Prenatal screening

What is prenatal screening?

Although most children are born healthy, it is nice to know in advance whether there are any complications, illnesses or other conditions present with your (unborn) child. Prenatal screening (PNS) examines the chance that the unborn child has a disorder and diagnostically (chorionic villus sample / amniocentesis) actually determines this.

Before you can proceed to this screening, it is important that you as a pregnant person are well aware of what exactly will happen. We do this through counselling


In short, counseling is the pre-stage for prenatal screening. For counseling, an informative interview will takes place in which we as midwives ask you if you are interested in screening for Down's syndrome, Edward's syndrome and Patau's syndrome (combination test and NIPT) and the screening for physical abnormalities (SEO). If you are interested in this, it will be discussed in more detail in counselling During this interview you will be informed about prenatal screening.

Combination test

This screening consists of a blood test and a nuchal fold measurement. You must pay for the combination test yourself, unless there is a medical indication. For example if you have previously had a child with Down's syndrome. Perhaps you can receive a reimbursement from the supplementary insurance. Ask your insurence about this. 


Test A, little blood will be taken from you at the start of the pregnancy. The laboratory tests the blood for the presence of two substances: hCG and PAPP-A.

Nuchal fold measurement

An ultrasound is made at the start of the pregnancy. The radiografer measures the thickness of the child's neck. The thicker this is, the greater the chance that the child has one of the syndromes.

NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Test)

Since 1 April 2017, you can also opt for NIPT instead of the combination test. For this test only a blood is needed, which examines the DNA of the mother and the placenta. NIPT can be taken from 11 weeks of pregnancy. Because NIPT is still in the implementation phase, you can only have it done if you participate in a scientific study (TRIDENT-2 study). Just like the combination test, NIPT calculates the chance that your child will have Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome or Patau's syndrome. The result of NIPT is more reliable than that of the combination test. More information about NIPT.

Structural (Physical) Abnormalities

Anomally scan

The Structural Ultrasound examination (SEO) or the 20-week ultrasound takes place around 20 weeks of your pregnancy. The SEO looks at structural (physical) abnormalities of the unborn child.

During this interview you will be informed about prenatal screening.
The heart of counseling is to exchange information and offer assistance in deciding whether or not to have prenatal screening for congenital disorders. To make sure you understand everything well and to be well informed, it may be advisable to consult, it will refer you to other languages including English. Click here for further information.