Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Natural caesarean. Nub theory. Kangaroo care. Confused by all the gobbledygook? Helen Foster explains what it all means
Non-invasive prenatal testing
When you’re 10-14 weeks pregnant you’ll be offered screening for three genetic syndromes: Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s. If it shows your risk of having a child with one of these conditions is more than one in 150 you’ll be offer the option of having a further test on the amniotic fluid or placenta.
However, these tests are invasive and slightly increase the risk of miscarriage. ‘But now we have an alternative method, which involves taking a blood test from you,’ says Dr Patrick O’Brien, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.‘ This is possible because some of the baby’s DNA leaks from the placenta into the mother’s blood.’
At the moment you must pay privately for NIPT testing, although this January it was recommended that the tests are made available to high-risk women on the NHS, so it is hoped that this will change.