Prenatal DNA testing – what you need to know

Do you want or need an answer on who the father of your baby is? You don’t need to wait until the child is born. It can be very stressful to wait, especially when your pregnancy makes you tired. Prenatal DNA testing can help you solve any doubts you might have. If you don’t feel like going to a clinic to do a test, you don’t have to. A home DNA test kit allows you to do the test in peace and provides maximum privacy, without a worry that you will bump into someone you might know. This article explains what you need to know before deciding on prenatal DNA testing.

Is prenatal DNA testing safe?

The prenatal DNA tests are noninvasive, which means that you can do them without a worry about your child and yourself. Thanks to advanced technology, prenatal DNA testing is very accurate. It can be done as early as the seventh week of pregnancy. The only situation when prenatal DNA testing won’t work is when you carry twins. In that case, there is free-floating DNA from both fetuses in the mother’s blood, and the DNA of the individual cannot be isolated for testing.

Why is it worth doing prenatal DNA testing?

There are a few good reasons why some people decide on prenatal DNA testing. Wondering who the father is can be truly stressful. You probably don’t feel like waiting nine months until the baby is born and you want to get an answer more quickly. Knowing the answer can help you make life decisions faster and before the child is born. You might, for example, invite the biological father to be a more active participant in the pregnancy and the birth. When you know who the father is, you can also sort out legal procedures such as child support, custody, and others.

How does prenatal DNA testing work?

The mother’s DNA is collected from her blood by a health professional, for example a nurse. The possible father has to use a cheek swab. Then both samples are sent to a lab. First, the test will compare the mother’s DNA profile to the free-floating DNA of the fetus (from the plasma of the mother). Then the fetus’ profile is determined and can be compared to the possible father’s DNA. You can expect the results in about one week, counting from the start of testing.