What You Need to Know about Prenatal Testing

May 07, 2014

Rachel Butler, BSc, MSc, CGC, CCGC

BC Parent - Spring 2014



Seeing that blue line on the pregnancy stick can be one of life's most exciting moments. However, with a positive pregnancy test comes worries about the health of the developing baby. Fortunately, there are tests available that can give you reassurance and information about your pregnancy. But if you are feeling confused about all the different options for prenatal testing, you are not alone. Even health care providers are struggling to keep up with this rapidly-changing technology!

Until very recently, expectant moms had to rely on a combination of blood tests and ultrasounds to provide information about the health of the baby. The problem with these tests is that they have up to a 5% chance of giving a "false positive" result for a genetic problems with the baby. This means that the result comes back abnormal when in fact the baby is perfectly healthy, which can result in a lot of anxiety for the pregnant mom as well as unnecessary and invasive additional testing. In addition, results are often not available until the second trimester, which is usually when the pregnancy is showing.

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