Prenatal Diagnosis Center and what we do
The Prenatal Diagnosis Center affiliated with Martha Jefferson Hospital provides medical care for complicated pregnancies. Patients are seen for consultation and care only with referral from their primary obstetrical care provider. Examples of problems seen include maternal medical disorders antedating pregnancy, prior and recurrent pregnancy loss, identified risk of fetal birth defect, development of a complication during pregnancy and ultrasound identification of a fetal anatomic abnormality. In addition, the professional staff are available for educational presentations to professional and lay groups. Physicians are trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in the subspecialty of Maternal and Fetal Medicine. Genetic counselors are trained in clinical genetics and counseling and have extensive experience in providing information regarding various genetic disorders. Also, they are trained in assisting with the care of individuals carrying a pregnancy affected by a birth defect as well as those at risk of a having a pregnancy with a birth defect or genetic disorder.
Genetic counseling is the process of providing individuals and families with information on the nature, inheritance and implications of genetic disorders to help them make informed medical and personal decisions.
Screenings to Monitor Health of the Fetus
Screenings enable doctors to monitor the health of a fetus during development. In many cases, when screenings produce abnormal results, subsequent testing will be recommended. Usually a combination of two or more of these screenings will produce the most reliable results. Some screenings are routine, while others are prompted by certain criteria, such as a mother’s age or abnormal results of a routine screening.
Who should consider prenatal testing and genetic counseling?
- You are pregnant and will be 35 years of age or older on your due date.
- You are pregnant with an abnormal expanded AFP blood test. (Quad Test)
- You have had an ultrasound of your fetus showing a possible birth defect.
- You have already had a child or close relative with a birth defect or genetic disease.
- You and your partner are carriers of a recessively inherited disease such as Tay-Sachs, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis or thalassemia.
- You are a carrier of an X linked disease such as Fragile X, hemophilia or muscular dystrophy.
- You and your partner are closely related to each other (such as first cousins).
- You have been exposed to medications, X-rays or other agents during your pregnancy that may be harmful to the developing fetus.