Gillian Lewando Hundt, J Sandall, K Spencer, B Heyman, C Williams, R Grellier, L Pitson, M Tsouroufli
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 16, Iss. 3, 06 Mar 2008, pp 156 - 159
Antenatal screening in the first trimester of pregnancy in a one-stop clinic through the use of ultrasound to measure nuchal translucency and the analysis of maternal blood serum for biochemical markers alters the experience for women and their partners. The conflation of the dating scan with the measurement of nuchal translucency means that there is early visualization of the fetus and reassurance that the risk of Down’s syndrome has been assessed. The period of uncertainty between having the screening and getting the results is shortened from seven to ten days to one hour but the uncertainty concerning the possibility of Down’s syndrome is raised earlier in the pregnancy with health professionals. Contrary to professional expectations, many women surveyed after visiting the clinic understand the dual purpose of the ultrasound. These technologies delivered in a one-stop setting have altered not only the organization of the clinic but also women’s experiences of early pregnancy.
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