Genetic counseling is a process by which women and their families are helped to better understand the occurrence or chance of occurrence of a genetic disorder or birth defect. A genetic counseling session may last an hour or more. The counselor will take a family history and discuss any concerns about the occurrence of birth defects or genetic disorders.
Our Genetic counselors take a "non-directive" approach. This means that they deal in what facts are known: the chance that the baby will have a birth defect; the availability of accurate testing; how the testing is done; what the benefits and risks are, and what the treatment options are if a disorder is found. During this process patients are presented with choices: do they want to have testing done; would having information about a birth defect during the pregnancy be helpful; is there anything that can be done prior to the baby’s birth.
Our genetic counselors support patients in their decisions. Patients are encouraged to ask questions throughout the session and to speak openly about their feelings. All visits are private and confidential.
The Prenatal Diagnosis Center staff makes resource information and literature available to patients and their families. Please call one of our counselors with your questions and requests for further information. They can be reached by calling the Prenatal Diagnosis Center at (401) 453-7510.
Please click here for a patient referral form (PDF).