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.