Prenatal Testing on the Rise, Prompting Debate Over Counseling For Moms

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As prenatal testing for Down syndrome becomes more and more common, many women will face an array of information about their unborn children. B

The testing also confronts expectant moms with difficult choices, of course, and leads to a related question posed frequently these days as a result:

How do counselors help women make these decisions?

Devan Weathers, 20 weeks pregnant, tells the Huffington Post that she was pulling into her office parking lot from a lunch break when she got the phone call.

Her second pregnancy had resulted in two abnormal ultrasounds, and her doctor had said she would be a good candidate for a new test called "Harmony."

That is one of the increasingly popular noninvasive prenatal screening tests to enter the market in the past two years to test for genetic abnormalities.

With a simple blood draw, the test can detect certain chromosomal abnormalities in a fetus with startling accuracy and earlier in pregnancies than ever.

It was during that parking lot phone call that Weathers got her test results and learned the life-altering news that her baby girl would have Down syndrome.

"It may not have been a two-minute phone call," said Weathers, 32. "I hung up the phone and started crying in the parking lot at work, all by myself."

After getting the results, Weathers was certain she wouldn't terminate her pregnancy, but she didn't entirely accept it, either, and therein lies the issue:

She felt she had no guidance from the medical community to help her.

"Nobody offered anything. Nobody told me about any resources," said Weathers, who only spoke to genetic counselor once she was in the delivery room.

"I had to do all of that on my own."

She said she felt completely different during her second pregnancy than she did during her first, and even wished she had never even gotten pregnant.

She admits she was in need of counseling, and that added support from peers and professionals may have helped her overcome these feelings.

Follow the above link for more about her story, but tell us below:

What do you think of prenatal testing? Should you do it just because you can? And should there be more resources dedicated to those who do find out?

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