Sometimes you may need counseling during pregnancy. Counseling can help you learn more about medical or genetic conditions, special diets, or other concerns that you may have about your pregnancy. Depending on what information you need, you can get counseling from primary healthcare provider, a nurse, medical specialist, dietitian, or geneticist.
What is genetic screening?
If you are planning to have a baby, you may be concerned about birth defects or illnesses that your child might inherit. Genetic screening is a way to learn more about this.
The first step in genetic screening is to answer questions about your health, the health of the babyâ€™s father, and your familyâ€™s health. Your healthcare provider or genetic counselor will ask to review your family and personal medical information. You and the babyâ€™s father will be asked about diseases, disorders, and birth defects that may run in your families. Both you and the babyâ€™s father may have blood tests. The baby may also have tests while you are pregnant.
Your healthcare provider or counselor will discuss the screening results with you. If there is a problem, they will help you to try to understand the problem. They will describe your options and offer support for your questions, concerns, and choices.
When is counseling useful?
You might consider counseling if:
You have a medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, kidney disease, heart disease, or anemia. These conditions can worsen during pregnancy. They can affect both you and your baby unless you have careful treatment and close medical follow-up.
You have had problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, early birth, pregnancy loss, or stillbirth in other pregnancies.
You, the babyâ€™s father, or other members of your family have a history of birth defects or genetic problems.
Your unborn baby has been diagnosed with a birth defector other serious problem.
Find out as much as you can about the medical history of both sides of your family. Also, make sure that the babyâ€™s father is with you during counseling to provide information and ask questions. This will help you get the most out of your counseling session. It will help you make informed decisions about your care during your pregnancy.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2015-01-12 Last reviewed: 2014-12-08
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Greenberg, M.B., Druzin, M.L., and Gabbe, S.G. (2012). Antepartum Fetal Evaluation. In Gabbe, S. G., Niebyl, J. R., Galan, H. L., Jauniaux, E. R., Landon, M. B., Simpson, J. L., & Driscoll, D. A. (Eds.). Obstetrics: normal and problem pregnancies.(6th ed.) (237-263). Elsevier Health Sciences.