Nutrition and Prenatal Tests are Vital for Future Parents | BGI Perspectives
Dr. Prasit Viriyakijpaiboon is a Thai obstetrician, sharing useful tips with families during the pre-pregnancy and pregnancy periods. The pre-pregnancy period is also referred to as "preconception", the time before and between pregnancies.
With over 10 years of experience in this field, Dr. Prasit is also the CEO of Health Smile Company Limited which provides specialized medical services such as noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
Advice for future parents
Dr. Prasit highlights that before or during pregnancy, Vitamin B complex, iron, and folic acid supplements are necessary for mothers. Folic acid is recommended for at least three months during the pre-pregnancy period. In addition, screening for genetic abnormalities during the pre-pregnancy period helps detect if there is a higher risk of genetic diseases.
As soon as mothers learn that they are pregnant, they should visit a hospital or any nursing institute for antenatal care. Mothers may choose the Quad Screen Test or NIPT to screen for Down syndrome risk. For greater accuracy, he recommends NIPT as its screening accuracy is 99%.
This way, they might not need to undergo amniocentesis which may increase the risks of miscarriage and infection.
Down syndrome, often presents moderate to severe intellectual disability and physical developmental abnormalities and has an incidence of about 1 in 800 to 1 in 1000, which increases significantly with maternal age
How has Thailand promoted reproductive health?
All Thai women have access to free antenatal care, including Down syndrome screening. Moreover, the Social Security Office provides support regarding child delivery expenses and monthly subsidies for child raising.
Screening tests that apply big data
Advances in Thailand's genome database allow developing screening tests for diseases earlier than ever before. Data is collected with greater depth and focus, allowing medical professionals to retrieve data such as race, family characteristics, etc. All this big data can be collected and further processed so that the relevant risks can be identified.
Dr. Prasit feels that genome-related technologies are helping humans live better and promote reproductive health. He adds, "the highest happiness and satisfaction in being an obstetrician is when parents bring their healthy babies home without any complications associated with pregnancy or child delivery."
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About NIFTY®: Non-invasive prenatal testing
To learn more about the NIFTY® Test - the world's leading non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), please see our website. The NIFTY Test is suitable for pregnant women from 10 weeks of pregnancy, with an estimated turnaround time of under seven days. There are over 10,000,000 NIFTY samples processed as of 2021.
About BGI Genomics
BGI Genomics, headquartered in Shenzhen China, is the world’s leading integrated solutions provider of precision medicine. Our services cover more than 100 countries and regions, involving more than 2,300 medical institutions. In July of 2017, as a subsidiary of BGI Group, BGI Genomics (300676.SZ) was officially listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.