Shore Memorial Hospital Maternal Fetal Medicine Program Provides High-Risk Pregnancy Care Close to Home

August 17, 2008

SOMERS POINT—Waiting for the arrival of a new baby can be one of the most exciting times of new parents’ lives. However, for women with high-risk pregnancies, it can also be one of the most stressful. Fortunately for area women, Shore Memorial Hospital’s Maternity Care Center has a new program that provides expectant mothers with the specialized care they need without having to travel to Philadelphia.

Area residents now have the option of visiting Robert Debbs, D.O., a maternal-fetal medicine specialist affiliated with Shore Memorial Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Dr. Debbs has a new office location in Shore Memorial’s Outpatient Diagnostic Testing Center, at 649 Shore Road, corner of Shore Road and New York Avenue. He has office hours at the new Somers Point location two Wednesdays each month and also every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Debbs has over 10 years of maternal fetal medicine experience and is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

“We understand that having a high-risk pregnancy can be very difficult for expecting families,” says Lynn Gallagher-Ford, RN, administrative director, maternal child health.
“The goal of this new program is to eliminate the stress of having to travel a long distance to see a specialist and help expectant mothers receive the specialized medical care they need in their own community.”

During pregnancy, a woman’s medical needs are usually handled by an obstetrician, a physician who specializes in pregnancy, labor and delivery. However, sometimes a woman needs more specialized care than the obstetrician can provide, and she is transferred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, an obstetrician who has additional education and training in fetal medicine and high risk pregnancies.

A pregnancy is considered high risk when there are potential complications that could harm the mother, fetus or both. Complications can exist prior to or during pregnancy and include:

  • Heart disease
  • Cervical insufficiency, a weakened cervix making a woman more likely to miscarry mid-term or have premature delivery
  • High blood pressure or preeclampsia (toxemia), a form of high blood pressure brought on by pregnancy
  • Placental problems
  • Multiple gestation pregnancy (twins, triplets or more)
  • Diabetes or other endocrine disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • Kidney or gastrointestinal disease
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Recurrent pre-term labor and delivery
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Congenital abnormalities (birth defects)
  • Later age pregnancy

For more information about Shore Memorial Hospital’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Program, call 653-3636, or visit the .