When you attend for your first appointment with your midwife, you will be offered a range of important tests to screen for certain conditions that may affect your pregnancy. You will be given a booklet that explains these tests as well to ensure that the decisions you make about screening are informed.
The Screening tests for you and your baby booklet is available in 12 different languages. There is an easy read and an audio version available on this link as well.
Antenatal and newborn screening
Please download Antenatal_Newborn_Screening_Timeline which contains a timeline of optimal times for screening.
The tests you will be offered as part of the National Screening Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes are:
Infectious diseases screening
- This involves 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 mum healthy.
Sickle cell and Thalassaemia screening
- Another blood test that is offered to women based on the ethnic origin of the mother and the biological father of the baby to identify couples with an increased chance of having a baby with a serious haemoglobinopathy.
Routinely during your pregnancy you will be offered two ultrasound scans:
- Dating/Nuchal scan: these are usually performed between 11+2-14+1 weeks of pregnancy.
- Anomaly scan: this is usually performed around 20 weeks (18+0 to 20+6).
It is important for you to be aware that ultrasound scanning is a form of screening and is done to perform important checks on the health and development of your baby.
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.
This scan is performed between 18 + 0 and 20 + 6 weeks of pregnancy and is performed to identify serious fetal abnormalities to enable further discussion and decision making.
3 other tests will be offered to you after your baby is born. Information regarding these is in the “Screening tests for you and your baby and will be discussed in more detail at a later date in your pregnancy. These include:
Newborn Hearing Screening
Newborn Infant Physical Examination
Newborn Bloodspot Screening
For more information about screening, please speak to your community midwife or our screening team on 01924 541127 or 07786174981/07786190061
Antenatal Results and Choices https://www.arc-uk.org/
Downs Syndrome Association https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/
Soft UK http://soft.org.uk/
Back to Maternity services main page.