Drs: Should You Undergo Prenatal Testing? + Test Options


The Drs: Questions About Prenatal Testing

Drs: Should You Undergo Prenatal Testing? + Test Options

Oh baby! The Doctors answered one newly pregnant woman’s questions about prenatal testing. (flickr)

The Doctors know that pregnancy can be both scary and thrilling, which is why women have a lot of questions throughout the process. One woman shared that three weeks ago she found out she was pregnant and at her first appointment, she was given a brochure about prenatal testing. She wondered all about prenatal testing, and Dr Jennifer Ashton was excited and ready to answer all her questions.


Amanda said her main question was about what the prenatal testing actually looked for and if there was anything that would show up in the results that could be prevented or cured if it was negative. Dr Ashton said every single pregnant woman goes through the same questions, even if it’s not her first baby, because there are so many tests that you do during pregnancy.

The Drs: Prenatal Testing

The big things for the first trimester are first trimester screening, which is a combination of a blood test done between 11-13 weeks, and an ultrasound that looks at the thickness of the back of the baby’s head and the nasal bone.

Then, they use both of those results to give a numerical assessment for three big chromosomal disorders: down syndrome, trisomy 18, and trisomy 15. They look for those so that women and their partners can do the emotional and medical planning necessary to prepare for a birth that may have special needs.


There’s a new test called the Cell-Free DNA, which is a blood test done on the mother that looks for fetal DNA. It’s also known as the harmony test and has been found to be very accurate when screening for down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. She said it’s more for women who have high risk pregnancies. Dr Ashton said to think that more information is usually a better thing.

The Drs: Preparing For Baby During Pregnancy

Dr Ashton said it’s also important to know that a lot of the tests that are offered are time-sensitive, so it’s important to stay on top of your dates! The Doctors then surprised Amanda with some baby gear from Safety 1st!

If you already had children, did you undergo prenatal testing? If you’re planning on having a child in the future, will you get prenatal testing?


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