In America, every 4 1/2 minutes a baby is born with a birth defect. The CDC, reports that 120,000 babies are born with genetic defects each year. That’s one in 33 children.
If detected early, some birth defects can be treated during pregnancy before the condition has a chance to worsen.
That’s why it is vital for women who are pregnant to receive prenatal genetic testing from their doctor during the end of their first trimester of pregnancy.
While in many cases there will be no abnormalities, prenatal genetic testing can save the life of the fetus, improve its quality of life, and also provide necessary healthcare information to the parents of the growing baby should a condition arise.
Read on to learn about the benefits of prenatal genetic testing.
Advantages of Prenatal Genetic Testing
1) Prenatal Genetic Testing Helps Keep You Err on The Side of Caution
If you are over 35 years old or have a family history of birth defects, your doctor may suggest prenatal genetic screening tests. These screenings are taken during the first trimester, typically between the
These screenings are taken during the first trimester, typically between the 10th and 13th months of pregnancy.
Earlier in your pregnancy, you’ve most likely have had tests to detect chromosomal abnormalities.
These blood tests are typically conducted with your first-trimester blood work. While prenatal genetic tests are no cause for alarm, they are performed to err on the side of caution.
2) Parents Feel More at Ease When Prenatal Tests Are Informed
In most cases, prenatal genetic testing will let you know that your growing baby is healthy and developing normally. This information can put you at ease, especially if you have a family history of birth abnormalities.
While prenatal testing doesn’t act as a diagnosis, it can predict the likelihood that a condition could arise.
If there is a likelihood of a present condition, you can plan for more specialized non-invasive tests such as amniocentesis or a chorionic sampling which can diagnose a specific condition.
3) Some Abnormalities Can Be Treated During The Pregnancy
If your doctor detects an abnormality in the fetus, there is a possibility that a procedure can be done to reverse your baby’s condition.
For example, if your baby has a serious heart condition or spina bifida, it is likely you will be able to do a procedure before the birth to correct your baby’s condition that will enable you to give birth to a healthier baby.
4) Prenatal Genetic Testing Can Help Parents Prepare for the Future
In the case that there is a likelihood that you might give birth to a special needs child, you will have plenty of time to plan for treatment and counseling before your baby is born. You won’t be surprised immediately upon giving birth and you can plan the steps you need to take accordingly.
While these tests are not 100%, they can predict the odds if your baby could be born with birth defects such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, sickle cell anemia, or Tay-Sachs disease.
Though it’s likely that your baby will develop into a healthy boy or girl, it is always comforting to know the medical facts that can provide reassurance through your pregnancy and beyond the birth of your child.
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