There are many reasons pregnant moms decide to have a screening test for Down syndrome, just as many as every pregnancy is one fraught with hope and fear in equal measure considering the miracle of it all.
Every expectant mom wants to know as much as she can about her developing baby, which is a completely natural response, and each mom has the right to make choices that will go a long way to setting aside any fears or perhaps even having to face unexpected ones.
Many women choose to have the test so that if they are carrying a Down syndrome baby, they will have the opportunity to understand and learn as much as they can before the birth, while others simply choose to ease any anxiety they may be experiencing. No matter what the reasons are, every expectant mom has the absolute right to consider all her options should her test be positive and to take it step by step in learning how to deal with this result and her choices attached to it.
Talking to a counsellor who has the right background and experience is the first step any mom expecting a Down’s syndrome baby should take, her baby is every bit the miracle that any baby is and she deserves an even greater level of support than anyone else.
If you are one who has chosen to do a screen for genetic disorders, the product in review is the Panorama Prenatal Screen, which is a non-invasive, highly accurate test able to identify more than 99% of pregnancies affected with Down’s syndrome, while at the same time having the lowest reported rate of false-positive results than any other prenatal test.
The Panorama Prenatal test can be performed as early as 9 weeks into your pregnancy, no matter who you are, however, it cannot be used on women who are expecting twins or more, neither can it be used for women who have used a donor egg, surrogate or have had a bone marrow transplant.
All it takes is a simple blood draw, and any woman who is pregnant knows all about being pricked and prodded right from the start anyway, and with this sample the Panorama test will be able to tell you whether your baby is at higher risk of having Down syndrome, other common genetic conditions and even the gender of your baby.
In most cases the results will be with your doctor within 7-10 working days, after which your doctor will share the results with you.
Your Panorama results will contain any of the following:
• A Low Risk result which indicates it’s unlikely your baby is affected by any of the conditions on the Panorama panel.
• A High Risk, a result which does not necessarily mean your baby is affected but rather that your baby may have a higher than average chance of a chromosome abnormality.
If your test has come back as a high risk one it may be recommended that you speak to either a genetic counsellor or maternal foetal medicine specialist. You may also be offered and decide on more invasive diagnostic testing such as amniocentesis or CVS.
The most important thing to remember throughout this journey is that no matter what the result is; don’t allow yourself to make any irreversible decisions based on this test alone! And remember above all, this is your baby, your choice and your journey, no matter what you decide to do, without a doubt you will not be alone in it!