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Can I get a DNA test while pregnant?

We recently received the following question about DNA testing during pregnancy: I'm a very active person. I wanted to take the DNAFit DNA test but recently discovered I'm pregnant, would this affect the results? Should I wait until after the baby is born? I would like to continue being active during my pregnancy and was curious as to what diet type suits my body best, in order to control my pregnancy weight. Here's everything you need to know about DNA testing as a mum-to-be.

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Can I get a DNA test for diet and exercise while pregnant?

In short, yes, you can get a DNA test while pregnant. This is due to the fact that a DNA test only requires you to provide a cheek swab. The DNAFit test is a simple mouth swab that is completely non-invasive.

Can a DNA test taken during pregnancy be wrong?

No. It’s perfectly accurate to do a DNA test for diet and exercise while you are pregnant. The fact that you are pregnant won’t affect your DNA results as your genes never change. The genetic information you receive will help you to train and eat better, helping you to remain healthy during your pregnancy.

 

What is DNA testing for paternity and how does it work?

Paternity testing is the use of DNA profiling to determine whether two individuals are biologically parent and child. This can be important for the father to ascertain if he is the parent, but is largely used for the mother to determine who the father is, usually for legal purposes.

It requires both parents and child to provide a DNA sample and the test will give genetic proof of if both people are biologically the child’s parents. The child’s sample is collected through the mother's blood - some of the foetus' DNA is present in the mother’s blood. A paternity test can be done at any point after eight weeks of pregnancy.

Please be aware that if the mother is carrying more than one child (twins, triplets etc.) then a standard paternity test wouldn’t be able to determine who the father is.

If both the woman and man know for sure that they are the baby’s parents then a DNA test can also be important for them to ascertain whether or not the baby may be at risk for chromosomal abnormalities, as well as to determine the baby’s sex.

 

Other types of DNA tests that can be done during pregnancy

If you are pregnant then genetic testing can be a useful tool, not only for determining paternity, but also to discover if your baby is at risk of carrying genetic diseases. For a long time, pregnancy testing such as amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) were used but those tests are quite invasive and carry a risk of potential miscarriage or harm to the baby.

DNA tests that can be used to alert the parents-to-be of genetic abnormalities are generally done with blood tests and an ultrasound between 10 and 13 weeks. With another genetic marker scan and DNA test available to parents between 15 and 20 weeks.

These tests are referred to as NIPT or non-invasive prenatal tests or NIPD (non-invasive prenatal diagnosis).

NIPT can be used to test for altered genes, the gender of the baby and can detect Down Syndrome and other conditions. This is a non-invasive test because it uses a drop of blood from the mother and uses free cells that can be found in her bloodstream. It doesn’t rely on the cells found in the amniotic fluid like amniocentesis or CVS.

Now that DNA testing is more accessible to consumers through a wide variety of companies mothers-to-be have the option to learn a lot of important information about their baby before the child is born.

 

In summary, you can definitely do a DNA test during pregnancy 

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