I’m going to talk to you about something called ‘Maternal Serum Screening’ (MSS).
It’s a prenatal screening test offered to pregnant women between 13 and 20 weeks gestation.
It tests for baby’s DNA in the mother’s blood sample (usually done in a 2-part series – two blood draws) which looks for genetic anomalies or markers which could better help doctor’s diagnose genetic conditions earlier. It is a test designed to have a minimal false-negative rate, therefore allowing for a 5% false-positive window. It has been used to identify many different conditions, the most well-known being Down Syndrome, as well as other Trisomy’s and neural tube defects.
Where I live, the blood is drawn and sent to the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia and then the results are forwarded to the patient’s family doctor or obstetrician. If the test comes back positive, the patient is sent for an in-depth ultrasound with a Maternal-Fetal Specialist (a doctor) and then depending on the outcome may be offered more invasive testing (ie. amniocentesis).
So that is where little baby bear, Kevin, and I are at right now.. My MSS has come back positive. Kevin and I were in to see my family doctor yesterday who received the results, and the bloodwork showed a 1:28 odds that the baby has Spina Bifida. Those odds aren’t that great but there is a chance that it is a false-positive so we are waiting for our ultrasound to confirm or deny.
Check back on Monday for the update!