For some women, it may also involve a special ultrasound done in the first trimester.This screening tells you the chance of your baby having one of these conditions: Although most babies are born healthy, all women have a chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or an open neural tube defect. Which prenatal screen you will be offered depends on how far into your pregnancy you are when you first see your health care provider.You do not need to make an appointment, but remember to bring the requisition your doctor or midwife gave you.

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It also depends on your age, your health history, and whether or not you are carrying more than one baby.

If you want prenatal screening, consult your health care provider early in the first trimester, so you will have the most options available to you.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition in which a baby has 47 chromosomes (three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two) instead of 46.

Down syndrome is the most common chromosome problem.

This is the most common form of open neural tube defect.

People with spina bifida may have both physical and mental disabilities.If you miss the first blood test, you may still have the second blood test. Having both improves the accuracy of the screen result.A nuchal translucency (NT) ultrasound measures a fluid space at the back of your baby’s neck.For more information on trisomy 18, please see the websites listed on our Resources page.An open neural tube defect occurs when the brain or spinal cord does not form properly.In BC, approximately 1 in 1,000 babies has an open neural tube defect.