Clinical Practice Guidelines Antenatal care - Module I

9.5 Practice summary — screening for chromosomal abnormalities

Page last updated: 02 April 2013

When — In the antenatal period
Who — Midwife; GP; obstetrician; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker; multicultural health worker; genetic counsellor

  • Discuss the process of screening for chromosomal abnormalities — Explain the purpose of screening, the process involved and that it is the woman’s choice whether any tests are carried out.
  • Consider timing — For women who choose to have screening, make arrangements for the tests to be carried out before 13 weeks and 6 days pregnancy.
  • Offer women with a high-risk screening result referral to a genetic counsellor — This may assist women in considering options and making decisions about diagnostic testing. If a diagnostic test is carried out and the result is positive, referral for counselling should occur at the earliest opportunity.
  • Learn about locally available resources — Available testing services and support organisations will vary by location.