First Trimester Screenings
During pregnancy, it's common for women to be concerned about their
baby's health. To help reduce some of this anxiety, expectant mothers
may opt for first trimester screening for genetic or chromosomal defects.
This non-invasive screening rules out or confirms if the fetus has genetic
or chromosomal defects such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and Edwards
syndrome (trisomy 18). Typically performed between weeks 11 and 14 of
pregnancy, the screening is a blood test combined with an ultrasound.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends genetic counseling
for patients who are 35 years or older at the time of delivery since the
risk for having a child with a chromosome abnormality increases with maternal
age. In addition to first trimester screening, older mothers have the
option of amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling for the detection
of fetal chromosome abnormalities.
Receiving a positive result doesn't automatically determine that your
baby has a genetic defect, but it indicates whether more invasive tests
are necessary to determine any disorders.
Genetic counseling is recommended for expectant mothers older than 35 since
the risk of genetic complications increase with age. Genetic counselors
will determine the risk of genetic complications from your medical and
family history and refer you to the appropriate and necessary tests.
No matter what, the Jersey City Medical Center team will be with you every
step of the way to guide and support you throughout your pregnancy.