Before or during your pregnancy, you may wish to meet with a genetic counselor to address concerns about birth defects or inherited disease risks.
Typically, genetic counseling appointments go into great depth about your family and personal history. Appointments can occur immediately prior to an ultrasound appointment, or anytime in the first trimester. Couples that have a special concern about genetic disorders, such as those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, may also wish to meet with a genetic counselor prior to pregnancy.
Genetic counselors are highly trained professionals. They typically have a master’s degree in genetic counseling and many are certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). They also must undergo continuing training to stay up-to-date in this rapidly evolving field of medicine and be licensed through the State of California. They often work as part of a team of professionals that includes geneticists, diagnostic experts and maternal-fetal specialists.