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HiPP's A-Z of pregnancy & child health

The A-Z contains information on many aspects of pregnancy
and child health. It is arranged alphabetically so you can find what you are looking for with ease. If you are at all concerned about your health or your child’s health, please consult your health professional.

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Amniocentesis

This is a diagnostic procedure in which a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding a baby in the womb is withdrawn with a syringe, using an ultrasound scan for guidance. The amniotic fluid is analysed to identify or exclude certain disorders or defects. The results of an amniocentesis can also reveal the baby’s sex.

Amniocentesis may be offered - after counselling -where a screening test has indicated an increased risk of Down's Syndrome, where an ultrasound scan has detected a possible abnormality; or to those women who have a past history or family history of a genetic or chromosomal disorder.

Amniocentesis is usually performed between 15-20 weeks of pregnancy and it is down to personal choice whether you want this procedure to be carried out as it is not entirely risk free.

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