thanks for reading.


1. Obesity in pregnancy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 230. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2021; 137:e128-44.

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