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Genetic counselors are healthcare providers who are trained in both genetics and counseling. The CAFC’s Prenatal Genetic Counseling Program offers genetic counseling to pregnant patients as well as couples hoping to become pregnant. The genetic counselors are available to meet with patients to discuss various issues, including but not limited to: advanced maternal age, abnormal ultrasound findings, medication use in pregnancy, family history concerns, and abnormal screening results. The counselors can talk about any problems the baby may be at risk for, discuss the extent of that risk, and review what testing options are available to gather more information about the health of the pregnancy. The genetic counselors’ goals are to make sure patients have a full understanding of all of the medical and genetic information, and to help patients make the best decisions for their pregnancy and their family.

What to Expect with Genetic Counseling

When ultrasound shows that a baby has an anomaly, the genetic counselors are part of the team of healthcare providers that helps guide the family through the process of learning about the baby’s issue and making management decisions about the pregnancy. The counselors talk to the family about the possible reasons for the anomaly, as well as any testing options that might be available to learn more information about the cause and severity of the problem. If a baby is diagnosed prenatally with a genetic condition, the genetic counseling team works closely with the family to make sure the family has a good understanding of the diagnosis, including its cause, its symptoms, and what the chances are that other family members or future children might have the same condition. The genetic counselors are also available to offer families emotional support and to connect patients with appropriate resources such as support groups or other families who have dealt with a similar diagnosis in pregnancy.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 410-328-3865.