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What to expect if antenatal pregnancy screening finds there might be a problem with the baby. Includes where to find out more information, plus where to get support if you have to make a difficult decision.
Most antenatal screening tests will not find anything, but there's a chance you'll be told your baby could be born with a condition.
If this happens to you, there's always support available.
It can help to find out as much as you can about the condition your baby may have.
A specialist doctor (obstetrician) or midwife will explain what the screening results mean and talk to you about your options.
Your appointments should take place in a private and quiet space. But this can sometimes be difficult in a busy hospital.
You can bring your partner, a family member or friend with you.
It might help to write down any questions you have before you go. Ask the doctor or midwife to explain anything again if you need them to.
You could ask things like:
You may be offered a further screening test called non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), which is a blood test.
You may also be offered diagnostic tests that can check if your baby definitely has the condition screening tests have said they might have.
The tests you may be offered are:
You may also have further scans.
It's up to you to decide if you want to do any further tests. You can discuss this with a doctor or midwife.
In most cases, you'll find out if your baby has the condition they were tested for. But in some cases this may not be possible.
Read more about getting amniocentesis results or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) results.
This can be a very difficult decision. You may find you feel differently from one day to the next.
You do not have to make this decision on your own. Speak to your doctor, midwife, family and friends about your options.
You have time to think about your decision – whatever you decide, you'll have support.
Read more about what may happen if you:
It can help to speak to:
It's important to continue taking any medication prescribed unless your GP/specialist specifically tells you to stop. Please visit our Existing Health Conditions page for more information, or visit 'Bumps' ('Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy').
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