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Antenatal screening

Before you attend your booking appointment with your midwife please take the time to read the screening information booklets that are sent to you with your booking appointment information. These will give you the information to help you make the decision regarding any screening tests in pregnancy. Your midwife can also discuss these with you. ‘Screening tests for you and your baby’ includes information on the 6 national antenatal & newborn screening pathways as commissioned by NHS England. The booklets are:

When you are at your antenatal booking visit, your midwife will discuss with you the tests and offer you blood tests to screen for specific conditions including Haemoglobinopathies (including Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia), HIV, Hepatitis B & Syphilis and the option to have 1st trimester screening and an early pregnancy and a mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan. You have the option to accept or decline some or all of these screening tests.

The ‘Screening Test for you and your baby’ link here has this information in 13 different languages.

Please remember: Screening tests are non-invasive tests and are offered to all pregnant women, they are NOT diagnostic tests. At Liverpool Women's we offer 1st trimester combined screening and 2nd trimester quad screening and scans as per the national fetal anomaly screening programme. Alongside the combined screening programme we also offer a bespoke service which includes reflex to a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT/DNA) if the combined test results come back as high chance (more than 1 in 800 chances of baby being affected by Downs, Edwards or Pataus syndromes).

If you are thinking about having screening for Downs syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Pataus syndrome please read these leaflets in more detail: ‘The Combined Test’ and ‘The Reflex DNA Test’ (available with an early scan from 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy) ‘The Quadruple Test' (available following a scan from over 14 weeks up to 20 weeks).

Download an Antenatal and Newborn Screening Timeline to understand the optimum stages for testing.

Non-invasive RhD Testing - Blood Group

As part of antenatal screening it is important to know your blood group and RhD status. 15% of all women booking into maternity care are RhD negative and will need anti-d in pregnancy and after baby is born. However, if your baby is also RhD negative they will not need the anti-d. We can now screen for your babies RhD status by offering a DNA screen - this is a simple maternal blood test at 12-16 weeks of pregnancy, and this will tell us if your baby is RhD negative (no anti-d) or RhD positive (anti-d required in pregnancy and after birth). This test is called ‘non-invasive RhD test’, ask your midwife for more information or please read “D negative mother’s blood test to check her unborn baby’s blood group” leaflet from NHS Blood Transplant. 

Further information about antenatal screening can also be found on the NHS Screening website or by logging into Maternity Assist - not registered all you need is your 'W' number.

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