Iowa Maternal Prenatal Screening Program

A test available to all women during pregnancy, the Iowa Maternal Prenatal Screening Program (IMPSP) is designed to identify women with an increased risk to have a baby with Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 or an open neural tube defect. It may also identify women with an increased risk to have a baby with other kinds of birth defects or women at risk to develop a problem later in pregnancy.

Our IDPH team works with the providers who screen the babies. While most babies will be healthy, it is crucial that we work together because it could be a lifesaving detection.

There are two stages to the screening. The first involves an ultrasound and a blood sample in the first trimester, while the second involves a second blood sample between 15 – 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is important to note that if Stage Two is missed, a result may still be calculated using the information from stage one, but is unable to screen for open neural tube defects when analyzed alone. If Stage One is missing, Stage Two can still generate results. Iowa law requires that all maternal prenatal screening testing be conducted by the designated central testing laboratory at the State Hygienic Laboratory at The University of Iowa (SHL).

For more information:

If you have questions about the rights of research subjects, please contact the Human Subjects Office at the University of Iowa at (319) 335-6564.

Questions regarding this program may be directed to the state genetics coordinator at 1-800-383-3826.

Folic Acid

IDPH supports is preventative measures in pregnancy, including folic acid. The CDC has information bout research demonstrating the benefits of folic acid intake on their website here.

For more information for you and your patients, consult the following pages: