View Full Version : News for expectant mothers

06-Apr-11, 12:51
Screening service for mums-to-be

PREGNANT women in Highland are being encouraged to contact their midwife as soon as they find out they are pregnant, in order to take advantage of NHS Highland’s improved screening services.
Changes to the screening programmes offered to pregnant women are being introduced throughout Scotland. From Monday 28th March all pregnant women in the Highland area will be offered a screening test for sickle cell and thalassaemia disorders – ideally before 10 weeks into the pregnancy.
Sickle cell and thalassaemia disorders affect the part of the blood that carries oxygen around the body, called haemoglobin. People who have these conditions need specialist care throughout their lives.
Screening for sickle cell disorder is by the family origin questionnaire. Your midwife will ask you questions about your family’s origins and those of the baby’s father too. This helps determine whether you have a higher chance of passing on sickle cell. If there is, your midwife will offer you a blood test.
The family origin questionnaire is also used to screen for thalassaemia, along with the results of one of your regular blood tests. If there is a high chance you are a carrier, your midwife will offer you a further diagnostic blood test.
Sally Amor, NHS Highland’s Pregnancy and Newborn Screening Coordinator, said: “Ideally these tests should be done as early as possible. Therefore, women should contact their midwife as soon as they find out they are pregnant.
“By speaking to a midwife as soon as possible in their pregnancy, women and their families can make informed choices about the full range of screening options. It is your decision whether to accept these tests or not, and it won’t affect the quality of your care if you decide not to go ahead with them.
“However, having the tests could help you make decisions about your care and the care of your baby, both before and after the birth.”
Your local midwife can be contacted through your GP practice.
For more information about the screening programme, women and their families can speak to a community or hospital midwife or obstetrician.

Further information
Contact:Erin Greig
Role:Communications Manager
Telephone:01463 705771