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Welcome to Genetic Counseling


Good morning, everybody. Thanks for coming. We’re glad you’re here.

Well, a couple of things before we get started. First of all, I see that you’ve brought this Purple Book with you. Pregnancy and childbirth — we call it The Purple Book for obvious reasons — but this is a book that we give to the entire DoD population. We hand it out to moms and hope they take advantage of it. What this is, really quickly, is a reflection of what we call the VA/DoD Pregnancy Guidelines. And this is the whole evidence-based way of taking care of moms during their pregnancy. We went through and figured out “Should we do this?,” “Should we not do that?,” — based on all the evidence. So this is your view of that. It’s cutting edge medicine. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it and take advantage of it.

Let me show you a couple of things that I think you’ll find helpful. First of all, half of you or more are in the military and there are some sections in here that are really relevant to you. On page 95, it talks about if you’re in the Army, what do you do and then in the Navy, and in the Marines, and so forth. And it gives you some specific guidance about what to do for your pregnancy profiles, uniform wear, and so forth. So make sure you take advantage of that if you’re active duty. And it gives you some help, some websites, and things like that even that you can go to.

There’s another page that I thought I would highlight for you. In the very beginning, there is a section called “the birth of a mother.” And this talks about this whole process. It’s a brand new thing, even if you’ve had a baby before. Going through this again, the dynamics are different. But, this section talks a little bit about what’s happening with you as you go through your pregnancy, and there’s a lot that refers back to this. You’ll find places in here for an opportunity for you to write some journal comments. Think about it. There are some specific questions to get you to think about some things that I think will help you be prepared.

There’s a section for dads. Can’t forget that. On page 103, there are some anatomy pictures. And there’s a section in here a lot of people like on page 107 that talks about common discomforts and annoyances of pregnancy. So lots of things are happening. Some you might not admit, some you will. But make sure you look in there. There are things like what kinds of medicines are good to take or are safe to take in pregnancy and so forth. So start with that.

There are some more resources toward the back, and we will actually come back to one section here called “genetic testing.” It’s on page 142, so make sure that you find that spot as we go along.

Okay, let me tell you about one more treasure for you and this is the DoD/VA Pregnancy Passport. This is an amazing little piece of paper that can contain all the key information about your pregnancy. The idea came from Europe. We had moms show up and come to clinics where they had never been seen before. This has all the visit information, all the main problems, information for labs and ultrasounds, and any issues that might come up. So make sure you keep it.