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Pregnant women encouraged to take tests early

PUBLISHED: 16:06 19 October 2010

PREGNANT women should book a doctor's appointment as early as possible say health bosses, to ensure they have all the right screening tests.

Health chiefs at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney have said some women still leave it quite late before booking an appointment at their doctor’s when they fall pregnant.

There are three antenatal screening programmes carried out consisting of several tests. Some cannot be carried out if the pregnancy is over a certain time period.

Jamie Scott, public health screening manager for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “Most women go to their doctors fairly early on in their pregnancy, but we want to make sure all women – and their unborn child – have the option of these screening programmes. Therefore both mother and child and can obtain the most benefit from them.

“All screening programmes are optional, but if you book as early as possible and by eight weeks of pregnancy not only does it give you informed choices at the earlier stage of pregnancy but it enables your clinicians to plan and start appropriate treatment for you and your baby earlier, should the test show up something you may not have known about.”

For more information on NHS screening programmes go to www.screening.nhs.uk/england.

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