Perinatal Genetics

Our experienced Perinatal Genetics team is here to give you the information and support you need to make informed decisions for your family and pregnancy. The team includes genetic counselors, geneticists, front desk receptionists and office assistants.

How to make an appointment with a Genetic Counselor

A referral from your obstetrician or primary care physician should be faxed to our office at (650) 725-7030.

What is a Genetic Counselor?

Genetic counselors are Master’s-trained health care professionals who combine their knowledge of basic science, medical genetics, and counseling theory with their skills in genetic risk assessment, education, interpersonal communication and counseling to provide services to clients.

Genetic counselors help patients understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial impact of genetic disease. They interpret family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurring or recurring. They educate about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, and genetic resources and research. They counsel to promote informed choices.

Possible reasons to meet with a Genetic Counselor:

  • Prenatal genetic screening and diagnostic testing options
  • A positive prenatal screening result or cell free fetal DNA result
  • Family history of physical abnormality or a known chromosomal, metabolic or genetic condition
  • Multiple miscarriages
  • Union between relatives (consanguinity)
  • Problems diagnosed by ultrasound
  • Exposure to teratogens (substances which may cause fetal defects). These include some drugs or medications, infections, alcohol, toxins and chemotherapy.

Before your Perinatal Genetics Appointment

A genetic counselor will contact you to complete a phone intake regarding pregnancy and family histories. Please download and complete this Genetic Counseling questionnaire (English / Spanish) and bring it to your appointment.

You may also want to review this summary of prenatal testing options (English / Spanish) and these frequently asked questions about cell-free fetal DNA testing.

During your Perinatal Genetics Appointment

During your counseling appointment, we will speak with you about testing options for your pregnancy based on your ethnicity, family history, and pregnancy history. Testing may include:

  • Screening and diagnostic testing for Down syndrome and other chromosome disorders
  • Population-based and ethnic screening, such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, or Tay Sachs disease
  • Conditions or traits you may be concerned about in your family

Center for Fetal and Maternal Health

Our genetic counselors work closely with families whose pregnancies are being evaluated for or have confirmed health problems. They help families understand their baby’s condition and provide support to help the family negotiate many important consultations and delivery management.

For more information, please call (650) 723-5198.