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Pregnancy & Childbirth

Maternal & Fetal Medicine

(L-R): Nisha Vyas, MD, FACOG; Ugochi Akoma, MD, FACOG; Kelly Orzechowski, MD, FACOG and Kyla Patek, MS, CGC

Expert, Coordinated Care

Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group – Maternal-Fetal Medicine is an all-female practice comprised of board-certified perinatologists, a genetic counselor, Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and nurses specially trained in maternal-fetal health. We offer the latest, state-of-the-art technology with screening and management for maternal and fetal conditions. Our care team specializes in high-risk pregnancies and will work closely with you to provide personalized and coordinated patient care.

We Offer

  • Same-day, urgent appointments
  • Extended hours (early mornings and evenings)
  • Genetic counseling
  • Daily Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis

Our Advanced Imaging

  • Diagnostic ultrasound and same-day review of results with patient
  • Interpretation and management of ultrasound findings
  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS)
  • Fetal echocardiogram

Our Areas of Expertise Include

  • Genetic Counseling
  • High-Risk Pregnancy Management
  • Management of Mothers Pregnant Later in Life
  • Maternal Medical Conditions in Pregnancy
  • OB Ultrasound
  • Preconception Counseling
  • Prenatal Diagnostic Testing
  • and more

What makes a Pregnancy High Risk?

Pregnancy is a time of joy and expectation. But for some, especially those with chronic medical conditions or who are expecting multiples, pregnancy can also be a time of fear and uncertainty. With the right specialized care, both mother and child can ensure a more positive, healthy experience.

5%-10% of pregnancies are termed "high risk." A pregnancy is "high risk" or "complicated" when the life or health of the mother or baby may be at risk. It is estimated that approximately one out of every four pregnant women will experience complications this year, sometimes leading to the birth of a premature baby. When babies are born preterm, they have a higher risk for serious health problems.

Families can cope more successfully with a high-risk pregnancy with appropriate medical intervention, education, and a strong support system. In fact, many risk factors can be identified even before conception occurs.

Following are some factors that may lead to a high-risk pregnancy:

  • Anemia
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Being over 35
  • Being pregnant with more than one baby
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Hypertension
  • Complications with previous pregnancies
  • Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Neurologic Conditions
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Thyroid Conditions

A high-risk pregnancy diagnosis shouldn't automatically be perceived as negative. With the proper pre-natal care, 90-95% of these pregnancies produce healthy, viable babies. When problems are detected early, the better the chances that both mother and baby will stay healthy. Virginia Hospital Center's Maternal-Fetal Medicine department has leading physicians in this area. Read more

Advanced Care and Genetic Counseling

Any time there is an increased risk for genetic conditions, due to maternal age, family history, or a previous birth experience with a genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome or a chromosomal abnormality, genetic counseling is recommended. Kyla Patek, MS, Certified Genetic Counselor, typically sees patients for genetic screening when an abnormality is detected on ultrasound. She provides information and guidance to patients regarding first-trimester screening, cell-free DNA testing, Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), and amniocentesis. Read more

Contact Info

Maternal-Fetal Medicine


Our Patients Say...

“Dr. Akoma kept my fears down throughout all the complications of my pregnancy. It was refreshing how she personalized my care. I really felt she had a vested interest in my twins and me. What a wonderful bedside manner she has.”
– Facia G., Arlington.

“After my first baby was stillborn, I came here for high-risk pregnancy care. I would never have gotten through my pregnancy without Dr. Orzechowski. She addressed my every concern and made it a point to spend a lot of time with me. My doctors were my doctors—and my cheerleaders.”
– Christine Stabler, Arlington.

Read more

1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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