Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and pregnant women's views on good motherhood: a qualitative study

Elisa Garcia, Lidewij Henneman, Janneke T Gitsels-van der Wal, Linda Martin, Isabel Koopmanschap, Mireille N Bekker, Danielle R M Timmermans

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Abstract

Women's views on responsible motherhood influence decision-making regarding participation in prenatal screening. Previous studies showed that the probabilistic nature of the first-trimester combined test and the potential requirement for subsequent invasive diagnostics serve as legitimate reasons for women to exclude prenatal screening from their moral responsibilities. These moral barriers might now be less relevant with the introduction of the non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) resulting in women feeling a moral duty to use NIPT screening as part of responsible motherhood. This qualitative study explores the impact of NIPT on women's moral beliefs about the meaning of prenatal screening in relation to responsible motherhood. We performed semi-structured interviews with 29 pregnant women who were offered NIPT as a first-tier screening test within a Dutch nationwide study (TRIDENT-2). Results show that the inherent uncertainty about the fetus's health despite improved accuracy and the lack of treatment for a detected disorder, combined with the possibility to obtain information about actionable anomalies through the fetal anomaly scan, support women's perspectives that NIPT is not an obligation of responsible motherhood. Acceptance of NIPT is considered to be a free decision related to the information each woman needs to be a good mother for her child and her family. Women's views may change when NIPT has expanded to include treatable or preventable conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Early online date17 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2021

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