Genetic Counseling Provides Answers to Expectant Families

At LVHN, expectant mothers are given information about genetic screening during one of their first obstetric appointments. While genetic counseling is available to all expectant mothers, Barry says it is especially recommended for pregnant women over the age of 35. Genetic counseling also is recommended for:

  • Couples who have an increased risk for a genetic condition
  • Couples with family history of a birth defect, autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability
  • Women with a history of several miscarriages or other complex obstetric history

In some cases, genetic counseling may be available prior to pregnancy. “If you have a specific concern about risks for a future pregnancy, preconception genetic counseling is available. Some types of screening can be done prior to a pregnancy and may influence a couple’s options for pregnancy conception,” says Barry.

According to Barry, results from preconception genetic counseling can help women and couples plan for an upcoming pregnancy by providing recommendations about additional consultations, ultrasounds and monitoring that may be needed.

Some screening and testing can only be done during pregnancy, such as screening for chromosome anomalies or birth defects.

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