Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) – your options explained!

There is increasing demand for private non-invasive prenatal testing. The beauty and whole point of NIPT is the accurate results, simplicity and the fact that it is safe/non-invasive procedure. This also could prevent unnecessary invasive tests such as amniocentesis.

So, what is NIPT?

Simply put… the test involves a simple blood sample being taken. The blood is then sent off to a lab where the DNA is analysed to pinpoint baby’s risk for several genetic disorders.

In more complex terms… In pregnancy some fragments of the fetal DNA circulate in the maternal bloodstream and are even detectable as early as week 5 of the pregnancy. The quantity increases as the age of the pregnancy increases and from the 10th week of pregnancy there is enough DNA to analyse. One or two vials of blood is collected and sent to one of the groups state of the art laboratories. Results are available 7 to 10 days from receipt of the sample (it is usually a lot less but the lab can have busy periods). The test is available for singleton and twin pregnancies and all IVF pregnancies (and vanishing twin syndrome).

The reliability and sensitivity of the test is outstanding with the test being reliable at even a low fetal fraction (FF>2%) with an incidence of false positives of <0.1%. The latest data shows an incidence rate of 0% false negatives.

Which Chromosomes can be analysed?

  • Trisomy 21 – Downs Syndrome
  • XXX – Trisomy X
  • Trisomy 18 – Edwards Syndrome
  • XXY – Klinefelter Syndrome
  • Trisomy 13 – Patau Syndrome
  • XYY – Jacobs Syndrome
  • Monsomy X – Turner Syndrome
  • DiGeorge Syndrome
  • Wolf-Hirschhom Syndrome
  • Cri-du-chat Syndrome
  • Jacobsen Syndrome
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Langer-Gledion Syndrome
  • Angelman Syndrome
  • Smith-Magenis Syndrome
  • 1p36 deletion Syndrome

Want to know more?

If you are still unsure, would like more information, or want to book in… contact us or read this leaflet for more information: https://scanlinc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/PreNatalSafe-Package-ScanLinc.pdf

What to do when you find out you’re pregnant!

Positive pregnancy test?

First Pregnancy?

Wow…congratulations!

How many emotions can you fit into one day!

So now what…

The first step is make an appointment with the GP…tell the receptionist it is for pregnancy as some practices refer straight to a Midwife.

Your GP or Midwife will send a referral into the nearest maternity services to your address but ultimately it is your choice where you decide to have your care and this can be discussed at your first Midwife appointment.

How often will you get to see a Midwife? This is the latest NHS schedule…

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/antenatal-appointment-schedule.

How will you feel?

Every woman has a different early pregnancy experience that ranges from hardly any symptoms to a wide range and occasionally severe symptoms, there is no clear reason for this but as we are all unique individuals then each experience is unique. One of the most difficult symptoms reported by women is Nausea…

https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/documents/page_pdfs/PL12_Coping_strategies_NEW_2013.pdf

Am I normal?

It is perfectly normal to feel a little anxious, emotional, confused and a little daunted as you start your journey to motherhood and of course men can also feel a little overwhelmed and somewhat nervous about the prospect of becoming a father…It’s all normal, talk to each other, support each other but above all love each other.

So I hear you ask where does ScanLinc fit into this…why would I want a private scan?

Well…for a variety of reasons some people would like to have an ultrasound before their first NHS ultrasound appointment which is generally scheduled for between 12 and 14 weeks.

These reasons include…
• You may be feeling anxious
• You may be experiencing no symptoms at all or symptoms that are so severe you need reassurance that all is well with the growing pregnancy
• You may have a history of twins in the family and you have it your head this will be the case for you
• You may have irregular periods and have no idea of the age of the pregnancy
• Or quite simply you just cannot wait that long to see if all is looking ok

Whatever the reason you can rest assured that a private appointment will offer a one to one personalised service with plenty of time allocated to each lady in order to assess the pregnancy. The ultrasound will act as a stepping stone to your NHS appointment but it is important to know that it will never replace them.

If you have any questions about any of the above or anything at all please get in touch.

Newly pregnant and worried…

The beginning of a pregnancy is a time full of complex emotions such as excitement and at times anxiety. Some early pregnancy symptoms can provide a certain amount of reassurance such as nausea but others such as spotting or cramping can raise anxiety levels…so we Google….then we panic!

ScanLinc Early Pregnancy service offers an emergency appointment for ladies that may be experiencing some mild pain and/or spotting up to 13 weeks. Our aim is to see ladies within 48 hrs but would try our best to see ladies within 6 hrs.

OK ladies here’s a quick guide for anyone experiencing any pain/cramps or light bleeding

DON’T:

  • automatically think the worst, glass half full not half empty…
  • over Google!
  • attend A&E unless you are worried about your own well-being ie. Severe pain, light headiness or heavy bleeding (**unless you have been advised to attend by a health professional)

DO:

  • contact your GP surgery or named midwife
  • contact your nearest Early Pregnancy Unit – this can be found at http://www.earlypregnancy.org.uk – however, depending on your symptoms they may not have the resources to offer you a scan.
  • Call 111 – NHS 24 if you are unable to speak to any other health professional , they may suggest attending A&E but please bear in mind there may be a long wait to be assessed, there are no ultrasound facilities in A&E.
  • Attend A&E if you are experiencing severe pain, heavy bleeding or are generally feeling unwell.
  • Call or email ScanLinc.co.uk if you need an urgent scan (**Do not attend if you have heavy bleeding or severe pain)

For further info follow the link – 2016 Guidelines from The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-bleeding-and-or-pain-in-early-pregnancy.pdf

Early pregnancy anxiety – why you are normal!

Early pregnancy can bring about feelings of anxiety for most women.

Why?

• Well first,  you are normal and human… and you are at the start of creating a tiny human.
• Some women may have been trying to start a family or add to a family for a very long time.
• Infertility and previous losses can of course naturally increase anxiety levels.
• Conditions such as endometriosis or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can interfere with periods and cause irregular cycles which can makes it difficult to judge the age of the pregnancy.
• The lack of control and not being able to tell if something could be wrong.

It is all completely normal! If you are suffering with increased anxiety levels, as with any type of anxiety, there are a number of things you can do to help ease it.

Helping to ease anxiety

• Use relaxation techniques such as mindfulness – combat any negative thoughts or feelings
• Talk to loved ones about how you feel – don’t try and tackle it all on your own
• Keep a diary about how you feel – this will help you understand your anxiety triggers and your pregnancy symptoms
• Release the feel good chemicals but doing some light exercise such as swimming, yoga or walking
• Try pregnancy massage, aromatherapy treatments or reflexology

But most of all….

For the majority of women it is just a desire to know that everything is progressing normally and waiting for the 12 week NHS scan can often prove too much of a wait! Patience is not a pregnancy symptom for most of us!

It is for this reason I have set up my practice offering scans for ladies from as early as 6 weeks. You don’t have to just get on with it and not make a ‘fuss’ because often all that’s required is a measure of reassurance and a listening ear. Most of us just want to check everything is ok with our growing miracles.

Welcome to ScanLinc

The idea to create ScanLinc really came about after a chance conversation with an applications specialist 6 months ago whilst I was working as a Midwife/Sonographer in Glasgow. After the conversation a tiny seed was planted in my mind…

Our plan had always been to move back to the Lincoln area from Glasgow at some point in time but my partner unexpectedly got the opportunity of a great role in Newark for himself sooner than expected!

a gap in the market in lincoln

I then began to research employment possibilities for me in Lincoln that would utilise the knowledge I had gained in the early pregnancy role in Glasgow. After working with an exceptional team since 2013 and loving what I was doing I realised I wanted nothing more than to continue my work as a Midwife/Sonographer. Caring from women in the early stages of pregnancy has become my greatest passion yet.

I recalled my conversation with the applications specialist and after doing my own market research and talking to many health professionals I decided the only way forward was to set up my own practice.

Providing a listening ear and sharing knowledge

Being a Midwife, a Mother and a Grandmother gives me an advantage in the market as I am fully aware of all of the complexities surrounding the early stages of pregnancy from both a professional and personal perspective. Allocation of a generous time slot means I can provide a listening ear as well as share my knowledge as a health professional in a calming and relaxed atmosphere.

I have identified a need in Lincoln, for a great service that offers reassurance to women and my aim is to provide a gold standard service in Lincolnshire, Newark and surrounding.

By Samantha Northway – Owner of ScanLinc, Early Pregnancy Service