Fetal Heart Program

Heart care and compassion start before birth

Almost one in one hundred babies is born with a heart problem (congenital heart defect or disease). Many of these defects can be diagnosed before birth, allowing for extensive counseling with a physician and timely access to cardiac treatment to give your baby the best chance for a good outcome. Hundreds of families each year trust experts with the Fetal Heart Program within the Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to provide the best possible care through pregnancy, birth and beyond for babies with congenital heart disease.

Finding out that your unborn baby may have congenital heart disease is frightening. As one of the nation’s top fetal heart programs, we’ve helped thousands of families receive the expert care and support they need. If your baby’s condition requires immediate care after delivery, we will work with the Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin to coordinate all of your care needs before and after the birth of your child.

Why choose us?

The Herma Heart Center is ranked among the top five pediatric heart programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report and among the top ten in the nation by Parents magazine. Our surgical outcomes are consistently ranked among the best in the country, including the best published survival rates worldwide for treating hypoplastic left heart syndrome, an uncommon and complicated congenital heart disease. We are committed to providing the best care for you and your baby.

Our services include:

  • Fetal echocardiography (fetal ultrasound or fetal echo), to assess an unborn baby’s heart structure, rhythm and function
  • Fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG), which can diagnose fetal heart rhythm abnormalities more accurately than fetal echocardiography. This allows for a better understanding of the type and cause of rhythm problems so that treatment can be better tailored. fMCG is only available in a handful of centers in the world.
  • Consultation with a fetal cardiologist (who specializes in care of the fetus with heart abnormalities) to discuss the diagnosis and treatment options
  • Dedicated Fetal Heart Program nurse who will help coordinate your care and serve as a consistent resource throughout your pregnancy
  • Onsite labor and delivery facilities, which allow mother and baby to stay close
  • Access to world class pediatric heart surgery for common to complex congenital heart conditions

What to expect at your visit

When you come for an appointment with the Fetal Heart Program providers at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin or one of the outreach locations in Green Bay or the Fox Valley, a nurse coordinator will initially review your medical history. A fetal echocardiogram will be performed by one of the fetal cardiologists. If a problem with your baby’s heart is found, the fetal cardiologist will explain in detail the diagnosis, care options, and possible outcomes.