Comprehensive Labour and
Delivery Services Including

Normal and High-risk pregnancies

Antenatal Counselling

Antenatal counselling is a technique of assessing the presence of genetic disorders in an unborn child. Antenatal counselling is done in individuals with a family history of genetic disorders. It is recommended for pregnant women and also in couples who are planning to have a baby. If any birth defect is detected antenatally, your paediatric surgeon will discuss the treatment plan for the problems your newborn might have. Through antenatal counselling your doctor will help you understand the condition and educate you on how to prepare for care of the child having birth defect. The antenatal screening will reveal the possibility of unborn baby developing genetic disorders.

Pregnant women who suffer from a heart disease are at high risk of delivering a child with heart defects. Therefore, a multidisciplinary team comprised of obstetrician, cardiologist, anaesthetist, neonatologist, and intensivist will assess the heart condition and perform certain appropriate diagnostic tests to identify the defect.

Various diagnostic tests are performed to assess the genetic conditions and they include:

  • Alpha-fetoprotein test – It is a blood test which measures the level of alpha-fetoprotein, a foetal protein found in the mother’s blood.
  • Nuchal translucency screening – It is an ultrasound test performed at the end of the first trimester. This procedure helps in assessing the risk of Down’s syndrome or other chromosomal problems where the thickening at the back of the foetus’s neck can be observed
  • Chorionic villus sampling – In this test, placental tissue sample is taken to identify chromosomal abnormalities and other genetic problems.
  • Amniocentesis – The samples for this test are taken from the amniotic fluid, which surrounds the foetus to detect chromosomal disorders and open neural tube defects such as spina bifida. This test is done at 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy for those who have an increased risk for chromosomal abnormality.
  • Ultrasound – Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of the foetus inside the womb.
  • Foetal echocardiography – It is a test which uses sound waves to detect if the foetus is having heart problems and is usually done in the second trimester.

Antenatal counselling helps the parents to understand the problem after the condition is diagnosed and also to decide whether the baby can be treated in the womb itself or choose a place of delivery which will have the necessary care. Foetal heart problems such as rhythm abnormalities can be treated in the womb by providing medications to the pregnant mother.