Screening tests, if you want to know more

Almost all future parents wonder if their baby will be healthy. Fortunately, most children are born healthy. There are several tests you can have performed to detect if your baby has any conditions.

These screenings are not mandatory. If you would like to know more, we will inform you extensively about the screenings, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to have prenatal screening performed.


NIPT is a test in which blood is taken from the pregnant woman and examined. The lab exams the DNA for chromosomal abnormalities and can determine if  there are indications that the child has Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome or Patau syndrome. You can also opt for additionnal findings. Your blood has DNA from your baby’s placenta and DNA from the mother. The placental DNA is almost always the same as your child’s DNA. The NIPT can be performed any time after 10 weeks of pregnancy. and after the ultrasound to determine your due date.

Help in making a decision

If you choose to have prenatal screening performed, how can the results make you feel?

You become worried: the results show that your baby may have a condition. Further tests will usually be needed to certify this. In that case, do you want this?

You might have to face some difficult decisions: further tests confirm that your baby has a condition. You will have to consider the future. Do you want to continue or end the pregnancy? Do you want to face this question or not need to have to think about it?

You are comforted: no abnormalities were found during the prenatal screening. Or a condition was found that does not lead to many problems in daily life. Even though the results are negative, it could be that your baby does have a condition. Screening tests do not find all conditions.

It is important to think about this carefully with your partner.

Help in making a decision

13-week scan

 It is possible to have a 13-week scan performed when you are 13 weeks pregnant. This is a medical ultrasound which can be carried out between 12+3 weeks and 14+3 weeks. This scan is similar to the 20-week scan and allows us to check if there are any physical abnormalities that are visible early in pregnancy. You can only have this scan performed when you are participating in scientific research (IMITAS study). Not all abnormalities can be seen. This 13-week scan does not substitute the 20-week scan, they complement each other. During this scan we do not check for the baby’s sex. It has been agreed nationally that the sonographers are not allowed to make a statement about this. Before the ultrasound scan is carried out, a counselling session with your midwife will take place, so that you can make an informed decision. This scan is reimbursed.

20-week scan

When you are 20 weeks pregnant you can decide to have an anamoly scan performed. During this scan the baby is examined for any physical abnormalities. There is looked at your baby’s organs, how the baby is developing, the amount of amniotic fluid, and the location of the placenta is examined. The purpose of this ultrasound is not to determine the baby’s sex, but usually it is possible to see it. For some medical reasons it might be necessary to have this ultrasound performed by your gynaecologist or doctoral sonographer. If this is the case, we will discuss this with you during the consultation hour and will refer you to a hospital of your choice. The 20-week scan is reimbursed by default by your healthcare insurer, but it is not mandatory to have it performed. Whether or not you have this scan performed is up to you.