Screens for: This test can be used to determine if your baby has a chromosomal disorder or for fetal lung maturity.
Who does it: This is typically done by a maternal fetal medicine specialist (MFM) or an OB/GYN.
How it is done: A small needle is placed through the abdomen into the uterus to collect a small sample of amniotic fluid. Ultrasound is used to guide the needle away from the baby and the placenta.
When is it done: Genetic disorders testing can be done as early as 11 weeks until the end of pregnancy. Fetal lung maturity is done before the decision is made to induce or let preterm labor continue, usually after 34 weeks.
Accuracy: Barring lab error, virtually 100%.
Risk to mom: The procedure may be uncomfortable to painful. Cramping and spotting may follow the test.
Risk to pregnancy/baby: The earlier the test is done the higher the rate of miscarriage. After the first trimester the miscarriage rate is between 1 in 200 and 1 in 400 procedures. There are also risks of amniotic fluid leakage.
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