Providing expectant families with peace of mind—and a plan

At the Fetal Care Center, we offer comprehensive care for babies with congenital conditions

Genetic Counseling

When you’re pregnant, you want the best for your baby. At CHOC, we know an unexpected diagnosis can be scary. We want to be there to help you and your family make the best plan for your baby’s birth and medical care.  

As part of a newer initiative at The Fetal Care Center of Southern California, genetic counseling is just one of the multidisciplinary services provided for patients.


What is genetic counseling?

Genetic counseling revolves around the care of the patient as well as the pregnancy. As part of your visit, the genetic counselor will review the family and pregnancy histories to help assess risks and potential test recommendations. They will review ultrasound findings and previous screening and test results, as well as address any questions you may have. This process prepares you and the multidisciplinary team for your meeting to discuss the care of your baby.

What does a genetic counselor do?

As medical professionals trained to combine the science of medical genetics and skill of counseling, genetic counselors help to empower patients by explaining complex genetic information in a clear and understandable way while providing emotional support. Genetic counselors work as part of a multidisciplinary medical team to provide the highest-level of patient care. A prenatal genetic counselor meets with patients during pregnancy to:
  • Review family and pregnancy histories
  • Explain prior screening or diagnostic test results if records are available for review
  • Assess risks based on the histories and prior test results
  • Assist with decision making regarding test recommendations and pregnancy options
  • Provide resource and support group information, if desired
  • Confirm that the patient’s questions and concerns are addressed

How to prepare for your appointment

Because a review of the family and pregnancy histories is an important part of a discussion with the genetic counselor, it is recommended to gather information before the appointment. Information about the health of immediate family members, such as children, siblings, parents, nieces/nephews, grandparents, uncles/aunts, and cousins, will include questions about birth defects, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, mental health, genetic conditions, and birth defects. This information is handled in a confidential manner. Genetic screening and test results are also important for review.

From Prenatal Diagnosis to Thriving in Childhood

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Maternal-fetal care center

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Lobby at the Fetal Care Center of Southern California

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Woman holding her pregnant belly

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CHOC patient Marco smiling with with food smeared on his face

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