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What is the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine?

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), based in Washington, DC, is the national voice for clinicians and researchers with expertise in high-risk pregnancy.  

The Society is a non-profit association representing more than 6,500 individual members. The core membership is comprised of maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialists. MFM subspecialists are obstetricians with additional years of formal training and board certification in maternal-fetal medicine, making them highly qualified experts and leaders in the care of complicated pregnancies. Additionally, SMFM welcomes physicians in related disciplines, nurses, genetic counselors, ultrasound technicians, MFM administrators, and others working toward optimal and equitable perinatal outcomes for all people who desire or experience pregnancy.

High-risk pregnancies are those that may compromise the health or life of a pregnant person or fetus. Examples include entering pregnancy with a chronic health condition (e.g., diabetes, lupus, or heart disease); developing acute conditions in pregnancy, including infectious diseases; experiencing preterm birth or another complication in a previous pregnancy; carrying twins, triplets, or higher-order multiples; or learning there is a birth defect or genetic condition that may affect the fetus. MFM subspecialists work to reduce the likelihood that pregnancy complications will permanently compromise the health or life of their patients. 


  • The Pregnancy MeetingTM  The Society was established in 1977 to give MFM subspecialists a place to advance knowledge, education, and research. More than 40 years later, the annual Pregnancy Meeting remains the global centerpiece of SMFM’s work and attracts more than 2,000 scientists and clinicians from around the world each year. 
  • Clinical Guidance The Society publishes clinical guidance on a range of high-risk pregnancy topics. All official SMFM clinical guidelines are developed following an established methodology that includes grading of the relevant scientific literature, input by member experts, and a multi-layer internal peer review approval process. SMFM clinical guidance is available at no-cost on the SMFM website and is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG). 
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) The Society’s mission, vision, and strategic direction recognize that success is dependent upon reflecting the diversity of the communities that MFMs serve. SMFM is committed to building a diverse and inclusive membership and leadership cadre through our Emerging Leaders Program, our publications on DEI in medicine, and our Mentor Match system. 
  • Advocacy  The Society advocates at all levels of government to promote the interests of pregnant people and MFM professionals. SMFM’s Advocacy Agenda and related work is focused on reducing healthcare disparities, eliminating preventable maternal mortality, and ensuring that all pregnant people have access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion services. 
  • The Business Side of Medicine Managing an MFM practice can be complex, and a well-run practice improves clinical care, so we create tools to help. From in-person courses and webinars to books and consulting services, SMFM’s Practice Management Division offers advice to MFM practices so they can be efficient, technologically advanced and compliant. 

The Society is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors. The organization also has 21 committees, including the Global Health Committee, the Patient Safety and Quality Committee, the Education Committee, and many others, each of whom helps to shape the organization’s policies and strategies.  

 In 2013, the Society published a book detailing the history of SMFM and its sister organizations. The complete book is available online here.

Society for Perinatal Obstetricians: The First Two Decades chronicles the growth of the professional group of newly certified maternal-fetal subspecialists that eventually became the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine from its inception in 1977 through 1997.

Have questions or need assistance? Please visit our Staff Directory to find a list of all SMFM staff, their positions, and contact information.

Click here to view regional heat maps that depict the distribution of SMFM members

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