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PSY FPX 6010 Assessment 1 Noninvasive Prenatal Testing Overview


Capella University

PSY FPX 6010 Human Prenatal Development

Prof. Name


General Information

Ensuring the health of a fetus during pregnancy is crucial, requiring thorough assessment of genetic and chromosomal factors. Numerous tests, both invasive and non-invasive, are available to identify potential risks before birth (Gross, 2019). Since its introduction in 2011, non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) has become widely adopted due to its ability to evaluate genetic anomalies without endangering the fetus (Montgomery & Thayer, 2020). While NIPT does not provide a definitive diagnosis, it highlights elevated risks for certain conditions (Montgomery & Thayer, 2020).

Description of NIPT

NIPT examines cell-free DNA present in a pregnant woman’s blood, offering a procedure with minimal risk similar to a routine blood test (Montgomery & Thayer, 2020). It accurately identifies common chromosomal abnormalities such as trisomy 21, 18, and 13 (Samura, 2020). Additionally, NIPT can determine the fetus’s sex and is generally performed around the tenth week of pregnancy (Montgomery & Thayer, 2020).

Benefits and Limitations

NIPT provides psychological advantages by reducing anxiety among expectant parents (Kater-Kuipers et al., 2018). However, it is not infallible; false positives and negatives can occur, potentially leading to false reassurance or undue concern (Samura, 2019). Despite these limitations, NIPT gives parents the opportunity to prepare for any special medical needs of the child and allows for enhanced monitoring during the pregnancy (Montgomery & Thayer, 2020).

The Role of the Genetic Counselor

Genetic counseling is vital in helping expectant parents understand the implications of NIPT results (Kater-Kuipers et al., 2021). Counselors assist in making informed decisions and offer support, including referrals to relevant advocacy groups (Kater-Kuipers et al., 2021).


NIPT is a safe and effective method for evaluating fetal health, especially in high-risk pregnancies. However, its use requires informed decision-making, which can be significantly supported by genetic counseling.


Azri, S., Larmar, S., & Cartmel, J. (2014). Social work’s role in prenatal diagnosis and genetic services: Current practice and future potential. Australian Social Work, 67(3), 348–362.

PSY FPX 6010 Assessment 1 Noninvasive Prenatal Testing Overview

Benoy, M.E., Iruretagoyena, J.I., Birkeland, L.E., & Petty, E.M. (2021). The impact of insurance on equitable access to non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPT): private insurance may not pay. Journal of Community Genetics, 12(1), 185-197. doi:10.1007/s12687-020-00498-w

Gross, D. (2019). Infancy: Development from birth to age 3 (3rd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield.

Kater-Kuipers, A., Bakkeren, I. M., Riedijk, S. R., Go, A. T. J. I., Polak, M. G., Galjaard, R. H., … & Bunnik, E. M. (2021). Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT): Societal pressure or freedom of choice? A vignette study of Dutch citizens’ attitudes. European Journal of Human Genetics, 29(1), 2-10. doi:

Kater-Kuipers, A., Bunnik, E. M., de Beaufort, I. D., & Galjaard, R. (2018). Limits to the scope of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT): An analysis of the international ethical framework for prenatal screening and an interview study with Dutch professionals. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 18(1), 409.

Labonté, V., Alsaid, D., Lang, B., & Meerpohl, J. J. (2019). Psychological and social consequences of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT): A scoping review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19(1), 385. doi:

Montgomery, S., & Thayer, Z. M. (2020). The influence of experiential knowledge and societal perceptions on decision-making regarding non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 20(1), 1-14. doi:

PSY FPX 6010 Assessment 1 Noninvasive Prenatal Testing Overview

Samura, O. (2020). Update on noninvasive prenatal testing: A review based on current worldwide research. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, 46(8), 1246–1254. doi:

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