High-Risk Pregnancy (Perinatology)

A close-up of an ultrasound image held by a pregnant person.

Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists care for people who are at risk of pregnancy complications. We offer everything from one-time consultations before or during pregnancy to complete care from conception to delivery.

    You’ll find:

    • The region’s best care for people with a high risk of pregnancy complications.
    • Advanced screening and treatment for maternal and fetal health conditions.
    • Heart and pregnancy care together for people with heart conditions.
    • Oregon’s only pregnancy program for people with diabetes.
    • Experts in imaging and genetic counseling who work alongside our doctors to provide complete care.
    Meet Dr. Amy Hermesch, maternal-fetal medicine doctor and medical director for OHSU labor and delivery.

    What is maternal-fetal medicine, also known as perinatology?

    Perinatology is a type of specialized prenatal care for high-risk pregnancy. Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists (also called perinatologists) will monitor you and your baby throughout pregnancy.

    High-risk pregnancy care

    Prenatal care benefits all pregnant people, but it’s especially important for pregnancies at higher risk of complications. Our doctors specialize in these conditions. They can help your pregnancy and delivery go as smoothly as possible.

    A pregnancy might be high-risk if:

    • You are older than 35.
    • You are younger than 18.
    • Your baby has a genetic condition or defect.
    • You have a condition that could complicate pregnancy, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease or a blood disorder.
    • You have high blood pressure or preeclampsia.
    • You have a history of infertility or miscarriage.
    • You have had a previous early or traumatic labor and delivery.
    • You are pregnant with multiples.
    • You experience very early signs of labor.

    Our services

    We work with specialists across OHSU. If you see a nephrologist, rheumatologist, neurologist, gastroenterologist, or any other specialist, we will work with them to make sure you and your baby get the care you need. Our partners also include national experts from OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and our award-winning Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

    In addition, we have specialists in treating conditions such as:

    • Birth defects
    • Genetic conditions
    • Cancer
    • Heart problems
    • Diabetes
    • Placenta-related conditions

    We can also consult with your primary care provider to develop a pregnancy plan. That means you can choose to have your current doctor or midwife continue providing your care alongside any support you receive from our specialists.

    Ultrasound and monitoring

    We use leading ultrasound technology to monitor your baby’s development. Our team offers advanced screening for birth defects and prenatal conditions, monitoring of your baby’s heart rate and blood flow, and high-resolution imaging for a precise diagnosis.

    Dr. Karen Gibbins, a perinatologist at OHSU, does an ultrasound exam on a patient.
    Dr. Karen Gibbins sees pregnant patients with heart conditions, placenta problems and other issues that can increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

    Fetal Care Program

    If your baby is diagnosed with a condition, we work with Doernbecher’s Fetal Care Program to provide the most advanced care for you and your baby before birth. Our program brings together the best experts in the Northwest to create a complete plan for the best possible outcome.

    Maternal cardiac program

    Our maternal cardiac program is the first and only one in the region to provide expert heart and pregnancy care together in one place. We help people with heart conditions have safe, successful pregnancies with the latest imaging, research and treatment.

    Diabetes and pregnancy program

    Our diabetes and pregnancy program is the only one of its kind in Oregon. We help people with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes have healthy pregnancies with advanced treatment, monitoring and nutrition planning.

    Placenta accreta spectrum program

    Our placenta accreta spectrum program monitors and delivers babies when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterus to detach after childbirth.

    For patients

    Call 503-418-4200 to make an appointment.


    Parking is free for patients and their visitors.

    Physician’s Pavilion
    3270 S.W. Pavilion Loop
    Portland, OR 97239
    Map and directions

    Hillsboro Medical Center
    8th Avenue Medical Plaza
    364 SE 8th Avenue, Suite 201
    Hillsboro, OR 97213

    For referring providers

    We will partner with you to care for your patients with high-risk pregnancies.

    Our national experts are available for:

    • Consultations for any high-risk pregnancy concern
    • Complete prenatal care and delivery for patients
    • Advanced obstetric ultrasound, prenatal diagnosis, screening, genetic testing and fetal therapy
    • Coordination of obstetric and neonatal concerns, including consultation with specialists throughout OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital