To test or not to test?
When you’re pregnant or close to someone who is pregnant, you want to make sure that you are doing everything right to keep the baby and the mother-to-be healthy. There’s immense pressure to eat the right foods, do the right exercises, take the correct vitamins, and even get enough sleep. While soon-to-be-mothers are going through this experience, they may have concerns about a number of things. Most of these worries stem from concerns regarding the safety and health of the baby, so when it comes to DNA testing, this can raise some major red flags.
Genetically speaking, each parent passes half their chromosomes to their child (DNA is passed down to the next generation in big chunks called chromosomes). What most people forget, though, is that our chromosomes get mixed and matched before they are passed on. It is because of this "recombination" that your great, great, great grandparent's DNA is almost certainly lurking in yours... and will then be passed along to your children.
Before your child is born, some parents-to-be may choose to have DNA screening tests to help identify whether the fetus may be at high or low risk of having a chromosomal abnormality, or opt-in to find out the babies sex, or to determine paternity. Regardless of their reasoning for considering genetic testing during pregnancy, each parent worries about whether the test is harmful for themselves and for their unborn child.
Two kinds of DNA test for pregnant women: invasive tests and non-invasive tests
An invasive DNA test is one that carries a risk of miscarriage such as Amniocentesis or Chronic Villus Sampling (CVS). These medical procedures are used in prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities (such as Down Syndrome), fetal infections, and also for sex determination. A small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal tissues is sampled from the amniotic sac surrounding a developing fetus by way of a needle. Unless it is absolutely necessary, this test is not usually considered.
Blood tests are also considered invasive, but only to the mother. We all know, the baby doesn't feel the needle prick, but the mother sure does.
A non-invasive DNA test is one that does not hurt at all. In this case, providing a vial of saliva or a cheek swab are the two options and neither effect the unborn baby.
Should I take a DNA test while pregnant or should I wait until after delivery?
It is completely safe for a mother to take a DNA test via blood, saliva or cheek swab while pregnant. These tests only look at the mother’s DNA and not the baby’s. Even if you’re pregnant, your DNA is still 100% your own, meaning that your results will still be the same even if you are pregnant.
Bottom line: It is the safe choice and you can be positive that it will not harm your baby, and it may help you to become a healthier mom.
Here at AGS, we offer a non-invasive genetic test. We test your unique genes by using a cotton swab that samples your DNA from your cheek cells. This method is safe and easily accessible, without any messy spit tubes or painful needles and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Our Health & Wellness Genetic test can help mothers-to-be to make sure they have the best diet, nutrition, supplementation, and fitness regimens that benefits both mom and baby.
If you'd like to speak with someone about how the test & results can help you be at your best during and after pregnancy, click the button below and let's talk about your situation.