|I am really dreading the results of my blood tests because
I want this baby so badly and I don’t know how I will
cope if there is a problem. What steps can I take to calm
Since the vast majority of babies are born healthy, the
chances are that you do not have anything to worry about.
However, this is a scary and trying time of your life and
you need all the support you can get. The testing that allows
us to detect any problems early on in the pregnancy can
be a nerve wracking process, and if you are really fearful
it could be worth asking for counselling. A trained councellor
will be qualified to address all your fears and worries,
and will in all likelihood reassure you that most mother
experience similar issues.
Should the initial screening tests, or any later indications,
lead your doctor to require further tests such as amniocentesis,
this would also be a good time to ask for counselling to
help you cope with this situation.
There are high risk categories of mothers who would be
more likely to require testing, and thus also counselling.
• Women over 35 years of age
• Couples who are related to each other, such as cousins
• One or both of the pregnant couple are known to
have genetic defects
• Families who already have a child with a birth defect
such as spina bifida or Down’s Syndrome
• Families at risk of having the HIV infection
• Women who are have had or risk having an infectious
disease such as chicken pox, German measles or taxoplasmosis
• Women on long term medication which may put the
foetus at risk
• Women with a history of birth complications, still
births, or miscarriage
• Women who have been exposed to X-rays during early
Along with genetic counseling, these discussions will help
you make informed decisions with regard to the health of
your baby. You may be strongly anti abortion and of the
opinion that you will bear your baby to full term whatever
the situation. You are perfectly within your rights to do
this but should still consider taking up the option of counseling.
This is a way to prepare yourselves in a realistic way for
life after the baby is born.