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6 – Great Expectations

“Will my baby be normal?” That is the question that all parents ask, and some with good reason. Knowing the family history of both you and your baby’s father will allow your healthcare provider to anticipate certain problems that can be minimized with proper care. Today, medical technology has allowed for better diagnoses of certain genetically transmitted diseases. A procedure called amniocentesis, usually performed from 14 to 16 weeks of pregnancy, tests the fuid surrounding the baby and allows certain diseases and other factors like the sex of the baby to be detected. Other highly specialized tests may be required, depending on the family’s medical history.

Genetic and Family History

There are certain family medical conditions that are important to the health of your baby. The following questionnaire will help determine if you are a candidate for special genetic counseling or testing.

Prenatal Diagnosis of Genetic Disorders

While good prenatal care can signifcantly decrease any harmful risks to you and your baby, there are no guarantees that your pregnancy will

proceed normally.

Question Yes No

Will you be 35 or older by the due date?

Have you, the baby’s father or anyone in your family had: Down Syndrome?................................................................ Spina Bifda or Myelomeningocele (open spine)? Hemophilia?. ........................................................................ Muscular Dystrophy?.......................................................... Mental Retardation?............................................................ Sickle Cell Disease?. ............................................................ Tay-Sachs Disease?.............................................................. Cystic Fibrosis?....................................................................

______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______

______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______

Have you or the baby’s father produced a child born with a defect not listed in the box above or that was stillborn?

______

______

Do you, the baby’s father or a close relative in either family have any inherited genetic or chromosomal disorder not listed?

______

______

Are you, the baby’s father or a close relative of: Jewish ancestry or a descendant from

Eastern European people?............................................. Mediterranean ancestry?....................................................

______ ______

______ _____

Have you or a previous spouse of the baby’s father had 3 or more miscarriages?

______

______

You should make note of any questions that you answer “Yes”

and discuss these with your healthcare provider.

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