Saturday, July 11, 2009

Genetic Testing During Pregnancy

I recently found this article about prenatal genetic testing. I feel everyone should know about prenatal tests, risks and benefits, and who the tests are recommended for. Your prenatal care provider can help you with this, and there are really good books available that will help you educate yourself to make an informed choice. Some of my favorite books on the subject include "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer and "Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn" by Simkin, Whalley and Keppler.

"Whether this is their first pregnancy, or their fifth, women often worry about the health of their unborn baby.

Doctors have a range of genetic tests available to make sure the fetus is healthy.

Cristina Flores sat down with Annette Crowley, a registered nurse with Selecthealth, who is the Perinatal Care Manager.

Cristina: We should start by saying most babies and most pregnancies turn out just fine, right?

Annette: Absolutely, the majority of women who get pregnant, the pregnancies go along perfectly, and the baby is lovely, everything is fine. Only about 3% of all pregnancies have a birth defect associated with it. It's a very small percentage of all pregnancies.

Cristina: On that note, who needs to have these genetic tests while they're pregnant?

Annette: That's a good question. For the majority of women they are already seeking prenatal care, and that's great to be seeing their doctor. But for women who have had a baby who had some sort of birth defect or genetic problem, women who have a family history who have some sort of genetic problem, or women who are over age 35 are encouraged to look into genetic testing, or prenatal testing.

Cristina: And, to get these test, just talk to your doctor, right?

Annette: Yes, the nurse practitioner or doctor that you are working with has the information available and they can certainly walk women through what their risks are, and if they need to look into these tests.

For more information, head to"

Originally published at: Genetic Testing During Pregnancy

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