Prenatal Genetic Testing Around Twelve Weeks
A new screening test for Down Syndrome will be offered to you at your first prenatal visit. This is called the First Test and is scheduled usually around 12-13 weeks of pregnancy. This test involves an ultrasound of the baby and a blood test from the mother. It can provide women with information regarding their risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome early in the pregnancy. If the blood test comes back abnormal, an amniocentesis will be offered to confirm the findings. First Test results are usually available in 4-5 days.
Prenatal Genetic Testing Around Sixteen Weeks
A voluntary blood test called Quad Screen (formerly know as alpha-feto protein or AFP) is offered to you between 16-20 weeks. This test was developed to screen for Down Syndrome and neural tube defects like spina bifida in your baby. It is a screening test with false positive and false negative results. Genetic counseling along with amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) are available for those who need it.
Prenatal Testing Around Thirty-Five Weeks
At 35 weeks into your pregnancy, we will perform a culture of the birth canal for bacteria called Group B Strep (GBS). This bacteria does not affect you, however, if you carry it (20% of women do), we will treat you with an antibiotic during labor to protect the baby from acquiring it.