Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Almost there! Welcome to your third trimester and your community!

    Useful Things:

    • See what's happening with your baby and your body — right now.
    • Get trusted WebMD information and track your baby's milestones with the WebMD Baby app for iPhone and Android.
    Tests, Birth Defects & Decisions
    Andie_WebMD_Staff posted:
    During your pregnancy your doctor may recommend genetic testing, which is used to determine whether a fetus has a genetic abnormality or disease, such as down syndrome.

    Moms-to-be will need to make a tough decision if faced with a test result showing a defect. A precious child will be brought into this world if she continues the pregnancy, but the child will grow up with a life changing birth defect.

    If the results showed a defect, would you still carry to full term, or do you think it would be better to terminate and try again?

    Vote in our poll and, if you like, let us know how you feel.


    P.S. --> This can be a very sensitive subject and emotions abound. So, please continue to be respectful of others opinions as you reply.

    You might also check out our discussion about the pros & cons of prenatal tests on our 1st Trimester community: Sound Off! Your View on Genetic Testing.
    Baby in the tummy, it's all up to mommy. But once the baby's had, it's bragging rights for Dad

    Take the Poll

    If the results of prenatal genetic testing revealed a birth defect would it affect your decision to carry full term?
    • No, I would carry full term no matter the results of tests
    • Possibly, but only if we were certain of a serious defect.
    • Yes, I would not bring a baby in the world with a birth defect.
    View Poll Results
    hmrm1020 responded:
    I have been in this situation before where I was being told that my daughter was possibly going to have down syndrome or another worse birth defect. They told me that I should get an amnio done and I did and told them that it won't change my mind as to whether or not I keep the baby. I am keeping her no matter what because tests can be wrong, because they are performed by humans who can from time to time make mistakes. The drs and nurses were so rude telling me that I was wrong for making my decision to keep my daughter, well turns out she is a happy vibrant full of life 5 year old now who just happens to have down syndrome. I am so glad that I have chosen to keep my daughter because the love and joy she bring to us is amazing. Yes it is a struggle from time to time but the positives outweigh the negatives anyday!
    earleyml1012 responded:
    First of all, I opt not to have any of these tests done b/c they are inaccurate so often and we could be worried for nothing. However, my main reason is from a personal story. My DH's cousin was pregnant with her 3rd the same time I was with my 1st. She went for her 20 week ultrasound and the tech said that the baby did not have kidneys or a bladder. After speaking with her OB, they HIGHLY recommended that she end the pregnancy b/c the baby would likely die at birth. She told the OB that she was going to pray about it and would like a second opinion, he told her it would take a miracle for her to have a healthy baby. So all of our family prayed for this little baby and when we went for another ultrasound a few days/week later, this tech right away pointed out that the baby's bladder was full of urine, which couldn't happen if there were no kidneys plus there was a bladder. Turns out she ended up having a perfectly healthy baby girl that just needed a little bit of help at birth. She's 3 now and is the cutest little thing full of energy!! Humans make errors plus you never know what prayer in a situation like that can do!
    tlkittycat1968 responded:
    I had a high chance of having a baby with Down's Syndrome so I had an amnio to verify the results. I just wanted to be prepared with any necessary specialists. I would have gone full term no matter what the results were. I was lucky that everything was okay.
    APZ1980 responded:
    It would be very difficult for me to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy, so I have refused these tests with both pregnancies. That being said, if I had them, I think it would depend upon the results. If the baby had down syndrome, I would not terminate the pregnancy. Although I know the baby would have challenges, children with down syndrome can be fully functional and lovely people. If it was the type of defect that the baby wasn't going to live long (or at all) after birth, I would probably terminate.
    ffwife23Kt replied to APZ1980's response:
    Lurking from Second Trimester Board-

    My husband and I are expecting our second child and we decided with both to have the genetic tests done even though I wasn't at a high risk for any complications. It was nice being able to see the baby/s on ultra sound just to see them move, to have their measurements done and make sure they were growing on schedule. I only had a simple blood panel done too. I didn't have to do anything more extensive. The doctor kept mentioning that the tests were time sensitive and my husband didn't get that until I explained that in any event of a problem it was our choice to terminate the pregnancy. He stated very strongly that for us that wouldn't be an option. I have never asked him that before, or even considered it so to hear him state matter of factly that our child is a blessing and even if the risk of down syndrome was there our baby would be born anyway. We are very blessed to have a healthy little boy but I truly believe that children born with down syndrome are special spirits and I would be honored to be their mother.

    In my humble opinion. Katie
    leftcoastgirl replied to APZ1980's response:
    Lurking from second-tri.

    I agree with you, APZ1980. I went through the nuchal translucency and opted not to do the CVS or amnio because we got very good results from the nuchal. For me, Down's isn't a concern because I know people with it can live well into adulthood and have a good quality of life. The things that scared me were the trisomy defects that would lead to an infant dying soon after birth. Truthfully, I don't know what I would do in that situation - I don't think you really can know until you actually experience it. But I can understand why a mom might want to terminate to spare her child from unnecessary suffering.
    ashandchad responded:
    I think it depends on the results. If I were told I was going to have a child born with down syndrome, I would most certainly continue with my pregnancy. If it were something that would certainly be fatal, I would probably terminate the pregnancy.
    Me (26), DH (27), First Baby-Hadley Faith!!! C-Section August 4th
    Katya1985 responded:
    When I was pregnant first time and now I told my doctor to do all the test to make sure that the child does not have any abnormalities.I would terminate the pregnancy. It is a very tough decision to make and I've never thought I would think this way until my last job. I was working in the center with children with mental challenges. That was the hardest job I had. It was unbearable for me to see children full of life but limited to what they are allowed to do. The worst is when other healthy children or even adults are pointing at them in the meanest manner that they are abnormal. And then you see the child crying and come to you and ask you why did they born this way and why did they born? I could not handle that and left the job but decided that I would not like to have a baby with challenges just for the baby's sake.
    Me(26),husby(30) Our first son-Stanislav will be 3 and now expecting a girl Galina. EDD 09/02/2011
    butterfly0 replied to Katya1985's response:
    i asked the hubby about this last week. our baby has a possible heart defect and we have seen many specialist already but we basically have to wait until she is born for them to do actual tests on her herself instead of just looking at her from the outside of my tummy. it has had us scared but the way i have started to look at it is that God knows i will love and take care of this baby no matter how her heart is. we are praying everything is okay but we know there is a chance its not.
    i asked him what he would want to do if we were told she definatly had some type of defect like downs and he said he would take what he was given. he said that he felt like what ever baby God gave him he was giving it to him for a reason. it made my heart melt to hear him say all of this.
    i respect everyones rights and opinions but i would also keep what i was given.. i wish every one the best of luck!! :)
    candy352 replied to butterfly0's response:
    Lurking from 2nd tri....I would definitely keep the baby also, which is one of the reasons why I don't want to do any of the tests. I also don't want the added stress of waiting or being told that there may be a possibility but I can't give you a definite answer. I think I am already prepared for a child with or without a disability. I work with individuals with disabilities and I think every child is a blessing. It is sad to see when some children are limited because they do not have supports, but there are so many agencies out now that want to help people with disabilities. I don't believe in limiting anyone just because of their disability. But it is a personal choice for each parent. I respect everyone's opinions. Happy Pregnancy Everyone!!!!
    Amy_n_Matt responded:
    When we were offered the tests durign our first pregnancy, we asked what the value of the information would be. Basically we were told it was an opportunity to terminate the pregnancy if there were results we weren't happy with. Any defects that they would need advance information for to quickly handle after birth would be found during the ultrasound. We opted to skip the tests because to us, we wanted our child, whatever his or her needs may be. We lost our second pregnancy before we got to that point, and opted out of the tests for the third and this current pregnancy too.

    However, I know someone who terminated her pregnancy after her ultrasound revealed a terminal defect. I completely respect her decision and know how hard it was for her. But it prompted a conversation between my husband and myself. Our thoughts are that if we were to find ourselves in such a situation, we would still want to carry to term with the idea that the child's life would still be valuable, specifically because we would intend to donate the infants' organs at birth to save other infants in need.

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    I originally joined WebMD two years ago, because it was the only community my internet at work would allow me to access. Since then I've drifted f...More

    Helpful Tips

    what do contractions feel like? More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 0 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.