Most babies are born healthy. Even so, we understand the anxiety that comes with being pregnant and worrying about your baby's health. About 3 to 4 percent of pregnancies are at risk of genetic disorders or birth defects, such as down syndrome or heart problems. Mercy offers a full range of prenatal testing services to help identify potential problems with your baby's development.

Which Prenatal Tests Do You Need?

We have many non-invasive tests that tell us a lot about your baby’s health. With this knowledge, we may help prevent some potential complications and address concerns as early as possible.

No two pregnancies are completely alike, so your Mercy physician will recommend the tests that are appropriate for you at each stage of our pregnancy:

High-Risk Pregnancy Tests

Your doctor may recommend additional testing for moms-to-be who have known risk factors, such as being age 35 or older, having abnormal results on blood tests and ultrasound exams, or having previously carried a baby with a birth defect. These are the two most common tests for high-risk pregnancies:

  • Amniocentesis tests for chromosomal abnormalities and some birth defects. The procedure is performed by inserting a needle through the mother’s abdomen into the uterus to collect a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus.
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) tests for abnormalities in the chromosomes and some other genetic conditions by taking a sample of the cells from the placenta, either by inserting a needle through the abdomen or cervix.

Any time you have a test, we’ll keep you informed and help you understand the results and next steps.

Genetic Counseling

Depending on your medical profile and family history, your doctor may recommend genetic counseling to evaluate your risk for certain inherited conditions such as genetic disorders and birth defects.

We know that you want only the best for your baby. So we'll be at your side every step of the way to provide you the care and information you need to deliver a healthy baby.

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