Sheetal Parmar, board-certified genetic counselor and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Natera discusses non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) that The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommend being offered to all pregnant women regardless of age or risk factors. NIPT helps identify if a baby is at risk for genetic conditions, such as chromosomal abnormalities, as early as nine weeks into pregnancy. Unlike traditional diagnostic methods for prenatal testing like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS), which are highly invasive and pose a small risk of miscarriage, NIPT poses no risk to mother or baby. It is performed with a simple maternal blood draw. Once the blood is drawn, it’s sent to a specific lab whose technicians will analyze the results. She also talks about what questions to ask the healthcare provider.
Sheetal Parmar is the vice president of medical affairs at Natera and a board-certified genetic counselor specializing in prenatal testing and screening. She joined Natera in 2013, after 11 years as the lead prenatal genetic counselor at a high-risk prenatal diagnosis clinic and cytogenetic laboratory. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Sheetal received her BA in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley and her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of Cincinnati.