To optimize the care of patients who are pregnant and have — or develop – kidney complications or diseases, the Division of Nephrology has opened a new Maternal Fetal Medicine Nephrology Clinic.
The clinic is led by nephrologist Kelli King-Morris, MD. She will work in partnership with the patient’s primary care physician, obstetrician, maternal fetal medicine specialist and endocrinologist to care for patients with conditions such as chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), diabetes, lupus, preeclampsia, proteinuria, or Alport syndrome.
“Women who are pregnant and who have kidney problems are at high risk for complications both for themselves and for their unborn child,” says Dr. King-Morris. “I watch the mother and monitor kidney function and the obstetrics team watches over both of them.”
Since the clinic debuted last fall, Dr. King-Morris has cared for more than 25 patients, including patients that have had to go on dialysis as a result of ESRD. In those cases, she coordinates care with dialysis specialists in the Division, including Reena Gurung, MBBS, and Manasa Metireddy, MD.
One of Dr. King-Morris’ patients was Mary Winston, who had spent three years trying to get pregnant. She had undergone two rounds of intrauterine insemination, two rounds of invitro fertilization, and had suffered a miscarriage before finally becoming pregnant again.
Unfortunately, problems arose. “As a health care professional who likes to self-diagnose, I was adamant that I didn’t have preeclampsia,” says Winston. “I was so headstrong about it. I had been taking the best care of myself during this journey. There was no way I was high risk.”
When Winston got to the Maternal Fetal Clinic, Dr. King-Morris she sat her down, showed her the test results and explained to her how preeclampsia can occur through no fault of her own. “A light bulb went off,” says Winston, who finally accepted the truth. “I had preeclampsia.”
Dr. King-Morris helped establish a “game plan” for Winston and her baby. “She helped me monitor the preeclampsia, take the proper medications and deliver a healthy baby,” says Winston. Baby Eloise Brook Madeline Winston was born just shy of 35 weeks at 3 pounds, 13 ounces, 19 inches!“ Dr. King-Morris was so excited and proud to meet her first baby she had helped come into this world, healthy. I am so thankful for Dr. King-Morris and glad I also did aftercare with her.” Winston is heartened to know that Dr. King-Morris will be there for her in future pregnancies.
“Since I was in fellowship at Vanderbilt, I have wanted to develop a pregnancy-related kidney clinic,” said Dr. King-Morris. “I myself had preeclampsia three times during my pregnancies, so I know firsthand the challenges of having a baby and dealing with such complications.”
In the clinic, Dr. King-Morris monitors everything from hypertension and proteinuria levels to recurrent preeclampsia and weight management. The clinic has been in high demand and she has been a welcome addition to multidisciplinary conferences in cardiology and obstetrics as well as nephrology. “I’ve gotten busy very fast because there is a critical need for this type of care for patients,” she said.
Currently, she provides care in dedicated clinics in south St. Louis County and at the main Barnes-Jewish Hospital campus.
Call 314-362-9096 to schedule an appointment.
Call 314-362-7603 for new referrals.