Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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What does it test for? Increased risk for chromosomal abnormalities, such as trisomy 21, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13, and neural-tube defects.
How is the test given? This test combines first- trimester screening and quad screening, and can pick up 90 to 95 percent of cases of Down syndrome. The results of first-trimester screening and quad screening are analyzed together by a computer program and made available to parents after the quad screen is done at 15 to 20 weeks.
Is there a risk? No
What does it test for? Neural-tube defects and other anatomical defects in the brain, heart and abdominal wall.
How is the test given? An ultrasound is performed by placing the transducer (or wand) on your belly.
An anatomy scan looks at the entire anatomy of the baby and can reveal visual evidence of neural-tube defects and other anatomical defects in the brain, heart and abdominal wall.
Is there a risk? No.
Because prenatal tests seek information about your health and that of your baby-to-be, such testing can be very stressful. Getting worrisome results can cause anxiety at a time when you would prefer to be celebrating your pregnancy. Look for support from your obstetrician, a genetic counselor or a social worker with experience helping parents of high-risk babies, as well as the March of Dimes. These resources can help you find as much information as you need about your baby’s condition as well as support groups that might allow you to meet with families in situations similar to yours.