Becoming a Better Partner and Parent Through Genetic Counseling
For many couples, the decision to start a family isn’t one that is taken lightly. Rather, it’s one that typically follows a specific timeline, and it usually only occurs after extensive discussion from both parties on the matter. However, even after considering all possible outcomes of bringing a child into the world and making an educated decision to start down the path toward conception, there’s still a fairly significant amount of uncertainty that can follow.
Even when both parents are seemingly in good health, there could be hidden genetic variables that can impact a child’s health. If you’ve been entertaining starting a family in the near future and you’re wanting to learn more about how you can help ensure the best possible start in life for your little one, then prenatal genetic counseling is a great option.
What Can You Learn From Genetic Counseling?
Many people have a broad overview of their own health and well-being, simply from observing their own family members. For instance, if a parent had a particular disorder, it’s only reasonable to deduce that this same condition could have been passed on to yourself. In turn, it stands to reason that your offspring could also develop heritable health complications. However, oftentimes, a lot of these concerns can be largely speculative. In addition, there could also be other conditions that you might not even be aware that you have.
This is why genetic counseling is so essential. As a parent, you want to help ensure that your child has the best possible chances at a good life. Between trying to make sure all of their needs are met, to trying to manage every aspect of their future as possible, it’s natural to want to make a concerted effort to safeguard your child from danger. Genetic counseling can help you determine if you are at risk of inadvertently passing a condition to your child and help you plan for ways to ensure that your child lives a happy, healthy life.
Why Undergo Genetic Counseling
From the very first conversation about starting the journey to parenthood to even planning your retirement, these are all opportunities to delve deeper into your genetic makeup and weigh the pros and cons of when to undergo genetic counseling.
- When Planning For a Family: Genetic counseling can offer profound peace of mind before pregnancy enters the equation. For instance, if you are already aware of genetic conditions in your family, this can help you make a more educated decision about what starting a family means for you.
- When Expecting: If you are already pregnant, genetic counseling can help you determine if your child will be healthy, and it can even help you be aware of the risk of miscarriage, as well. NIPT is one such resource your genetic counselor may guide you toward to let you know if your child will be born with a heritable or chromosomal condition.
- While Raising a Family: The goal of every parent is to have a happy, healthy child. When a child isn’t meeting certain developmental milestones, genetic counseling can help you become aware of what may be causing these delays.
- In the Years Ahead: Some genetic conditions can have an impact on your projected wellbeing throughout various stages of your life. Genetic counseling can help you prepare for the future and educate you on the proactive measures that you can take beforehand.
A Trusted Resource
Genetic counseling is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself and your family. Your counselor can provide you with the tools to become your own advocate, affording you the opportunity to develop insights about your and your partner’s health. With this knowledge, you’ll be more equipped to approach any concerns that you might have.
By taking the time to arm yourself with the knowledge to make necessary changes in your life, you can help mitigate this risk. Your genetic counselor can serve as a support network for you and your partner, answering any questions you may have about your test results. And by having such an ally in your corner to guide you through things, you can feel confident that you have done everything in your power to be the best possible parent – as well as partner – as possible.