Down syndrome -- screening and tests during pregnancy

Making a choice

When you learn that your child has Down syndrome, you face difficult choices. The diagnosis allows you to:

✓ Begin planning for a child with special needs
✓ Address anticipated lifestyle changes
✓ Identify support groups and resources
✓ Make a decision about carrying the child to term

An estimated 92 percent of all women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to terminate their pregnancies, according to research reviewed by Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatric geneticist at Children's Hospital Boston.

Dr. Skotko is concerned that parents may receive outdated or inaccurate information. One program that helps educate families is "First Call," offered by the The Down Syndrome Association. It distributes information to OB/GYN and perinatology practices and has volunteers available to talk with expectant and new parents, if requested.

Would you opt for a noninvasive Down syndrome prenatal test like MaterniT21 PLUS?

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.