Many people know that they would never choose to terminate a pregnancy under any conditions and they opt simply to forgo the typical generic testing offered during the first trimester of pregnancy.
While this is always a right that patients can exercise, there are some aspects to consider which still maintain personal decisions yet afford valuable information.
If you are not inclined toward genetic testing prior or during pregnancy, please consider the following: Prior knowledge of the possibility of having a special needs child can help you prepare for that possible occurrence. A dear friend of mine is deeply religious. During their first pregnancy, she and her husband opted not to have any genetic testing for their son. Their child was born with the most severe grade of spina bifida. Their family adapted and their son is thriving, however, the stress they experienced amid the shock of learning of his disease, paired with the immense requirements for his healthcare immediately after birth, were enormous.
I have seen great anguish, shock, and heartache after births in which simple carrier testing would have afforded the prospective parents an easier transition. Special needs children usually require modified home settings and training in their physical care. For example, it can be invaluable to meet and speak with parents of special needs children and to learn how to develop skills as well as a support system for yourself and your family. With this preparation, you can then welcome your new baby into a community and family with open arms and a good foundation of knowledge.
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