Dear Dr Mitchell,
I've read that a paternity test can be done while pregnant, and I desperately want to have one done. I just found out I'm five weeks pregnant and want to prove to my boyfriend that he's the father of the baby. Can you help me, please?
A paternity test can be done while pregnant, or after the baby is born. Foetal cells can be retrieved from the mother's blood, and DNA testing done to determine several factors including paternity testing. Foetal blood group, sickle cell test, screening for chromosomal disorders and determination of foetal sex are some of the possible factors that can be tested for.
This test can be done through CARIGEN, located on the University of the West Indies campus at Mona, Kingston 7. The test results are usually available within one to two weeks and are fairly reliable.
You should consult your doctor, who will write the request form. You will go directly to CARIGEN at the New Medical Services Complex where the blood sample will be taken from you and the test done. Your spouse will also need to have a blood sample done, so you should take him along with you.
In the meantime, you should ensure that you eat healthy and take your prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements to ensure that your body is healthy. You should also keep up with your antenatal visits and follow your doctor's advice to ensure that you have an excellent outcome.
Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Ave, Kingston 5; or fax to 968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.