In the Netherlands you can test your baby’s health when you are pregnant. This is called screening due to the fact that anyone who is pregnant can have these tests done without a medical reason.
At the beginning of the pregnancy we can test the chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome, Patau Syndrome or Edwards Syndrome by way of the combined test. Additionally, an extensive ultrasound can be done around the 20-week mark during which the most important structures of the baby will be examined.
Your healthcare provider (midwife, gynaecologist or general practitioner) will ask you at the beginning of the pregnancy whether you would like to receive information about these tests. If you would like to receive this kind of information, you will be informed about these tests during an extensive consult. If you would like (one of) these tests to be carried out, your healthcare provider will give you a referral letter.
Tests can reassure but can also make you worry! You will possibly be faced with a difficult choice.
Sometimes we suspect that a defect of the baby can be seen, but afterwards it turns out nothing is wrong. Not all defects can be detected during ultrasonography. Sometimes a defect appears after the 20-week mark or only after giving birth.