Antenatal tests

Many expecting parents wonder whether their child will be healthy. Fortunately, most children are born healthy. As a pregnant woman, we can give you the opportunity to check your child’s health even before it is born.

You may want to opt for a combined test which can tell you how likely it is that your child has Down’s syndrome or another chromosomal abnormality. You may also choose to have a 20 week ultrasound which is usually done to detect the presence of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Organ development can also be observed.

During your first ultrasound appointment we will inform you about the combined test and the 20 week ultrasound. If you are considering having them done we will give you a brochure, as well as fully discuss these extra tests with you. Taking the decision to undergo one of these tests is not always straight forward. Although you might be more informed about your baby’s physical condition, the knowledge of this could cause anxiety or leave you faced with difficult choices. It is completely up to you to ask for these tests. It is also up to you to request follow up tests when possible abnormalities are detected. You may stop any test at any time.

Combined test

A combined test is a test combining an ultrasound scan with a blood test. Using ultrasound, the thickness of the baby’s neck fold is measured. This neck fold is a thin layer of fluid under the skin of the neck which all foetuses have at around 11 to 14 weeks. If this is thicker than average, there is a greater chance of chromosomal anomaly. This is often seen in conditions such as Down’s syndrome. Between 9 and 14 weeks blood is taken from the mother and investigated in the laboratory. Neck fold thickness, blood test, age of the mother and length of pregnancy are calculated to give a result. This result gives information relating to the chances of having a baby with trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edward’s syndrome) and trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome). In some cases this test will be paid for by your insurance company.

Amniocenteses

If your baby has an increased chance of chromosomal anomaly (1:200 or higher) or the mother is 36 years old or older, you may ask for a more invasive diagnostic method called chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. In this test, tissue from your placenta or amniotic fluid is removed from the uterus. These samples are then tested to see whether your baby has a syndromic disorder or not. However, this test carries a 0.5% (1:200) risk of miscarriage.

20 week ultrasound

Since recently we are able to offer you your twenty week ultrasound scan on the practice premises! The twenty week scan is carried out around your 20th week of pregnancy. This is a voluntary medical ultrasound. We will look to see whether or not your baby’s organs are developing normally. Further growth is measured, the position of the placenta is observed and amniotic fluid volume assessed. We also look at: the skull, the spine, the shape of the brain, heart, kidneys, stomach, limbs, and the position of the feet. This test takes about thirty minutes.

The advantages of this scan are that further follow ups may be made at the hospital should any abnormalities be detected and the severity of the condition assessed. You will then be able to discuss possible treatments. You will be better prepared for the birth. In some circumstances it is actually possible to treat the baby when still in the womb. Should the condition be serious, you may opt for termination of your pregnancy up to the 24th week.

The disadvantages of this scan include the fact that not all problems can be detected, and a positive result is not a guarantee of a healthy child. Some disorders are not visible until birth. Sometimes the baby is lying in such a position that the scan needs to be repeated. There is sometimes confusion about what exactly constitutes an abnormality, or that upon birth this abnormality is no longer visible.

Spoed / Emergency

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Verloskundigen Rotterdam West
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Tel nr: 010-456.83.69

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3027 AW Rotterdam

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