Why Should A Pregnant Woman Get A Prenatal Test?

Pregnancy brings a mixed bag of emotions for a woman. At times, she may feel very happy and the next moment, she may feel distressed or scared about the health of her developing baby. While every woman understands that most babies are born healthy, every one of them always wants to get details about her baby’s health.

Almost every pregnant woman goes through the basic prenatal screening tests such as ultrasounds or blood tests to know the well-being of her baby. However, not all abnormalities can be detected by these general tests. These are just the screening tests, not the diagnostic tests, which are confirmatory. The negative result of these tests reveal that a woman is below a certain threshold and there is no need for further diagnostic testing. However, positive results in a screening test mean that she needs a further diagnostic test such as CVS or Amniocentesis.

According to March of Dimes (MOD) Global Report on Birth Defects, 61 to 69.9/1000 live births occur annually with serious birth defects in India. Most of these defects develop during first trimester when the organs are in developing stage. Therefore, it is recommended to opt for prenatal screening tests.

How prenatal testing can help you?

Though, it is completely your decision to go for a prenatal test, we would recommend you go for it due to the following reasons:

Get awareness: Parents can know beforehand about serious chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome, Patau’s syndrome or Edward’s syndrome. If the child is found positive for any of the above, parents can prepare themselves. They can either inform their families or get familiar with that particular disorder. This gives families ample time to take the decision and prepare.

Abortion/Termination: The positive prenatal screening or diagnosis gives an early heads up to parents. They can decide whether they want to terminate the pregnancy or not. They can talk to their obstetrician and can complete the legal formalities of pregnancy termination on time.

Be relaxed: In most of cases, prenatal screening tests inform an expectant couple that their baby is developing at a healthy pace. This information gives them a peace of mind. Moreover, these days screening tests such as NACE has been developed which gives highly accurate results. It is recommended for every woman to undergo such test.

Birth at the right hospital: If the prenatal test detects some kind of condition in the baby, parents can arrange for delivery in high-risk hospitals. Such hospitals have all kinds of facilities and high-end technologies to handle such critical cases.

 

Why parents refrain from prenatal testing and diagnosis?

Most expectant parents fear that these prenatal tests interfere with the normal development of their baby. They are skeptical that the ultrasound waves may cause some kind of harm to their babies. However, one must understand that modern technology and equipment have completely revolutionized the prenatal testing procedures. Prenatal tests are completely safe.

Nowadays, non-invasive prenatal tests such as NACE® have been introduced. These tests are specially designed to test for the chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus without compromising the health of both baby and the mother. This has proved to be a milestone in prenatal testing. It just requires a blood sample of the pregnant woman. The test is highly accurate and you can get results in just 7-10 days. Researchers are looking forward to this test as a safe alternative to Amniocentesis or CVS.

Today, prenatal screenings and testing have become a regular affair and it is quite helpful in providing useful information and making important decisions about a pregnancy. Studies have shown that these tests have also changed the experience of the pregnancy for the couples.

However, in case of any doubt, do not hesitate to consult your doctor and get more accurate information about all your options.