The Westmead Institute for Maternal and Fetal Medicine (WIMFM) provides support and care for women and families with a complex pregnancy. Pregnancy is a very exciting time for all families. We understand that a complex pregnancy is also a very emotional journey. Our role is to support and inform you through this process to enable you to make the best decisions for yourself and your baby.
Westmead Institute for Maternal and Fetal Medicine (WIMFM) is a complete diagnostic (investigative) and management service with an experienced team of Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialists. We have advanced ultrasound technology and expert sonographers to complete complex ultrasound scans.We work with many women who have complicated pregnancies. We also work with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in caring for women whose babies may require surgery after birth. Women and families can be referred from anywhere within NSW and overseas for specialised care at WIMFM.
For women living in the Western Sydney Local health District (WSLHD) we can provide and review management plans for complex pregnancies as well as diagnostic procedures in pregnancy i.e. chorionic villus sampling
or fetal blood transfusions.
You may be referred to our service by your GP, treating hospital or your private obstetrician. Your referring doctor will need to complete the WIMFM referral form
to give us all the necessary information, please give your referring doctor your correct phone number for the referral form. If we are not the right service for your needs your referring doctor will be contacted.We will call you with your appointment date and time however if you have not been contacted by us within two working days of the referral being sent please phone 02 9845 6802 to confirm your appointment. Your referring doctor can contact the WIMFM Midwife on 0428 611 831 to discuss any urgent referrals.
If you need an interpreter for your appointment we can provide a professional interpreter for discussions with the WIMFM specialist doctor and for procedural counselling appointments with the WIMFM midwife. Please let us know when booking your appointment. If we cannot book an interpreter the telephone interpreter service will be used.
WIMFM is a centre for research that works closely with The University of Sydney and The University of Notre Dame Australia. Our research goal is to improve outcomes for women and their babies. You may be asked to participate in research projects during your visit, all project participation is voluntary and not participating will not affect the care we provide to you.
- Ethnicity and perinatal outcomes
- Consanguinity and perinatal outcomes
- Fetal anomalies
- Angiogenic factors in pregnancy complications
- Monocytes in pregnancy
- Functional fetal echocardiography
- Three accredited Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists:
- Dr Indika Alahakoon - MB BS, PHD, FRANZOG, DDU, CMFM (Head of Dept.)
- Dr Neil Athayde - MB BS, FRANZOG, DDU, CMFM
- Dr Roshini Nayyar - FRANZOG, DDU, CMFM
- Three Sonographers
- Ultrasound MFM Midwife
- Sarah Melov - Research Clinical Midwifery Consultant
We are located in the Women’s Health Clinic on level 2 (street level) just inside the main entrance and to the left side of the information counter. Go to counter number 5 in the Women’s Health Clinic and let the clerk know you have arrived.
WIMFM can be contacted Monday to Friday between 7:30am & 3:30pm on 02 8890-6802
Appointment times are Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 3pm.
It is very important at your first appointment that you bring all earlier scans and reports.
You will need to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete paperwork, if you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment it may be necessary to re-book your appointment.
Please drink one glass of water one hour before your scan.
For NT scan appointments you will be given a blood test request form from the booking secretary and this can be sent to you by mail. This blood test is free if collected at Douglas Hanley Moir and the results are sent directly to WIMFM, this test can be attended from 10 weeks of pregnancy and should be done at least two working days before your scan.
If we have received your blood results you will be given your NT result at the time of your scan, if you have a high risk result you will be seen by the WIMFM midwife or the doctor for further advice.
We have a busy service and the timing of your appointment can be very important to your care and management. We encourage you to attend the appointment you have been given and if you need to cancel and re-book please contact us as early as possible, so we can arrange another appointment time that will be suitable.
We request that all mobile phones be switched off during your scan, please be aware that there are to be no photos or video taken during the scan. We do not provide 3D images, this service is a high level diagnostic service only. You may bring a support person with you to your appointment.
Our Sonographer needs to concentrate while scanning and may be able to answer some of your questions at the end of the scan. The scan will be reviewed by a MFM specialist and the report will be sent to your referring doctor for your next appointment. Any urgent matters will be discussed with you on the day.
Amniocentesis and CVS are prenatal diagnostic procedures to test your baby’s genetic information. Counselling will be done You will be counselled by your referring doctor to decide if this is an appropriate test for you. CVS is attended between 11-13 weeks of pregnancy and the amniocentesis will occur after you are more than 15 weeks pregnant. Amniocentesis procedure involves a very fine needle being placed into the amniotic fluid around baby and 18-20mls of fluid withdrawn. This is sent to The Children’s Hospital for genetic (chromosomal) testing. The procedure usually takes a few minutes only. Your body makes amniotic fluid all the time, the loss of 18-20mls does not affect the baby. CVS uses a fine needle to take a very small sample of the placental tissue to test the baby’s chromosomes. At WIMFM we only do abdominal CVS not transvaginal. The procedure takes about 10 minutes.
When you arrive you will be meet spoken to by the MFM Midwife who will explain the procedure and answer any of your questions. You will be asked to sign a consent form. This should take about 15-30 minutes.
If you are a negative blood group we will offer you an Anti–D injection after we have discussed this and you have signed a consent for Anti–D.An ultrasound scan will be attended to measure your baby. The doctor will then meet with you to answer any further questions before the CVS or Amniocentesis. Please read the After your Chorionic Villus Sampling or Amniocentesis fact sheet. This fact sheet will explain what to expect after these procedures and any emergency care options.
For Medicare card holders there will be no cost to you for any ultrasound scans. Non-Medicare patients are required to pay the standard consultation fee of $126, which is to be paid at the cashiers, so please allow 30 minutes before your scan to complete this payment.
For Medicare and Non Medicare patients who are having an Amniocentesis or Chronic villus sampling you may be offered the QFPCR (quick result) this carries a cost of $175, and you will receive a bill from The Children’s Hospital after the test is performed.
The Perinatal Advice Referral and Liaison Service (PEARLS) provides both advice and referrals for pregnant women experiencing a complicated pregnancy.
Our team of specialist midwives, nurses, doctors and surgeons work together to ensure you and your baby receive the best care. The PEARLS are a team of experienced midwives and nurses who care for you when:
Learn more about PEARLs here
- your baby requires surgery soon after birth
- your baby has a planned admission to Neonatal Intensive Care
- you have a major medical condition
- you have a complex pregnancy
- you need added specialist support through your pregnancy and childbirth
Prenatal testing - special tests for your baby during pregnancy