|Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates has links to world-renowned geneticists, neonatologists, and other medical professionals that are always available for consultation in medically complex cases.
A Genetic Counselor (GC) is a healthcare professional with a master’s degree in human genetics and counseling. This training enables GCs to discuss technical genetic information in practical, useful terms.
There are many reasons why a person may choose to undergo genetic counseling, including to address factors that may affect their baby during infancy or childhood or their ability to become pregnant, to address certain tests that may need to be done during pregnancy, or address concerns if their child is showing signs and symptoms of a disorder.
MFMA offers on-site genetic counseling by board-certified counselors. Whether you have a planned genetic consultation, or an immediate and unexpected concern arises, our genetic counselors can see you for a consultation without delay.
MEET OUR GENETICIST
Dr. Tamar Goldwaser is doubly board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Medical Genetics. She received her B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Barnard College and her M.D. degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Goldwaser completed residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a Medical Genetics residency at Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Goldwaser is enthusiastic about empowering her patients through education and encouraging them to take an active role in their pregnancy experience. Dr. Goldwaser has clinical expertise in reproductive, prenatal and cancer genetics and works closely with our Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors and genetic counselors.
If you are new to the idea of genetic counseling, you may have some questions regarding what to expect, and why genetic counseling can be helpful. We have put together some frequently asked questions to provide some clarity.
During a prenatal genetic counseling session, genetic carrier screening results are reviewed or offered, among other tests. Most people are likely to be a carrier for some genetic condition but are unaffected by their carrier status. However, this type of screening can be very helpful when planning a family, as it can help to identify any possible risks of having a child who may be affected by a disease. It can also be useful in informing your siblings or relatives, as they may share some of your genetics.
If you are found to be a carrier for a genetic condition, you will need to test the DNA of your partner. If the results show that both parents are carriers for the same genetic condition, there are several reproductive options.
Your referring physician may have already performed some of the tests that will be discussed. Please check with your obstetrician’s office prior to your appointment and ask that they send us your relevant records. These may include tests such as previous ultrasounds, a complete blood count, hemoglobin electrophoresis, carrier screening results, NIPS (non-invasive prenatal screening) results, and maternal serum screening results from your current pregnancy.
- First-trimester screening (the nuchal translucency test)
- Non-invasive prenatal screening (such as Panorama, MaterniT21, Harmony)
- Second-trimester screening (Quad screen or alpha-fetoprotein)
- Carrier screening (such as Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X, Ashkenazi Jewish carrier screening, universal carrier screening, hemoglobinopathy screening)
- If your appointment is to discuss family history, please try to bring the genetic records of the affected individual in your family
- If your appointment is to discuss an ultrasound finding, please bring a copy of that ultrasound report (unless your ultrasound was done at Carnegie Hill Imaging, as we will have that on file)
Having these records prior to your appointment will help to ensure that you are seen on time, get the most out of your consultation and that we do not repeat tests that you have already had.
What testing options are offered during a prenatal genetic counseling session?
- Non-invasive prenatal screening (also known as NIPS/NIPT)
- Second-trimester screening (Quad screen, modified sequential screen, or alpha-fetoprotein)
- Carrier screening
- Hemoglobinopathy screening (hemoglobin electrophoresis)
- Invasive testing (chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis)
If you are interested in learning more about genetic counseling or scheduling a consultation appointment with our genetic counselor, please contact MFM Associates today at 212-235-1335.
For more information regarding an array of genetic-related topics, visit our Healthful Woman Podcast page. Dr. Fox, a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist with a subspecialty certification in Maternal Fetal Medicine, discusses these topics with a variety of guests.