Summer 2005
Only Bridgeport Hospital: The Antenatal Testing Unit: Twenty Years of Experience and Expertise to Help You Plan Your Pregnancy

You're a selective woman, and you prefer to take charge of your life up front, rather than letting events surprise you. So now that you're thinking about starting or increasing your family, you want to select the best hospital for giving birth. You expect a joyous pregnancy and birth—but you're planning ahead for whatever might occur. You want all the information you can get!

You'll be glad to know that, throughout the past 20 years, thousands of new mothers have received top-level diagnostic services from the Antenatal Testing Unit (ATU) in The Birthplace at Bridgeport Hospital. They, and other choosy women like you, wouldn't think of giving birth at any other hospital.

Under the care of physicians Robert Stiller, MD; Steven Laifer, MD; Gary Kleinman, MD; Gina Dunston-Boone, MD; and John Whetham, MD, ATU patients receive many important benefits.

  • If you are at risk for complications (perhaps you are over age 35, have a medical condition, or have already had a complicated pregnancy or delivery), of course you want access to the most experienced physicians. Our perinatologists— obstetricians with specialty training in prenatal diagnosis and high-risk pregnancies—will consult with your obstetrician to diagnose and monitor any difficulties that may arise.

  • Accurate diagnosis of complications can help you plan for, or even avoid, future problems (for example, preterm labor, birth defects, genetic disorders, or the risks associated with multiple births). To achieve this goal, the ATU uses sophisticated imaging systems such as Targeted (Level II) ultrasound and 3D/4D ultrasound (three-dimensional, moving images), which provide more detail than the standard ultrasound; and Doppler Color-Flow Ultrasound, whichuses sound waves to look at blood flow through the fetal or maternal blood vessels.

  • Early information about complications helps you make important decisions. That's why the ATU uses high-tech procedures when necessary, including PUBS (percutaneous umbilical blood sampling), amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling, to diagnose fetal disorders in the first trimester.

  • Special care for mothers-to-be with diabetes is a must for a successful pregnancy. Our one-on-one Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes of Pregnancy) Program is recognized by the American Diabetes Association, and can help you protect your own health and that of your unborn baby.

  • Genetic counseling can help you plan your pregnancy and your family. For example, certain ethnic groups (Ashkenazi Jews, Italians, African-Americans, Southeast Asians, and others) may be at increased risk for certain genetic disorders.

Happily, most of the mothers who come to our ATU for diagnosis learn that their pregnancies are perfectly normal. Those few who need specialized services benefit from a high level of expertise that, in our area, is available only in The Birthplace at Bridgeport Hospital.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Antenatal Testing Unit at Bridgeport Hospital is the first and most experienced unit of its kind in Fairfield County.

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