Prenatal genetics is the genetics specialty that focuses on potential risks to a current or future pregnancy, including risks for genetic conditions or birth defects. The ultimate goal of a prenatal genetic counseling session is to address the patient’s individual concerns and answer any questions the patient may have.
Prenatal genetic counselors at Children's of Mississippi provide information about the risks of chromosomes abnormalities, birth defects or other genetic conditions to individuals, couples or families. Genetic counselors help facilitate the decision-making process, allowing patients to make informed choices about prenatal screening and testing options. They also help coordinate testing and communicates results to the patient. In addition, genetic counselors provide families with resources and educational materials.
During the process, the prenatal genetic counselor can also offer support and counseling to address psychosocial issues that may arise when the results of carrier or prenatal testing are abnormal, such as feelings of guilt, blame, anxiety and grief/loss of a normal pregnancy when the fetus is found to have an abnormality.