Prenatal Testing Specialist

Maternal Fetal Specialists -  - Maternal Fetal Medicine

Maternal Fetal Specialists

Maternal Fetal Medicine located in Fredericksburg, VA & Springfield, VA

Early and ongoing prenatal care is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Throughout your pregnancy, you may need prenatal testing to assess your health and that of your growing baby. Some prenatal tests are routine, while others may be recommended due to your medical or family history. Pushpinder Dhillon, MD, MS, FACOG, and the team at Maternal Fetal Specialists in Fredericksburg and Springfield, Virginia, offer advanced prenatal testing. To learn more, call the office closest to you to book an appointment today.

Prenatal Testing Q & A

What is prenatal testing?

Prenatal testing includes various diagnostic tests and screenings that assess you and your baby throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Some tests specifically assess your health, while others assess your baby’s health.

What are the types of prenatal testing?

You may need a number of prenatal tests during your pregnancy. Examples of prenatal testing offered at Maternal Fetal Specialists include:

First trimester nuchal translucency screening 

The first trimester nuchal translucency screening is a noninvasive ultrasound test that evaluates the fluid around your baby’s neck to assess for chromosomal abnormalities.

Noninvasive cell-free DNA screening

The noninvasive cell-free DNA screening is a blood test that checks for chromosomal abnormalities in your baby. This prenatal test is usually performed anytime after the initial 10 weeks during your pregnancy. 

Fetal ultrasound

Fetal ultrasounds are a regular part of prenatal testing. The timing and frequency of your fetal ultrasounds may depend on your health and your baby’s development. 

In general, the team at Maternal Fetal Specialists performs fetal ultrasounds during your first and second trimester. More frequent fetal ultrasounds may be needed if there are concerns about congenital abnormalities, your baby’s growth, or risk factors with the mothers health.

Genetic testing

Genetic testing provides information to expectant parents about genetic disorders, including chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome and inherited disorders such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease

Genetic testing is one of the primary services offered at Maternal Fetal Specialists. Before the experts perform any genetic testing, expectant parents spend time with the genetic counselor, who reviews the various tests and explains what the tests are looking for. 

Genetic testing may include carrier screening of the parents-to-be or first trimester prenatal screening. 

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

During a CVS, your provider takes a sample of tissue from your placenta to evaluate it for chromosomal abnormalities in your fetus. 

Amniocentesis

During an amniocentesis, your provider takes a sample of your amniotic fluid to test for chromosomal abnormalities in your baby. 

Fetal echocardiogram

The team at Maternal Fetal Specialists can perform a fetal echocardiogram to assess your baby’s heart and confirm or rule out congenital heart defects. 

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

During CVS, your provider at Maternal Fetal Specialists takes a sample of your placenta and tests for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. This fetal diagnostic test is performed during weeks 10-13 of gestation. 

Amniocentesis

During amniocentesis, your provider takes a sample of your amniotic fluid to test for chromosomal abnormalities. This test is performed during the second trimester and may be performed to confirm or rule out concerns detected during your first trimester screening. 

Noninvasive cell-free DNA screening

The noninvasive cell-free DNA screening is a blood test that assesses chromosomal abnormalities during the first trimester. 

How do I know what type of prenatal testing I need?

During a consultation, your provider at Maternal Fetal Specialists talks to you about the type of prenatal testing that’s recommended for you. Your prenatal testing may depend on your age, pregnancy and gynecological history, and family history.

Some prenatal testing is routine, such as ultrasounds and the blood glucose test for gestational diabetes. However, other types of prenatal testing may be recommended based on your age or pregnancy history.

To learn more about prenatal testing and the types of tests you and your baby need, call Maternal Fetal Specialists to request an appointment today.