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Prenatal Diagnosis

Over 600 amniocenteses and blood screenings are performed each year in the Antenatal Testing Unit. Amniocentesis involves placing a thin needle through a mother's abdominal wall into the amniotic sac to obtain fluid for fetal testing. Testing may be done to check the fetus for genetic disorders such as Down syndrome or birth defects such as spina bifida.

After having had an amniocentesis, be sure to...

  • Relax for the remainder of the day.
  • Decrease your activities. Do not engage in strenuous activity including exercise, housework, heavy lifting, carrying other children, sexual intercourse, or tub bathing.
  • Watch for any signs of cramping, vaginal bleeding or discharge of amniotic fluid, or infection (fever, redness at tap site). Please contact us with any questions or problems at 384-3544.
  • You may resume your normal activities the following day, as long as you have not had any complications. Your chromosome results will be available in 10 days to 2 weeks.