This article provides an overview of procedures commonly used in prenatal screening and diagnosis Including ultrasound, amniocentesis, chorionic villus biopsy, maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis. New procedures such as preimplantation biopsy are described and advances in prenatal surgery are discussed. Advances in prenatal diagnosis and intervention provide additional options in terms of treatment and thereby affect the termination/carry-to-term decision for parents who learn that their unborn child has a potentially disabling condition or chronic illness. Current research on parental attitudes indicates that parents in general want more information about prenatal diagnosis and, when the fetus is found to have an abnormality, more information about the specific condition. Since maternal attachment to the unborn child may be suppressed while parents await the results of prenatal diagnosis, tests that provide more immediate information are preferred. Finally, emphasis is placed on the role of the early interventionist in supporting families during prenatal diagnosis.
- Early intervention
- Prenatal diagnosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health