Many people claimed that the health of a child is the most important thing to a mom and I finally truly understood what that means.
Despite technology advancement, there are still a number of illnesses that cannot be detected during early pregnancy stage. I only learnt this 11 weeks into my pregnancy…
As I did more research, I realized there can be so many permutations and combinations of mishaps that can make pregnancy rather fearful and worrisome. 3 in 100 infants born with congenital or hereditary defects*.
For most, the higher chance of miscarriage in first trimester is one thing to watch out for. Towards the end of the trimester, many would receive NIPT and Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound to test for chromosomal abnormality (trisomy 13, 18. 21). These are typically the most serious conditions. These tests give you a probability rather than a confirmation, if the probability is high, they would want you to do Chorionic Villus sampling or amniocentesis test to confirm the diagnosis.
You can also opt for carrier testing – cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy… I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more whereby the doctor decided not worth mentioning due to low probability.
Good news! You have passed the screens for chromosomal abnormality!
Not too soon yet, there are more coming along your way. Around 20 weeks, you will have an anatomy ultrasound that now detects development of your child. You will now check if your child has congenital heart defects (1 in 110**), club foot (1 in 1000), cleft lip (1 in 700), spina bifida (1 in 2000), fetal cyst in the brain, physically normal organs and limbs… given it is 20 weeks, you probably have to brace yourself to be prepared when the child is born.
The last stage before childbirth. This is the phase where baby starts to gain weight and you would want to make sure that the baby is of a good size and not big or too small. If the baby is too big, it might result in more challenging natural birth. If the baby is too small, the baby might need neonatal care when first born.
All in all… it is not easy…