Program at Children's Hospital helps moms

FRESNO, Calif.

But it can be overwhelming when a problem is detected. Action News Anchor Margot Kim looks into how a special program at Children's Hospital Central California that is helping both moms and babies, beat the odds.

Norma Vail is excited about adding to her family.

"Getting the crib ready and getting all his little clothes ready," said Vail.

The 28-year-old nutrition educator from Sanger had a trouble-free pregnancy with her first son. She and her husband thought the second one would be just as easy.

However, something wasn't quite right. At first, Vail thought she was having twins. Then testing revealed Vail was developing a cyst right next to the baby.

"The cyst was lying on the right hand side and baby was on the left. So I could feel baby moving but the cyst was just there," Vail said.

The growing mass had to be removed and she was referred to the maternal fetal program at Children's Hospital Central California. Norma faced the unknown but felt reassured.

" Oh my gosh, what do I do? So it was scary but the doctor I saw at children's, he was 'this is what we're going to do .we're going to get in and out of there as fast as possible and make sure the baby's safe," said Vail.

The program has seen explosive growth since it began about three years ago with only 60 patients a month. Currently the perinatology staff sees 600 patients a month, diagnosing and treating health issues for mom, baby or both.

" We can now detect many more problems before the babies are born. Mothers want to have this information. Also we can detect when babies are having problems in utero and can intervene," said perinatologist Dr.Robert Sigman.

Sigman said the program offers Valley families world-class treatment close to home.

Ultrasound is one of the most vital tools for perinatologists in the maternal fetal program. The images can reveal potential problems for the mother during pregnancy or for the baby. In Vail's case, her images revealed a healthy baby, after her cyst was removed.

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