Antenatal and Newborn Screening

This page is about the screening tests you will be offered while you are pregnant and after your baby is born

Screening tests are used to find people at high risk of a health problem

This gives the people at risk of health problems the opportunity to get earlier treatment and make informed decisions about their health.

However, screening tests are not perfect and they can not tell you for certain if you do have a health problem. A screening test will only tell you if you are at high or low risk of the health problem.

It is also possible that you could be told you are at high risk of having a health problem when you do not have one, or that you are low risk when you do have a health problem.

It is important you understand the purpose and possible results of a screening test before you decide whether to have it. It is your decision whether or not to have any of the tests offered to you.

Screening tests during pregnancy and beyond include:

People found to be at high risk of a health problem will often be offered a second test

This is called a diagnostic test and it can give you a yes or no answer about whether you have a health problem.

Because diagnostic testing can be quite complicated you will receive counselling from the maternity screening team to help you to make a decision about having a diagnostic test.

 The screening timeline explains which screening tests will be offered during your pregnancy and after your baby is born


To see a larger version of the screening timeline image above please click the image above or click the link below to download it as a PDF.

To give you more information about the screening during pregnancy programme the National Screening Committee has written the booklet attached below, explaining the screening tests in detail. Your community midwife will have also given you a copy of this.

Screening tests for you and your baby

Screening tests for you and your baby

Click the image to the right to view this Public Health England booklet containing information on screening tests for you and your baby.




Being screened is entirely your choice. Please ask if there is anything about it that you do not understand.

For more information on screening you can visit the following websites: