A pregnancy is filled with many questions and emotions. All those could get heightened if it becomes a high-risk pregnancy, which affects the health of mother and baby.
Last year Dr. Baeseman completed a high-risk fellowship in Seattle. The experience broadens his scope as a family doctor. “I really wanted to be able to give people complete obstetric care,” he said. “It helped me a lot just with experience with high risk situations and pregnancies. It helped me in recognizing high risk early and intervening. That kind of background helps prepare a person for complete family medicine and obstetric care in a rural area.”
Dr. Baeseman went to St. Norbert College in Green Bay and later the University of Wisconsin. He spent three years in Appleton for a family medicine residency program. He did a fellowship in advanced obstetrics and faculty development at Swedish Family Medicine in Seattle.
A high-risk pregnancy can sneak up on a woman, said Dr. Baeseman. “Unfortunately high-risk pregnancies develop with a lot of risk factors stacking up,” he said.
A high-risk pregnancy happens due to a preexisting health condition or when a condition develops during the pregnancy. Some factors include a history with pre-term labor or preeclampsia, women over the age of 40, and diabetes or developing diabetes during pregnancy. A patient with a high-risk pregnancy will need extra monitoring to make sure everything is going smoothly. Some examples of high-risk pregnancy factors include:
- Breach babies: The baby is not in the right position for delivery. “I am the only provider in our Waupaca clinic who can flip babies,” he said.
- Diabetes: A lot of additional monitoring and different blood sugar goals are set different from when the patient was not pregnant. “We have to have tight control of blood sugars, way tighter control than any other adult who is not pregnant,” said Dr. Baeseman.
- Twin deliveries: High risk because of risk of preeclampsia and preterm labor. “These deliveries are more complicated,” he said. “Sometimes there are special circumstances to getting the second baby out.”
- Preeclampsia: This can be a life-threatening risk. “There is a complication on babies too,” he said. “Babies have to be monitored.”
- Preterm labor: “Certain medications need to be started on early in pregnancies and certain things need to be monitored,” said Dr. Baeseman.
- Older women: Specific monitoring has to be done on the baby because the risk for still birth is higher, said Dr. Baeseman.
- Obesity: Obesity adds a lot of risk of preeclampsia, preterm labor, post-partum bleeding, borth problems and more.
Dr. Baeseman’s experience includes sensitivity and compassion. He also educates his patients with the help of his experience in high-risk pregnancies. “This is a major reason why I decided to go into family medicine and do extra training,” he said. “Bringing that to obstetric care, I just think family doctors are the best equipped to be taking care of pregnant women.”
Dr. Baeseman enjoys offering high-risk pregnancy services close to home. Having a high-risk fellowship as a family doctor is unique, he said, noting there are a small percentage of family doctors that do obstetrics. “Specifically, I did it to serve and be prepared for the rural population I knew I would be going in to,” he said.
Dr. Baeseman hopes his specialty will encourage families to consider a family doctor to do a delivery. “Most people believe they have two choices, midwives or an obstetric-gynecologist,” he said. “I think family doctors do a great job with obstetrics.”