Genetic counseling is a process to evaluate and understand a family's risk of a genetic or inherited medical condition. A genetic counselor is a healthcare professional with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling. In the context of pregnancy and prenatal diagnosis, genetic counseling can be very important if there is a family history of a genetic disorder or if a specific finding or concern is identified with your developing baby. As options for screening tests in pregnancy become increasingly complex, a genetic counselor is also the best resource to review this in detail with you and make sure that the risks, benefits and limitations of any proposed testing are completely clear to you and your family. Specifically, "NIPT", or cell-free fetal DNA, is a complicated test to understand and making sure that this is the best option for you and your fetus is important. Finally, patients will have the option to review recommended screening test for their given ethnic background.
We offer genetic counseling when performed in conjunction with an ultrasound in our center. We believe that the best counseling results from having the most up-to-date information, and knowing as much as we can about the developing fetus is crucial to providing the most accurate counseling. If there is a family history of a genetic disorder or other abnormality that concerns you, this is a good opportunity to review this information. The more detail that you are able to provide at the time of the visit, the more helpful the counseling will be. If you have records of any prior genetic testing performed, or can obtain additional information about family history from your family members, please do so.
Genetic counseling is also important to provide guidance and support as you navigate a pregnancy with an inherited or genetic disorder. We are always available for phone calls or visits to support you and your family on the journey. We commit to help you understand and navigate the available options for your pregnancy while respecting the values and desires of you and your family along the way.
For an excellent video detailing the process of genetic counseling, please click play below: