When you go to see a genetic counselor, he or she:
- will record your family history and your own medical background
- will put together a picture of how your family's health may affect your children
- may review testing options available in the context of your family planning goals and ethical and religious beliefs
- will help you and your physician/provider interpret medical information and the role of heredity as it applies to your family
Review of testing results will be coordinated between the genetic counselor, the person or couple and the referring physician/ provider. In the event of troubling results, the counselor will provide information to help make decisions that best fit your needs. The counselor can also refer you to resources in your community including medical specialists or family support groups that deal with specific genetic conditions.
Appointments usually take about one hour. This gives you plenty of time to ask the physician or genetic counselor questions.
Preparing for Your Genetic Counseling Visit
During your genetic counseling visit, we will review your family history and the father of the baby’s family history. We will ask about immediate family members (parents, siblings and children) and extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents), and would like to know about any relative with a:
- History of intellectual disability, developmental delay or mental retardation
- History of birth defect (e.g. cleft lip, cleft palate, spina bifida, heart defects)
- History of infertility and/or multiple miscarriages (2 consecutive or more)
- History of any cancer – which cancer, and the age when they were diagnosed
- History of any heart condition
- History of diabetes, high blood pressure/hypertension and thyroid issues
- History of genetic testing
- History of any other medical issue that you are concerned about for your pregnancy
You may find it helpful to talk to your family members and the father of the baby’s family members to find out as much medical information as you can about both family histories.
Please call at (603) 516-0092 if you have any questions.