Most people will not need a referral to a Clinical Genetic service in a pregnancy but there are some situations where it is important to understand if a baby is at risk of a genetic condition. This may be because there is a family history of a specific genetic condition (such as a parent or sibling affected with a genetic condition). In other situations, a screening test (such as a blood test or antenatal scan) indicates the pregnancy may have a genetic condition.
If you are concerned about a genetic condition running in the family your GP or midwife can advise you about a referral to the genetics clinic. You do not need to wait until you are pregnant to do this. If something has been picked up as part of routine pregnancy screening your Midwife and obstetric team will discuss genetic testing or a referral to the genetics service with you. Once referred to Clinical Genetics, the team will discuss the risks to your pregnancy, any genetic testing available and all your options. The genetics team will work with local/specialist obstetric teams and you & your partner to put in place an appropriate management plan for the pregnancy. Thinking about your pregnancy being at risk of a genetic condition can be a difficult and anxious time, and our aim is to support people in making informed decisions.
The support group Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) provides support to women making a decision in pregnancy: http://www.arc-uk.org/.