Menu

‘Should I get preconception carrier screening?’ Experts answer.

Deciding to do preconception carrier screening is a very personal choice.

‘Should I get preconception carrier screening?’ Experts answer.

Deciding to do preconception carrier screening is a very personal choice that couples can make in consultation with their doctors. Who should consider screening—and what does it entail? The experts at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists answer our FAQs:


What is preconception carrier screening?

Preconception carrier screening is screening that you can have before becoming pregnant to help predict your chances of having a child with a genetic disorder (see the FAQ Genetic Disorders).

What is a carrier?

A carrier is a person who has no symptoms (or only mild symptoms) of a disorder but can pass on the gene for that disorder to his or her child.

How is carrier screening done?

Carrier screening involves testing a sample of blood or saliva. The sample is sent to a lab for testing. Typically, the partner who is most likely to have a defective gene is tested first. If test results show that the first partner is not a carrier, then no additional testing is needed. If test results show that the first partner is a carrier, the other partner is tested.

When can carrier screening be done?

You can have carrier screening before pregnancy (preconception) or during pregnancy. If it is done before pregnancy, you have a broader range of options and more time to make decisions.

What carrier screening tests are available?

Carrier tests are available for a limited number of diseases, including cystic fibrosis, fragile X syndrome, sickle cell disease, and Tay–Sachs disease.

Who should consider preconception carrier screening?

A health care provider or genetic counselor can help find out if you are at increased risk of passing on a genetic disorder by obtaining a family health history. This involves asking certain questions about your health and your family’s health. You are at increased risk if you have a genetic disorderyou already have a child who has a genetic disorderthere is a family history of a genetic disorderyou belong to an ethnic group that has a high rate of carriers of certain genetic disorders

Which ethnic groups have an increased risk of genetic disorders and what carrier screening tests are offered to these groups?

People from certain ethnic groups have an increased risk of passing on certain genetic disorders. For this reason, carrier screening is offered to certain groups as follows:

Non-Hispanic white individuals should be offered cystic fibrosis carrier screening.

People of Eastern European Jewish descent (Ashkenazi Jews) should be offered screening for Tay–Sachs disease, Canavan disease, familial dysautonomia, and cystic fibrosis. Individuals can ask about screening for other disorders. Carrier screening is available for mucolipidosis IV, Niemann–Pick disease type A, Fanconi anemia group C, Bloom syndrome, and Gaucher disease.

People of African, Mediterranean, and Southeast Asian heritage should be offered screening for thalassemias and sickle cell disease.

What can the results of a carrier screening test tell me?

A genetic counselor or your health care provider will use the results to calculate the chance of you having a child with a genetic disorder. For most of the disorders for which carrier screening is available, if both parents are carriers, there is a 25% chance that the child will get the abnormal gene from each parent and will have the disorder. There is a 50% chance that the child will be a carrier of the disorder—just like the carrier parent. If only one parent is a carrier, there is a 50% chance that the child will be a carrier of the disorder and a 0% chance that the child will have the disorder.

What is a false-positive test result? What is a false-negative test result?

A false-positive test result is when a person tests positive for being a carrier but does not actually the gene. A false-negative result is when a person tests negative for being a carrier but actually does have the gene. Because test results can be wrong, it is possible for you to have a child with a genetic disorder even if your and your partner’s test results are negative.

What decisions do I need to make if I am a carrier?

If you and your partner learn that both of you are carriers of a genetic condition, you have several options. You may choose to proceed with becoming pregnant, with the option of considering prenatal diagnosis. You may choose to use in vitro fertilization with donor eggs or sperm to achieve pregnancy. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis can be used with this option. You also may choose not to become pregnant.

What is the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)?

GINA is a law that makes it illegal for health insurers to require genetic testing results or use results to make decisions about coverage, rates, or preexisting conditions. Employers are prohibited from using genetic information for hiring, firing, or making any other decisions about a person’s employment.

Join Motherly

12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

21 questions to ask your partner instead of, “How was your day?”

2. If you could do any part of today over again, what would it be?

After a long day of doing seemingly everything, when our partners get home it kind of becomes a habit to ask, "How was your day?" In between prepping dinner, handing off the kids, finishing your own work, we don't exactly get much value from this question. Sure, it may open up the opportunity to complain about that awful thing that happened or excitedly share that presentation you killed at work—but it usually stops there.

I could do a better job of really talking in my relationship. After 12 years and two kids, sometimes all we can come up with post bedtime routine is, "You good? I'm good. Fire up the Netflix."

Keep reading Show less
Love + Village