Planning a Family? Know about the health risks your child might be prone to

Finally you and your partner have decided that it’s time to start a family! Many congratulations! We know the decision is as exciting, as scary it may seem. There is a myriad of thoughts and emotions that go through your head. Many questions also start popping in your mind. Remember, parenthood is not a walk in the park! Starting a family is a choice that requires thorough planning and understanding from both sides. Genetic screening during pregnancy plays a significant role.

Every parent wants to offer the best care to his/her child. Before bringing your baby into this world you need to plan your baby’s health besides planning your finances and career. And to be able to do all this you need to be aware of the health risks that your child might be prone to through genetic screening test during pregnancy.

Now, you would be wondering, how is it possible to know your baby’s health status even prior to his/her birth? And the best way to know this is through genetic tests that would provide a complete detailed analysis of your baby’s health and the diseases that he/she is likely to develop during the prenatal stage or within first 72 hours of birth. Unlike the basic preventive health tests that only check for the haemoglobin levels and other basic health factors, genetic tests offer unique personalized insights into your future health conditions besides showing you the picture of your present health status. So, the thumb rule is that early diagnosis results in healthy babies.

On the other hand, in the absence of on-time diagnosis, children have to suffer with chromosomal conditions, such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18 and other major diseases like Thalassemia for the rest of their lives! Besides the routine pregnancy tests, mothers have to get their Maternal Serum Screening done.

Maternal Serum Screening Tests are the initial stage tests for a pregnant mother. These are screening tests that check for any abnormalities that may arise during the pregnancy. This test includes the Double, Triple and Quadruple Marker Tests carried between the 11th to 13th weeks of pregnancy, and 15th-20th weeks of pregnancy respectively. These tests detect for specific chromosomal abnormalities like: Trisomy – 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy – 18 (Edward Syndrome), and Open Neural Tube Defects.

NIPT (Non Invasive Prenatal Screening) is a non-invasive test, performed on cfDNA that screens Ultrasound abnormalities and chromosomal abnormalities identified by other screening tests. It is advisable in cases of concerns about chromosome abnormalities in your pregnancy.

NBS (New Born Screening) is a comprehensive test to screen a new born baby within 72 hours of birth. Your baby might look normal and healthy at the time of birth but this might not be the case. NewBorn Screening helps diagnose your baby so as to start treatment as early as possible. It analyses the developmental, genetic and metabolic disorders in a new born baby. This early diagnosis and proper treatment of these disorders go on to make a difference between lifelong impairment and healthy development of the baby!

Your baby might develop a health complication or disorder even if there is no family history. Only with early intervention you can give birth to a healthy baby. Timely detection of life threatening disorders blesses your child with good health and above all, a safe and secure childhood!

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