Prenatal Genetic Counseling
Reasons to visit a prenatal genetic counselor
Of course, it’s a personal choice, but you might consider talking with a prenatal genetic counselor if you or your partner:
- Have a genetic condition or a serious disease that runs in your family
- Have a family member with a birth defect or an intellectual disability
- Already have a child with a genetic condition or birth defect
- Have a history of infertility, miscarriage or stillbirth
- Are pregnant later in life
- Are worried about the impact of your health or your lifestyle on your baby
- Come from an ethnic background that increases your risk of certain genetic conditions
How can I prepare for my visit?
You’ll get the most benefit from your genetic counseling if you do your homework beforehand. You and your partner should sit down and make a list of all blood relatives and any diseases or conditions they’ve had. You might even want to speak with other family members to make sure you don’t miss anything. Be sure and include any relatives with:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Intellectual disability
- Birth defects
- Pregnancy complications
- Heart problems
Keep in mind that only about 3 percent of babies in the United States are born with a birth defect, and most families will choose not to undergo genetic counseling.
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