In situations of increased risk as described above, you should speak with your doctor. She may recommend that you consult with a genetics counselor. These counselors are trained to help you understand the risks of genetic disease. They will be best able to review your situation and determine your risks.
Your risk of having a baby with a birth defect is about 2 percent and depends on your age, medical history, and many other factors. Even if you are at low risk, there are screening tests that you should consider. These tests can help to measure the risk that your baby may have a birth defect. If you are at increased risk, more specific diagnostic tests should be considered. Knowing about serious birth defects before delivery is almost always helpful.
1. Ventura, et al. Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1995, Monthly Vital Statistics Report, From the CDC, Volume 45(11):1-73, June 10, 1997