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kesrya 07-30-2014 02:40 PM

What's your opinion on Harmony test?
I wasn't sure where to post this, but most value the opinion of the women who, like me, have chosen homebirth.

I am pregnant with my second child. First was delivered via a wonderful, uncomplicated homebirth over three years ago. I will be doing a homebirth again with this child, though with a different midwife as my previous HB midwife basically got run out of practice.

I was 32 at the birth of my son, and we decline all of the typical pre-natal screenings. Now I will be 36 at the birth, and the new midwife asked if I would be considering any of them, including a test called Harmony for women over 35.

Did you do a Harmony test?

I don't really know why I am even considering it. Maybe because I had a miscarriage about a year ago. Maybe because it is based off a non-invasive blood test, so it seems rather quick and easy.

During my first pregnancy, my son was 3 weeks post due, and during one of the biophysical profile u/s done in the last two weeks, the technician asked us what follow-up testing we had done on the bright spot on his heart. We went into a panic because it was the first we had heard of it. Apparently, it was seen on the 20 week fetal anatomy u/s but because it is considered an extremely soft marker, there were no other soft markers, and we had already declined screenings, our midwife did not mention it (which I am happy about, and the technician shouldn't have blabbed like that anyways). I don't want to go through that again and get all worked up over something that could mean something but most of the time means absolutely nothing. Are the results of Harmony like this? Or are they more conclusive?

BlessedOne 08-01-2014 02:18 PM

I am not over 35 yet, so I am not the best person to answer. I will be 31 when this baby is born and it wont surprise me if that by 35 or after I have more babies.
I personally am not into testing for things for the most part. Primarily because in most instances nothing can be done while pregnant and no test is going to make me change my mind about keeping the baby. So to me, it just causes undue stress. =S

IdentityCrisisMama 08-03-2014 07:35 AM

My I suggest you post in the general birth forum for more experience with this test? I don't think there is anything incompatible about this test and HB but you may just not get as many HB parents who have had it - mainly because we are still a relatively small minority of birthing women.

sierramtngirl 08-03-2014 02:07 PM

I had maternity 21 & was planning a home birth. I didn't get it but that's another story entirely. Maternity 21 is a similar test, and I was comfortable with the accuracy when I took it. It is ~99% accurate in detecting aneuplodies. It actually made me more comfortable in my decision to pursue a home birth.

phathui5 08-09-2014 03:43 PM

I have a friend who had the testing done and was told that it would be billed to her insurance. The insurance sent her a check for a tiny portion of it. Now, she's stuck with the $1300 remainder of the lab bill.

Vespertina 08-12-2014 06:23 PM

I'm planning a homebirth again. I had the first trimester screening last time. This time I opted for the Harmony. It was done at 10 weeks, and I received my results, the risk assessment, about 11 days later. My first son had Ds, and died from heart complications. So it was imperative that I know my risks, have as much information as possible so we can prepare and hopefully rule out the more serious complications.

Most insurances cover it if you're high risk, and if they don't, the max the patient has to pay is between $200-250. They bill the insurance the full cost, but if the insurance doesn't pay it then the patient is billed a very reduced fee. This has been discussed a lot in various due date groups I'm in.

alk209 08-15-2014 12:28 PM

I avoided all testing with my first pregnancy because I was concerned about the anxiety and uncertainty that they all offered (I really didn't want to be in a position of getting an "iffy" result and then having to go for follow-up testing weeks later). With my current pregnancy, I'm older and my hubby is older, so I was a little more easily sold, and it was my impression that the Harmony test would be more of a "yes" or "no" result, but after I got the blood draw I did a Google search and found a lot of women who got in-between results that meant they had to follow-up, or just spent weeks or months questioning things. I did get a definitive (fine) result, but given the other possibilities I'm not sure if I would do it again.

fireflies~for~me 12-28-2014 11:01 AM

I also had Maternit21 done and although I haven't gotten the bill yet, YIKES, my provider said insurance would cover because of my age. I work in Early Intervention, so either way it was going to be stressful for me: to wait and then know or not know:(

Vespertina, I'm sorry for your loss, mama. Happy to see that your subsequent baby did not have complications? xo

pazatron 01-25-2015 11:38 AM

i had the panorama prenatal screening and the harmony genetic recessive carrier test as well. my ob's office has a policy of only charging the mother a MAX of $25 out of pocket for each test, regardless of ins coverage (although united healthcare covered both tests 100%). at the office, they said the only reason you may get inconclusive results for the test is if you have it too early or the mother is carrying extra weight. either of those situations will lead to inconclusive results b/c there's just not enough of the baby's dna in the mother's bloodstream to provide adequate genetic material for the test. because of this, they offer the testing at 10 weeks, even though you can get it earlier elsewhere.

with my 1st 2 kids, i didn't have any sort of testing b/c nothing non-invasive like this was available yet. i felt like it was a no-brainer for me, because we wanted to find out the sex of the babe this time, and it provided DH and i with peace of mind to know that the babe was healthy, and it was good to know i'm not a recessive carrier of any problematic genetic disorders. we got conclusive healthy results, even though the office caved and did the test for me at 9wks (but i'm petite and the 10wk mark was right at thanksgiving, otherwise i would have ben happy to wait til 10wks).

eta: our UHC insurance covers this test for all moms, regardless of mom's risk factors. i called ins and asked just to be sure i wouldn't be stuck with some crazy bill.

Verdahekawi 01-26-2015 10:29 AM

We decided not to do it. They claim 99% accuracy but I've read from a few different sources that independent testing of their results has shown that it is 99% accurate if your results are negative, but only about 50% accurate if you get a positive. So we had to decide if the potential relief of having a negative result was worth the risk that we could potentially get a positive result and then have a 50/50 chance of worrying over nothing. Additionally I'm overweight and as others have mentioned that can affect the accuracy. So for us we ultimately decided not to and hope that if our child does have a genetic disorder that affects major organs and/or survivability that issues would be apparent at the 20 week anatomy scan. (We also skipped the NT because of the high rate of false positives, but felt that doing at least the anatomy scan was important since I'm planning an out-of-hospital birth and want to know if there's a real reason I should be birthing somewhere with a NICU.) I totally understand if people look at the same information and decide to go ahead and do it because it wasn't a cut and dry decision, we had to talk it out for a while, but ultimately we passed on it. The perk of finding out the sex early wasn't an issue for us as we're planning to wait until the birth anyway.

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