Pregnancy is certainly a time of concern for every parent-to-be. At first, you are so excited about just being pregnant that you cannot contain yourself. Then, as time goes on, you hear more and more about prenatal screenings, things that can go wrong and horror stories of heartbreak from other women. It is easy and natural to become anxious. The best thing that you can do to arm yourself against worry is to do your research, and to be sure you understand everything that is going on with YOUR body.

The amniocentesis is one of the most common prenatal screening tests offered to pregnant women in the second trimester. It is normally done between week 16 and week 22, and is almost always an optional test. It does carry some risks, and there have been reports of miscarriage associated with an amniocentesis.

The strange thing is that many women don’t even know what it is, or what it is for, even when there schedule to have it done! Essentially, an amniocentesis is used to screen for genetic or chromosomal disorders. It can look for things such as Down Syndrome and even Cystic Fibrosis along with hundreds of other birth defects. Most often the test is only recommended for women if something uncertain is seen on the ultrasound, or if there are risk factors for genetic disorders. Knowing that certain diseases exist with your baby can help you to be prepared during childbirth, and also gives the medical staff a heads-up so they can have the appropriate neonatal experts on hand during your delivery. Some women even choose to terminate the pregnancy if they find out something catastrophic is wrong with their baby.

The problem is the test is not 100% accurate, and it is invasive. A small needle is placed inside your abdomen into the amniotic sac, and amniotic fluid is drawn from your body so that it can be tested for genetic defect. Additionally, many moms don’t want to know the outcome, because they know it’s not going to change their decisions about the pregnancy.

Your best defense, as mentioned above, is to know your options. If the test is encouraged by your doctor, ask WHY? Weigh the pros and cons, and be informed, even getting a second opinion if necessary. It is your body, your baby and your pregnancy.

The last thing you want to do is feel like a guinea pig during pregnancy. Yes, medical technology is an amazing and wonderful thing that can be helpful in many areas. But ultimately, consenting to the tests and screenings is always for you to decide.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.