Maternal-fetal medicine is a relatively recent subspecialty; its professional organization, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, will be holding its 30th annual meeting in 2010. The field began with a focus on high-risk obstetrics, but more recently, with the advent of sophisticated real-time ultrasound, it has expanded to include prenatal diagnosis and fetal intervention. Even high-risk obstetrics, which focuses on caring for women with medical illness who become pregnant or who develop a severe illness during pregnancy, could only have developed in the 20th century, alongside the other specialties that improved the treatment of illness to create a host of chronic diseases.
Caughey AB. Creasy and Resnik’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. JAMA. 2009;302(19):2154-2158. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1695