The vital role of maternal-fetal medicine and genetic counseling.
At Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida, a dynamic team is transforming maternal-fetal medicine. Leading the charge are Claudia Taboada, DO, FACOOG, a board-certified maternal-fetal medicine specialist, and Cheryl Kubas, MS, LCGC, a licensed genetic counselor. As they prepare to welcome their new colleague Melanie Mitta, MD, FACOG, we explore their collaborative work and the lives they touch.
Understanding You Inside and Out
Clarity is the first step to peace of mind. So, before consultations, Dr. Taboada delves deeply into medical histories and potential risk factors. Risk factors can include substance abuse, chronic health conditions and maternal age. Having sufficient knowledge of a patient’s background creates a seamless transition between medical consultation and genetic counseling.
“I always ask patients why they think their doctor referred them to me,” Dr. Taboada says. “It’s important to clarify any confusion and ensure they understand why they’re seeing a high-risk specialist. It reassures the patient.”
Genetic Insights, Your Decision
Family history is also a vital roadmap for assessing pregnancy risks. Kubas constructs a detailed family tree, or pedigree, to identify genetic predispositions.
“We offer all women the option of screening for chromosome abnormalities such as Down Syndrome and certain genetic disorders,” Kubas explains. “But remember, these tests are options, not mandates.”
Dr. Taboada uses the insights to tailor her advice to a patient’s needs. The goal is to empower patients with knowledge, not push them to decide.
“I aim to support families with the best care options, respecting their values,” Dr. Taboada says.
Real Stories, Real Solutions
The team’s commitment to comprehensive care shines in their collaborative approach. For instance, a mom with fetal growth restriction, under the care of Nemours Children’s providers in Lakeland, was referred to Dr. Taboada for an earlier appointment in Orlando.
Cases involving fetal growth restriction require special attention. Kubas was immediately looped in to help the mom understand the risks and benefits of any recommended test.
“We first verify the baby’s age and consider other factors like viral illnesses,” says Dr. Taboada. “The team monitors both mother and baby, including placental function.
Breaking Barriers, Expanding Access
The team’s effort removed the barrier of access for Mom, and she successfully resumed treatment closer to home. Dr. Taboada says they are eager to expand access to maternal-fetal medicine on a broader scale. With locations in Lakeland, Melbourne, Kissimmee, and Orlando, quality care at Nemours is never too far away. The addition of Dr. Mitta will also greatly help their efforts.
“Our mission is to expand access to quality care across multiple locations. With a new bilingual partner joining us, we aim to connect more deeply with diverse communities, ensuring everyone feels like family.”
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 407.567.3000.