Our DNA contains a treasure trove of information about who we are and how we will develop and function.
Doing a DNA test while pregnant can help you tap into that vault to find out more about the fetus inside you.
Here’s what you need to know.
In this article: 📝
- Why DNA test is done during pregnancy?
- What is a DNA test for health issues?
- How to do a paternity test while pregnant
- How accurate is a DNA paternity test?
- When can you take a DNA test while pregnant?
- Where can I get a DNA test while pregnant?
Why DNA test is done during pregnancy?
One of the main reasons for getting a DNA test (or genetic test) in the womb is to get intel on the health of your baby.
It’s also possible to get a DNA prenatal paternity test.
The test involves testing a sample of the fetal DNA against the potential father’s DNA to see if there’s a match.
These tests can be useful in establishing who is legally and socially responsible for your baby before you share the news.
They can also give you important information about your baby’s medical history.
What is a DNA test for health issues?
Cell-free DNA testing is basically a blood test that helps screen for several health conditions, from Down syndrome to heart defects to cystic fibrosis.
Your doctor should offer genetic testing to you, but it’s up to you whether you would like to go through with it.
There’s also the option of genetic testing before pregnancy.
Still, it’s important to note that while this information can be useful to you to help you plan your future, it can also land you with some seriously difficult decisions to make.
Different parents prepare for pregnancy in different ways.
Really, it’s about doing what feels right for you.
How to do a paternity test while pregnant
There’s three possible ways to get a DNA paternity test while pregnant:
1. Non-invasive prenatal paternity testing (NIPP)
The go-to method for a prenatal paternity test.
All that’s needed to perform this test is a cheek swab from the potential father and a blood sample from you.
To lower the risk, it’s definitely the way to go.
It’s why the American Pregnancy Association recommends this test as the go-to for prenatal paternity DNA testing.
With amniocentesis, a sample is taken from the amniotic fluid (the liquid surrounding your baby) with a thin needle that’s inserted into your uterus.
It can also lead to cramping, leaking of the amniotic fluid, and vaginal bleeding.
3. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
A sample is taken from the tissue of the placenta, usually via a tube or needle that’s inserted into your cervix.
Like, amniocentesis, this type of testing comes with an increased risk of pregnancy loss, so the benefits need to be weighed against the risks.
How accurate is a DNA paternity test?
A prenatal paternity DNA test is accurate—as in almost 100% accurate.
In this 2013 study, scientists tested a sample of 21 confirmed biological fathers.
Bar one sample, which didn’t include enough DNA for the test, every test was able to accurately identify the father.
On the other side of the coin, when tested against someone who was definitely not the father, 99.95% were able to rule out paternity.
This 2020 study revealed similar results and found that paternity probabilities were greater than 99.9999% for the families involved in the study.
When can you take a DNA test while pregnant?
The good news is that NIPP testing can be done as early as seven weeks.
If you’re looking into the other options of paternity DNA test while pregnant, amniocentesis is usually performed between weeks 14 and 20, while CVS is usually around weeks 10 to 13.
Where can I get a DNA test while pregnant?
If you need the test done for legal reasons, it must be done by medical professionals.
Your doctor’s consent will be needed before you go ahead.
We know these conversations can be difficult to have, but there’s absolutely zero shame in having them.
You want to make an informed decision about the health and well-being of you and your baby.
How much does it cost to get a DNA test while pregnant?
Costs vary depending on what kind of test you’d like to have.
NIPP testing (the non-invasive, low-risk kind) is, unfortunately, more expensive, with costs reaching the $2,000 mark.
The reason, as theAmerican Pregnancy Association explains, is that your DNA has to be separated from the DNA of your fetus—and this process requires some expensive technology.
Other kinds of tests can be performed for less, starting from about $400.
Does insurance cover DNA testing while pregnant?
Generally, insurers cover procedures that they deem to be medically necessary.
That means that if your doctor recommends DNA testing, your insurance will often cover it.
All situations are unique.
You know what your needs and resources are.
And if you need support during what can be a challenging time, reach out—to friends, counselors, and your Peanut community.
You don’t have to do this alone.