Prenatal and Newborn Screening

Prenatal genetic screening can tell a pregnant woman her chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or an open neural tube defect. It is offered free of charge as a choice to all pregnant women with MSP coverage in BC.

The newborn screening program uses a blood test to identify babies who may have a treatable disorder. With early detection the chances of serious health problems are prevented or reduced later in life. If not treated, these disorders can cause severe mental handicap, growth problems, health problems and sudden infant death. A blood sample is usually taken between 24 and 48 hours after birth. This will be done before the baby leaves the hospital or, if a home birth, by a midwife at home.

The Biliary Atresia program offers information and resources for parents of newborns to screen for biliary atresia, a rare but serious liver disease that begins to affect newborns in the first month of life. Parents are asked to check their newborn’s stool colour against a colour card every day for the first month after birth. If they see an abnormal stool colour, they are to call or email the Biliary Atresia Home Screening Program directly.

Address / Contact Info

Perinatal Services BC West Tower, Suite 350
555 West 12th Ave. Vancouver, BCV5Z 3X7

Phone Numbers

Phone : (604)877-2121 ext 223772
Fax : (604) 872-1987

Service Details


Web Links

Location Map

Other Programs from This Organization

Aboriginal Pregnancy Passport Provides parents with health information; traditional teachings; growth charts; and a place to write down goals and dreams for their babies.

This program was last updated on 27 Aug 2018.