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The Benefits of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing and Natural Birth

Giving birth is perhaps the most important event of your life – personally speaking, and medically speaking. The conception, gestation and giving-birth of another life is a profound undertaking, and a profoundly exhausting one to boot – not to mention one which raises many questions.

With the safety of your unborn child paramount, it is only right that you interrogate the various means by which pregnancy is tested and childbirth conducted. In today’s society, childbirths are more successful than ever – but also pose some unique risks. What are the benefits of non-invasive testing methods, and is natural birth a naturally better way to go than assisting birthing methods?

What is Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing?

Non-invasive prenatal testing, or NIPT for short, refers to the blood test you may opt to receive after initial screening tests that are undertaken to ascertain the health of your baby. All early screening tests are non-invasive by nature, using blood samples and ultrasound scans to examine the health of your body and your child.

Initial screenings are there to find out whether or not your baby displays a risk of Down’s syndrome, Patau’s syndrome or Edwards’ syndrome. In the event that higher risks of these syndromes being present are found, you’ll be offered an NIPT to gain a better understanding of what is happening. The NIPT is a blood test which examines DNA strands in your bloodstream, which have been released from the placenta; higher concentrations of the chromosomes related to any of the above syndromes could indicate a high risk of such syndromes being present.

What are the Risks of Intervention During Labour?

Such non-invasive testing may lead, eventually, to invasive testing – such as if an NIPT produces a high-chance result for your baby. If you opt in for amniocentesis, which removes amniotic fluid for testing, you accept a higher risk of miscarriage. But these invasive tests are not the only risks you can face with regard to invasive healthcare.

Acquired brain injuries in newborn babies can occur immediately out of the womb, through frustrated or difficult deliveries. There have been numerous cases of medical implements or medical-staff-mishandling which have led to profound results for the health of the child long-term – necessitating brain injury claims against medical facilities for damages and future care costs. These horror stories can drive expecting mothers to natural birth over assisted birth.

Natural Childbirth

Natural childbirth is often used as a catch-all term for non-standard births, wherein conventional methods of assisted delivery are eschewed in favour of a birth without medical or medicinal assistance. There are some purported benefits, such as a quicker delivery against the potential contraction-slowing effects of epidural medicine. However, natural childbirth is not substantively better than medically assisted births; some elements, though, such as water-birthing methods, can help avoid the use of tools like forceps being necessary.

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