Individuals or couples contemplating pregnancy, or who are already pregnant, often have questions about their genetic background or other factors that may affect their baby's health. Greenwich Hospital's genetic specialists can help answer these questions through a variety of prenatal tests (link to prenatal testing page in this section) and genetic counseling services.
Genetic counselors help patients understand their risk of having a child with a certain condition, based on age, ethnic background, medical or family history. Counseling provides families with important information about whether certain types of birth defects are hereditary. Counselors can also advise families on their options for further genetic or prenatal testing to help them make informed decisions throughout the pregnancy.
Genetic counselors help individuals and families:
Couples or individuals with the following attributes may benefit from genetic counseling:
- Understand the cause of a condition
- Know the chance of having future children with a condition
- Learn about current research, testing procedures, prenatal diagnosis
- Contact community resources, and if possible, other families or patients with the same condition
- Adjust to the personal and family issues related to a genetic disorder
Disorders Linked to Ethnicity
- Couples who are interested in prenatal diagnosis
- Anyone planning a pregnancy
- Women who are concerned about first or second trimester screening results
- Women age 35 and over
- Couples who have experienced repeated pregnancy loss
- Parents of a child who may have developmental delays or birth defects and are planning a future pregnancy
- Anyone who has a family history of birth defects, mental retardation, seizures, muscle or kidney disease or other serious condition
- Couples who are related by blood
Carrier detection, prenatal diagnosis and counseling services are offered for disorders typically found in certain ethnic groups:
- Thalassemias or Sickle Cell disease (inherited anemias)
- Tay-Sachs, Canavan, Familial Dysautonomia (neurological disorders)
- Cystic Fibrosis (pulmonary disease and/or pancreatic insufficiency)
Carriers of these diseases have no symptoms. Couples have a risk of having a child with these disorders if both parents are carriers.
Our genetic counselors are certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
Available weekdays at Greenwich Hospital. Please call 203-863-3674. We suggest you schedule as soon as possible in order to maximize your testing options.
Genetic counseling is often covered by health insurance. Please check first with your insurance provider.