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Blood tests

You will be offered various screening tests including hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, sickle cell disease, thalassaemia and Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes.

You will be asked to consent to or decline these screening tests so it is very important that you understand the purpose and possible results of the screening tests before you decide whether to have them.

For more information please visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/screening-tests-abnormality-pregnant.aspx  Alternatively, please contact Kathy Franks, our specialist midwife and antenatal screening coordinator at Frimley Park Hospital on 01276 526989 or at Wexham Park you can contact our screening team on 01753 633301. The maternity ultrasound staff at Wexham Park Hospital can be contacted on 01753 634510.

Scans

Every woman will be routinely offered two ultrasound scans during pregnancy.  Further scanning may be recommended if required. Most scans are performed with a probe placed on your abdomen but occasionally internal scanning may be required. Only one birth partner can accompany you at the scan.

We offer the combined test for Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome screening. This involves a nuchal translucency scan which measures the thickness of the nuchal fold in your baby’s neck plus a blood test and should be performed between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. Your estimated date of delivery will be confirmed at this scan.

If for some reason you miss the combined test and are further along in your pregnancy (15+ weeks) we will offer you the quadruple test. You will need a dating scan and then a blood test. This will calculate your risk for Down’s syndrome only.

These tests are screening tools, not a diagnosis. Sometimes your result will be in the high risk category but this does not mean that there is anything amiss. It just means that we will offer you further tests to make a diagnosis. These tests may include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis.

You will also be offered an anomaly scan at around 18+6 to 20+6 weeks. This is a more detailed scan to see if your baby is developing properly and to check the position of the placenta. This can identify many but not all abnormalities. If it is possible and you wish to know, you may be able to find out the sex of your baby at this scan. 

You can purchase an ultrasound scan picture to take home.

Screening tests for you and your baby

There are a number of other screening tests that will be offered to you during your pregnancy and when your baby is born. These can be discussed with your GP, midwife, health visitor and you can contact the screening teams at the contact numbers given previously. There is also a booklet which gives details of these screening tests in a variety of languages and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/screening-tests-for-you-and-your-baby-description-in-brief. Easy read versions are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/screening-tests-for-you-and-your-baby-easy-guides

You may have already received this booklet from your midwife or GP at your first appointment in relation to your pregnancy.