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Genetic Counseling

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Knowledge to Help You Make Informed Decisions

Genetic counseling helps you – as a parent – learn more about your baby. Genetic counselors discuss information with you about the most basic elements of your baby’s development, such as genes and chromosomes.

At WellSpan, we offer genetic counseling services to help you be informed and empowered about a current or future pregnancy. While it may be easy to think “There’s no reason for me to see a genetic counselor,” a visit to a WellSpan genetic counselor allows you to speak with a person who’s been trained to explain medical and genetic information in terms that are easy to understand and interpret. This information can help you make choices about testing for a current or future pregnancy, and may better prepare you to understand problems that may be found and what they could mean for the health of your baby.

By choosing WellSpan, you are choosing a system that covers all spectrums of life. Our close coordination with multiple departments ensures that you and your child are covered for any type of treatment that may be needed.

Conditions Treated

Most often, seeing a genetic counselor doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your baby. It is a way to help you be more involved in the choices of treatment for your pregnancy. Your doctor might suggest that you see a genetic counselor if:

  • You will be 35 years of age or older when your baby will be born.
  • You have received blood test results showing an increased risk for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, or spina bifida in the pregnancy.
  • Someone in your or your partner’s family has a birth defect, intellectual disability, or a genetic problem.
  • You have been exposed to medicines, alcohol, drugs, or chemicals during your pregnancy.
  • You have had multiple miscarriages or pregnancy losses.

How We Can Help

Genetic Counseling Sessions

A genetic counseling session typically involves a conversation between you, your partner, and a genetic counselor. The counselor will ask questions about your pregnancy, health, and family. This information helps us know if your baby has higher risks for certain problems.

Non-Judgmental, Customized Care

WellSpan genetic counselors will not tell you what you should or should not do in regards to a current or future pregnancy. He or she will simply explain your options. All information presented is tailored to your specific needs. Whether or not any of the testing options presented are performed is completely your choice.

Comprehensive Genetic Testing

If you decide to proceed with any genetic tests, WellSpan offers a comprehensive suite of testing. We offer quick, accurate turnaround of results, which we will discuss with you in clear terms that will allow you to make an informed decision.

Trusted Source of Scientifically-Based Information

After undergoing genetic counseling, some couples may find that the plans they had for testing in their pregnancy had been based on misconceptions or false information. They may also find that they were not aware of all the testing options available to them. Although some couples may not change their plans for their pregnancy, most are more sure about their choice after their WellSpan counseling session.