As a pregnant woman living in the Netherlands, you have the option of having your child tested before birth. In this way, you can opt for tests that screen for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes. It is worth noting that not all pregnant women opt for screening tests, but all will be offered them.

Screening for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes

If you decide to have your child tested for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes, you can choose to have:

  • A combined test: a blood test between the ninth and fourteenth week and an ultrasound scan between the eleventh and fourteenth week of pregnancy.

or

  • The NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing): a blood test that can be performed in the eleventh week of pregnancy or later.

You can download leaflets about the screening for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes in ten translated languages.

Twenty-week ultrasound

Parents who are expecting a child can have their unborn baby tested for spina bifida or other genetic disorders. The ultrasound is performed between the 18th and 22nd weeks of pregnancy.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment ) is actively involved in this topic. Unfortunately, most information is currently available only in Dutch. Information in English will be added to the website shortly.

Some RIVM publications are available in English. Please use the link in the document and publication box to go to the ‘Library’ section.

RIVM protects and promotes human health and environmental quality. It acts as the Dutch government’s main centre of expertise in these areas.

Diagnostic tests

Screening tests can tell you how likely it is that your baby may have a condition. Only a diagnostic test can tell you whether your baby actually has the condition.

More information

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) is actively involved in this topic. Some RIVM publications are available in English. Please use the link on the right of this page to go to the ‘Library’ section.
RIVM protects and promotes human health and environmental quality. It is the Dutch government’s main centre of expertise in these areas.