For Expectant Parents of a Baby With a Heart Defect

In the United States, nearly one of every 100 babies is born with a heart disorder, per the Children’s Heart Foundation.

With modern ultrasound technology and fetal cardiac expertise, we can now find many heart defects before a child is born.

Fetal Echocardiogram: What to Expect

Obstetricians can refer their pregnant patients to a pediatric heart doctor for a special ultrasound, called a fetal echocardiogram (echo). An echo uses sound waves to make detailed pictures of the baby’s heart.

We offer echo scans through the Fetal Cardiology Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

A pediatric cardiologist or specially trained sonographer will do a fetal echo to check your baby’s heart.

Pediatric heart doctors have special training in echo testing to diagnose congenital heart disease (CHD) as early as 18 weeks.

After the echo, you will meet with the heart doctor to discuss the results.

What if My Baby Has a Heart Defect?

If we find a heart defect after the fetal echo, your heart doctor will work closely with your ob-gyn. Together they'll make a plan for more testing and delivery.

We'll stay in close contact with you and your ob-gyn team until your baby arrives.

We offer a host of support services for parents facing the diagnosis of CHD in their child.

We may also refer you to the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital for:

Contact us for fetal echo testing

For appointments or consults at the Perinatal Cardiology Program, call 412-641-4547.