Google+ Baby Marohn: More Optional Prenatal Tests

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Optional Prenatal Tests

As I reported last week, I had the ultrasound and blood test to see if I was a risk for having a baby with Down Syndrom or Trisomy 18. All of that came back just fine, but now I have to decide of I want to have the Multiple marker screening done. I think it is just a blood test, and it will give us more information about if we are at risk for a baby with Downs or Trisomy 18 along with the chances of having a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

Here is my problem: If I get the test restults back and they say that the baby has a 1 in 1 chance of having one of those problems, it WILL NOT make me change my mind about this pregnancy. However, I want to be prepared for any problems that I need to be concered about about and even prepared for when the baby is born.

Here is a little bit from the atrical on

The multiple marker test is usually given between 15 and 18 weeks of pregnancy, but it can be done as late as 20 weeks. You'll have a blood sample taken and sent to a lab for analysis. Results are usually available in about a week.

The triple screen measures the levels of three substances in your blood: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and unconjugated estriol (uE3). Some testing centers measure the hormone inhibin A as well — this is called a quadruple screen.

High AFP can mean several things. A baby produces AFP throughout gestation, and a certain amount of it should cross the placenta into the mother's bloodstream at each stage.

If there's more AFP than expected, it may mean that you're carrying more than one baby or that your baby is older than your practitioner thought. But in some cases, it's a sign of an abnormal opening in the baby's spine (spina bifida), head, or abdominal wall that's allowing AFP to leak out. In rare cases, it can also signify a problem with the baby's kidneys. And in some cases, it doesn't mean any of those things.

Low AFP, low estriol, high hCG, and high inhibin A are associated with a higher risk for Down syndrome. Low levels of the first three mean your baby has an increased risk of having trisomy 18, a more severe and less common chromosomal abnormality.

Certain results may also indicate that you yourself are at a somewhat greater risk for problems such as preeclampsia, premature birth, intrauterine growth restriction, or miscarriage. Knowing this can enable you and your practitioner to be on the lookout for signs of trouble.

So for all you recent mothers/fathers, what did you decide to do? If you could leave me a comment with your opinion.

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