Happy Monday everyone!! Hope you are all well and not freezing as it is quite cold today L. Today, I want to talk about Harmony Test and NHS screening, both mainly for Down Syndrome. NHS offers what is called a ‘Dating Scan’ at around 8 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. It is used to see how far along in your pregnancy you are and check your baby’s development. More specifically, the purpose of the scan is to check how many weeks pregnant you are, work out the due date, that the baby is growing in the right place, baby’s development and note if there are any abnormalities. The screening for Down’s can be done at the dating scan if you are between 11 and 14 weeks and is called ‘combined test.’ It involves a blood test and measuring the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck with an ultrasound scan. You will get a message next day if there is anything abnormal, and no message if everything is good.

You won’t be offered the combined screening test if your dating scan happens after 14 weeks. Instead, you will be offered another blood test between 14 and 20 weeks to screen for the risk of Down’s, however this test is not quite as accurate as the ‘combined’ test.

I was told in the hospital that the accuracy of the ‘combined test’ is 70% so it is quite high. I asked them whether Harmony test (which is a private option) was necessary, and they said that some people want to have more ‘assurance’, so it depends on personal preference.

Well, when it comes to your baby and things like ‘Down Syndrome’ then it depends on your age (after 35 years of age, the risk of Down Syndrome is much higher) and generally your views on the condition i.e. whether 70% accuracy is enough or you have to be 99% sure that all is fine to be calm and peaceful-so hence it is a personal choice. You can also do Harmony Test as early as at 8 weeks, so that’s another consideration.
I decided to do it because I have found out that it can also tell you the gender of your baby- and I just couldn’t wait for that J. According to Harmony Test information leaflet ‘Traditional screening tests can miss as many as 15% of Down Syndrome cases in pregnant women’. Harmony Prenatal Test is a new type of test that analyses the baby’s DNA in a sample of your blood to assess the risk of Down syndrome and two other genetic conditions, Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome (you can look those up on the internet but they are less common). You also have an option to test for conditions caused by having an extra or missing copy of the X or Y chromosomes, including Turner and Klinefelter syndromes. So, all in all, it is quite comprehensive, has 99% accuracy and another huge perk I have already mentioned- the gender info. It costs around 300 pounds.

I was glad I chose to do ‘Harmony Test’ because I am 35 years old and I wanted to be sure that my baby is definitely healthy. I will be honest, I’m not one of those mothers, who would be happy with the Down Syndrome baby, perhaps I’m not that humane, but I’m just being honest.
I found out that everything was healthy, and that I’m having a baby girl. Yeyy..now I can dream in the direction of ‘pink’ things and little dresses and anything cute and girly. Perhaps doing it almost mainly for the ‘gender’ factor is a slightly wrong reason, but when you are dying of curiosity, you are dying of curiosity, until you resolve it.

So make the right choice, that is right specifically for you, as it depends on what sort of mother you are. Till next time my dearies. God bless!