Why Genetic Screening Is An Important Part Of Your Pregnancy

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Tips and Tricks for Managing Your Own Health

Hi, Mia here! Just after I got pregnant with my first child, my husband and I decided to spend a few months abroad. While it was a great experience, I made the mistake of not learning the language before I left. Getting antenatal care was difficult when I couldn't communicate with the doctors, so I had to start learning things for myself. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to continue even when I got back home to Australia. This blog is filled with everything I've discovered over the years about managing your own health (and your family's health!) with and without medical intervention.


Why Genetic Screening Is An Important Part Of Your Pregnancy

23 June 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Pregnancy is a stressful time in any women's life, from undergoing the physical changes to having to plan out how a small baby will fit into your life once the pregnancy is over. It can be easy to forget about small things here and there, and that is perfectly normal and part of being an active mother in the 21st century. However, one thing that you should never forget to do is to get genetic screening done before you give birth. Genetic screening can change what you thought your life was going to look like permanently, and it is best to have it done as soon as possible.

What Is Genetic Screening?

Genetic screening is a process where you provide a DNA sample (often blood for this particular process), and then the health care clinic runs it through a bunch of tests to see whether you have any possibly dangerous genetic predispositions to diseases. Don't be alarmed; many people carry the genetic code to some bad conditions but never see issues. These people are called carriers. What genetic screening does is let you know that if you or your partner are carriers of this code, your baby could be at a higher chance of developing the condition. 

Is Genetic Screening 100% Accurate All The Time?

Genetic screening as a process is accurate; however, this does not mean that if you are the carrier of a potentially harmful condition like cystic fibrosis, your child will automatically get it. Scientists still don't fully understand why some people are carriers of these genetic conditions and why some people are victims to them, but what they do know is that when they see the condition in DNA, it does indicate a higher chance of the children of those carriers getting the full brunt of the condition. It does not guarantee that they will, but this information should be known before you give birth.

Why Bother If You Can't Do Anything About It?

Genetic screening is important because you actually can do a lot of things to prepare for a child that will be carrying the same DNA as you. As soon as the baby is born (or sometimes even before, if possible) they should be tested themselves. Then you can get a more definitive answer to your questions. In addition to that, you can start preparing their room and your home for a more intensive childhood than you were expecting if necessary. It can be a good idea to get special cribs, tools, chairs and toys before the birth so that you are fully prepared to tackle whatever challenge is thrown at you. The more information you have during your pregnancy, the more prepared you will be for the baby arriving, so while sometimes that information may be hard to hear, it is better that you get it now and not have it be a surprise later.