At around ten weeks, you should discuss some prenatal testing options with your caregiver that can give you more information on how your baby is developing and any potential abnormalities or genetic concerns. These tests are not mandatory, but they deserve consideration to see if they fit your personal goals and pregnancy plan.
The MaterniT® 21 PLUS blood work analyzes the genetic information from the placenta that enters your bloodstream. This test is looking for chromosomal abnormalities like trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), and sex chromosome abnormalities like an incorrect number of X or Y chromosomes. This test's negative or positive results are usually available in under five days.
Your caregiver might also suggest a Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) at week 10 or later. This blood test will screen your blood for signs of Down syndrome, Edward Syndrome, Patau Syndrome, and other chromosomal abnormalities.
In the coming weeks, you may also be presented with the option for more invasive tests depending on potential risk factors. Tests like Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and Amniocentesis are done using ultrasound and a needle that takes samples from the placenta or the amniotic fluid, respectively. These test results are more definitive and can provide parents with more information on any potential abnormalities. More invasive tests are often recommended after the non-invasive test results come in. You'll need to discuss the advantages vs. the risks of such testing with your doctor before you decide to have them done.
- Integrated Genetics - MaterniT® 21PLUS
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - Prenatal Genetic Testing
- WebMD - Genetic Testing