Innovations Offer New Advanced Screening in Pregnancy
Prevention & Treatment During pregnancy, blood work, ultrasounds and additional screenings are common procedures to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but are there other ways to get answers?
Building a Fun and Informative Forum for Moms-to-Be
The Prego Expo is a traveling event that connects expecting mothers with specialists, services and products — as well as fellow moms-to-be. Mediaplanet caught up with mom and entrepreneur Samantha Geisler about her experience co-owning the Expo.
What inspired you to start the Prego Expo?
We found preparing for baby can be a very overwhelming process. We wanted to create an educational event where expectant families could discover the best products for their family and connect with health care professionals.
How do you balance motherhood with work life as an entrepreneur?
It’s definitely not easy. We work while our kids are in school, during nap time and at night. It also helps that we created a fun kid nursery inside our office.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of starting the Prego Expo?
Nothing is more rewarding than having a parent come up to us during the show expressing how much they have learned that day. Once Juliana was flagged down at Disney by a mom that had been to three of our events and thanked her.
What’s the greatest piece of advice that you give to new and expectant parents who are preparing for their little ones to arrive?
It’s ok to cry. This is the hardest job you will ever have, but it is the most rewarding. Do what is best for your family as a whole. What works for one family may not work for your family.
Pregnancy is filled with many questions, from the moment you see the two lines on the pregnancy test to the moment you hold your baby for the first time. The most common questions and concerns focus on the health of your growing baby. Thanks to new research and innovations, we are now able to identify helpful information about your baby while still in the earliest stages of life in order to help you prepare. This includes genetic screenings that can determine possible diseases and risk factors — even the baby’s gender.
During the first trimester, the expecting mother will receive an ultrasound screening that allows the provider to review the baby’s form and growth. This ultrasound also detects the baby’s heartbeat and allows the expecting parents to hear and connect with their baby. The expecting mother will also have her blood drawn to monitor her plasma protein and hCG & progesterone hormones, among others.
During the second trimester, around 18 to 20 weeks, an ultrasound is performed to examine for any abnormalities of the growing baby. Typically, if the provider identifies any potential concerns, they may suggest the family seek additional screening, including amniocentesis. This is the prenatal visit where most parents discover the sex of their baby.
Through the last couple years of innovation and research, screening for chromosomal abnormalities has greatly improved. This gives expecting parents the ability to screen as early as ten weeks and into the second trimester through a simple blood draw.
With this screening, many parents are ecstatic to find out their baby’s gender well in advance of the anatomy scan.
Is early screening right for you?
There are pros and cons to the incredible advance screening opportunities families can receive. And this, of course, adds another question for you in pregnancy: is early screening right for you? Consider the pros and cons:
Pros: It is non-invasive. It is done at a regular prenatal appointment. It does not cause harm to your baby.
Cons: It is only 80-95 percent accurate. It has a significant rate of 3-5 percent of false positives. Some insurance companies may not cover this newer screening option.
When seeking answers, always talk with your provider and utilize reputable resources for evidence-based information.