Universal pregnancy testing helps find defects early - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Universal pregnancy testing helps find defects early

by Cami Mountain

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) --  It's called Nuchal Translucency and it's a test to find out if you're baby is healthy when baby is the size of a peanut.

Hearing baby's heartbeat for the first time is enough to make any mommy-to-be smile.  While hearing the beat is a reassurance, some expectant moms want to know the health of their baby as soon as possible.

That's why now, doctors at Aspirus are offering a Nuchal Translucency test to ALL expectant mom's.

Dr. Kristen Rahn says, "They take a measurement, basically, at the nape or the back of the neck. They, basically, measure the thickness there and in some situations if the thickness is a greater than normal measurement, that can demonstrate certain risks."

Risks like birth defects or genetic disorders like Downs Syndrome can now potentially be found in the first trimester.  Up until about a year ago the test was only suggested for women with high risk pregnancies.

But when first time expectant mom Jill Kleman heard about it, she jumped on board.

Kleman says, "Anything the doctor has recommended, we've gone ahead and done  We thought, the sooner we can find things out, better planning ahead."Luckily, Baby Kleman came back with a clean bill of health.   And with about 6 months left before he or she gets here, Jill says that's nice to know. 

"It was also nice just to have an extra ultrasound just to see the baby."A test that lets you see baby and can take the what ifs of pregnancy just weeks after conception.

Dr. Rahn adds, "The more information you have the better. The better prepared you can be for that pregnancy."

This test isn't being offered at all clinics or hospitals because some don't have the technology that's needed.  Even with this test Doctor Rahn says she still recommends that pregnant women have blood work done in their second trimester, that gives doctors an even better chance of finding any health problems.

Online Reporter:  Cami Mountain


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