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Abnormal results from a diagnostic test in pregnancy

Most conditions diagnosed using these tests have no cure. If your test shows that your baby has a genetic or chromosomal abnormality, your healthcare team can discuss your options with you.

Being told that there is something wrong with your baby is extremely difficult. It's important you understand everything your doctor is telling you. If they use medical language, stop them and ask them to explain.

Ask as many questions as you need to. Ask for an interpreter if English is not your first language.

Ask your doctor about the support available to you, including where you can get helpful and reliable information.

Continuing your pregnancy

If you choose to continue your pregnancy, you should talk to your healthcare team and discuss what care your baby will need.

Ending your pregnancy

You may decide to end the pregnancy.

If you choose to end the pregnancy, your healthcare team will discuss your options with you, including:

  • the most suitable type of termination - medical (with tablets) or surgical (much less common)
  • where the procedure will be performed

You might have the option to see or hold your baby after termination. Not all parents choose to do this. You should take some time to decide if you would like to see your baby.

There is no right or wrong way to feel in this situation. It is normal to grieve for your baby.

Your doctors and midwives will offer the help of a counsellor if you want it.

Page last reviewed: 17 May 2019
Next review due: 17 May 2022