By Rebekah Devlin
A new website has been launched to ensure prospective parents are being presented with the best advice on the prenatal screening process.
The Prenatal Screening project provides evidence-based information to both prospective parents and health care professionals, to make informed decisions about prenatal screening and, where relevant, the future of their pregnancy.
A collaboration between Queensland Health and Down Syndrome Queensland (DSQ), the prenatalscreening.org.au website contains a wide range of informative resources for prospective parents and health care professionals, covering topics such as the choices and options available, chromosomal conditions, pregnancy counselling, personal stories, and more.
“Research suggests that currently many families may not be making fully informed choices about prenatal screening,” says Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath. “This can lead to people making decisions based on incomplete or potentially inaccurate and outdated information… Queensland Health has funded Down Syndrome Queensland to develop these resources and learning platforms, and to support health care professionals and prospective parents through the prenatal screening process.”
Darryl Steff, CEO of Down Syndrome Queensland added: “Having a baby is one of life’s greatest journeys, with many decisions to make. We hope that a site like this can provide prospective parents with as much accurate information as possible so they can feel empowered to make informed choices along the way. We’re so very proud to be launching the Prenatal Screening site. It’s been quite the journey to get to this point and we’re looking forward to seeing how it grows over time. We hope that this site honours the feedback provided by the many families whose previous prenatal screening experiences left much for us to learn from. Whatever your circumstances, role or ultimate journey, please know that you are not alone.”
The site also offers health care professionals access to a Practice Resource that has been endorsed by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
This resource has been developed to support health care professionals across areas such as informed consent, understanding the screening and diagnostic processes, the communication of results, where to refer for further support and a background on common chromosomal Conditions.
The site is now live and all information is freely accessible. For anyone wanting to learn more about the choices available, access accurate information, or who to speak to for extra support, visit prenatalscreening.org.au.