Antenatal and newborn screening tests

Antenatal and newborn screening tests

Antenatal and newborn screening tests

This video shows which tests are available during pregnancy and after your baby has been born.

The tests you will be offered as part of the Government’s National Screening Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes are:

  • Infectious diseases screening

This is a blood test to test for HIV/Hepatitis B and Syphilis. If these diseases are detected in early pregnancy treatment can be started to prevent infection in the baby and keep the mother healthy.

  • Sickle cell and Thalassaemia screening

This is a blood test and is offered based on the ethnicity of the mother and the biological father of the baby. It identifies couples with an increased chance of having a baby with a serious haemoglobinopathy..

  • Combined test/quadruple test

All pregnant women in England are offered the combined test for Down’s syndrome and/or Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes.

The combined test involves a blood test and a nuchal translucency (NT) ultrasound scan in the first trimester of pregnancy, normally around 12 weeks. If you have found out that you are pregnant after this time, you can still be screened for Down’s syndrome, and Edwards’ and Patau’s syndrome up to 14 weeks and 1 day.

If your pregnancy is beyond 14+1 weeks at the time of scan or the NT measurement cannot be obtained you can still be screened for Down’s syndrome via the Quadruple test. This is a blood test only and can be performed between 15 and 20 + 0 weeks of pregnancy.

These tests do not tell you for definite if your baby is affected by one of these conditions but put you in a low or high chance category. Further discussions will be had if you result come back as a higher chance result.

Newborn Screening tests

Three other tests will be offered to you after your baby is born. Information regarding these will be discussed in more detail at a later date in your pregnancy. These include:

  1. Newborn Hearing Screening
  2. Newborn Infant Physical Examination
  3. Newborn Bloodspot Screening

The Antenatal_Newborn_Screening_Timeline contains the optimal times for screening. 

For more information on the screening tests available, please download the Screening tests for you and your baby booklet’ from the Government website. This is also available in 12 different languages and in easy read and audio formats.