As an expectant mother, you want to do everything in your power to make sure your children have the best possible quality of life. This includes watching what you eat, exercising, and planning for the future education of your child. As part of this preparation, more mothers are increasingly turning to prenatal genetic testing. Below you will find 3 reasons why you need prenatal genetic testing.
Types of Prenatal Genetic Testing
There are two different kinds of prenatal genetic testing:
Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)–This type of testing can be done with a simple blood draw during the first trimester and presents no risk to the developing fetus. NIPT informs parents of the likelihood that their child will be born with a genetic disorder, but additional invasive testing may be needed to confirm any conclusions.
Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic Testing– This type of testing is usually done after 10 weeks of pregnancy and carry a small risk of miscarriage (varying between 0.5-2% according to the method). Common forms of invasive prenatal diagnostic testing include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. These are the only tests that can definitively diagnose a genetic condition in the womb.
Identifying Genetic Mutations Early
Prenatal testing can identify genetic conditions that can take months or even years after birth to accurately diagnose. Whatever the outcome of your preferred prenatal genetic testing method, you may feel more relaxed and prepared when you know the definitive results. Many parents become anxious or nervous at the thought of everything that could go wrong during the pregnancy or what could be wrong with their child. After receiving your prenatal genetic testing results, you can continue with your pregnancy feeling confident and ready to tackle any challenges that lay ahead.
Preparing for Your Child
In the event that your child is diagnosed with a genetic disease while in-utero, this will give you the opportunity to begin researching their condition and identify ways you can best help them. For example, you might find a promising new clinical trial for the treatment of your child’s disorder.
This will also give you an opportunity to meet with specialists about your child’s condition. A genetic counselor is a professional who can help answer questions about genetic disorders, answer questions about the care your child may need, and refer you to other experts about your child’s specific condition. Once you have a better idea of what your child will face, you can set them up for success by registering for early-intervention therapies, arranging child care, and securing health coverage.
If your child is diagnosed with a genetic disorder during pregnancy, then it can give you more time to focus on self-care and evaluate strategies to cope with your child’s condition. You can begin to connect with other parents who have children with the same condition, find support groups in your area, or meet with a personal therapist to discuss your concerns. Remember: care for your baby is important, but it’s also just as important to check-in on yourself and how you feel.
Questions about Prenatal Testing
If you have questions or concerns about non-invasive prenatal genetic testing or other forms of prenatal genetic testing, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. The more you know about your child’s likelihood to have a genetic disorder can only help you better prepare them for health and happiness in the future. Speak with your doctor or prenatal care team for more information, or if you have any questions. They are responsible for helping you make decisions about all forms of prenatal testing and can help guide you through the process.
*This is a partnered post