Prenatal testing is essential to check on the health of your developing baby. During pregnancy, mothers are often very anxious about their babies worrying that they may develop problems. While prenatal testing is not a must, it is very important as it helps you to identify common genetic disorder for better planning. It helps you make cognizant decisions for your baby pre and post birth.
Types of Prenatal Testing
- Screening tests: these help you identify if your child has any birth defects. They include blood tests, ultrasound, and prenatal cell-free DNA testing. However, the diagnosis cannot be declared conclusive. For mothers whose babies have an increased risk of genetic disorders, diagnostic tests can be done to confirm it. Screening tests are done in the first of the second trimester.
- Diagnostic tests: these are advisable for mothers whose screening tests indicate possible problems with the baby. Mothers with increased risk factors for babies with genetic problems should go for non-invasive diagnostic prenatal testing. Risk factors for this are having a previous pregnancy with genetic conditions or if other tests reveal abnormal results.
What are Some Different Types of Prenatal Tests?
- First Trimester Tests – These include an ultrasound and blood tests that measure the nuchal translucency (the size of the space in the tissue on the back of the baby’s neck) to analyze the risks for certain conditions.
- Second Trimester Tests – A blood test known as a quad screen measures four substances in the mother’s blood to indicate the risk for chromosomal conditions on a baby. It can also detect brain and spinal cord anomalies.
Benefits of Prenatal Testing
- This testing can help to ease anxiety. It is more relaxing when you are informed about the health of your baby in advance. Advancements in prenatal testing have made results more accurate. If your baby is normal, you can go on with your pregnancy full of confidence and without worry. If your baby is at risk of a genetic disorder, you can access counseling and make informed decisions on what to do.
- It allows you to arrange for procedures during and after birth for your baby. If your baby has a condition, you can be able to make plans to fix the problem or post birth. This will improve the quality of life of your baby and will give you peace of mind. You can also organize the specifics of the best places to give birth that will have the necessary equipment and personnel.
Get in Touch for More Information
Whether to pursue prenatal care or not is a choice. Here, we advise on and offer comprehensive prenatal care for your baby. To learn more about the benefits of prenatal testing, we warmly invite you to make an appointment with the Institute for Women’s Health. At our convenient locations in San Antonio, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation!