You're pregnant! Here's what to expect while lying next to that sonogram machine in the early weeks.
Here's one test that isn't for every pregnant gal. Amniocentesis is voluntary (although your doctor may recommend it), but will tell you a lot about your baby-to-be.
To gauge whether your fetus may have a birth defect, you can have prenatal testing. Most commonly, a Nuchal Translucency Test or amniocentesis procedure can look for chromosomal abnormalities-like Down syndrome and trisomy 18-in a fetus.
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Structural birth defects means that a body part is missing or has formed incorrectly. A functional birth defect means that there are problems with the way a body part works or system functions.
Birth defects occur in 1 in 33 babies. These disabilities can be structural defects, like cleft lips and spina bifida, or genetic defects like Tay-Sachs Disease. They may be caused by gene mutation or environmental factors, like FAS.
Down syndrome is a birth defect caused by chromosomal abnormalities. You may choose to test for this before your baby is even born, using chorionic villus sampling (CVS), amniocentesis, or a nuchal translucency test (NT).