Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Guest Post: Prenatal Testing

When I was pregnant with Fynn, I felt so helpless because there was so much going on inside my body that I couldn't see or even know about. One thing that always made me feel better were the different prenatal tests available (especially that whole gender ultrasound... I REALLY liked that one). Below is a guest post about some different types of prenatal testing you can have done and details on the tests.

Prenatal Testing: Learning everything about your baby
There is so much you can discover about your baby before he or she is even born. You can find out whether you will have a baby girl or baby boy, know exactly how health and strong your baby is or even find out who fathered the child should you have any doubts. Let’s take a better look at each of these prenatal tests.

Is it a he or a she?
One of the most common tests done in pregnancy is gender DNA testing Pronged by curiosity and the commercial availability of these tests, so many couples find the thought irresistible. Gender testing can be done in the earliest weeks of pregnancy in a totally safe and non invasive way. Methods include anything from urine DNA analysis to hormone analysis in urine to analysis of a maternal blood samples. At this point, a brief explanation of each is warranted.
If you want absolute certainty and accuracy and the easiest procedure possible, opt for a urine DNA test. For this test you just need to provide a urine samples which will then be analyzed in the lab to determine whether you are expecting a baby boy or baby girl. This test is 99% accurate.
The blood test is also quite accurate (around 85% to 95%) but the thought of collecting blood samples often make people squeal or squirm. Also, with this test you will need to collect your own blood sample by pricking the tip of your finger with a sterile needle.
Hormone based DNA analysis is also a possible way of establishing baby gender. All the test requires is a urine sample from the mom. Although there has been much hype about his test but no studies have fully supported its accuracy.
Besides these types of prenatal tests, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to at-home, old wives’ tales: the cabbage test, the Drano test, the wedding ring test and the Chinese calendar. These are just a few fun baby gender tests that moms-to-be just love. However, their accuracy is low and they are anything but scientific.

On a more serious note, there are prenatal tests that can determine whether your baby has any diseases in its genes. Some of these diseases he or she may have inherited or some may be due to some malformation in genes at some point during conception. Whichever the case, at least you have the choice of knowing whether your baby does have an illness. Usually, prenatal tests like ultrasounds or early pregnancy blood tests may indicate that something is not quite right. If your specialist’s suspicions are aroused, then he or she may suggest more in-depth tests. For these more in-depth tests (known as diagnostic tests), an OBGYN will need to actually get a sample of your baby’s DNA from inside your womb using sampling procedures which likely ring a bell with many moms: amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

Paternity before birth
In this day and age, there is no other way of finding out the father of child that is as accurate as paternity testing. For those moms who have doubts and wish to know before the birth of the child, prenatal paternity testing is an option. It is today possible to discover the father of a baby at just ten weeks using a blood samples. This means that the procedures we mentioned before (amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling) are not required to collect samples for an unborn baby for a paternity test. Scientists can use the baby DNA in the mommy’s blood. As we have seen, prenatal tests are many and diverse. We are indeed so lucky to live in an age where we have the choice of discovering the sex of our baby, the health of our baby or the father of our baby before we even have the child.

*Disclaimer: This was a paid guest post. 

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