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Mother kissing smiling baby on the cheek

It wasn't hard for Shara Watkins to get pregnant. It was hard for her to stay pregnant.

In 2016, she was devastated by two miscarriages. With the help of several medications, she successfully carried a child last year.

Shara and her husband, Robert, were elated when she reached her second trimester, the phase when the highest risk of miscarriage subsides.

Unfortunately the San Mateo, Calif., couple's struggles continued.

Shara spent four months of her pregnancy on bedrest. When their doctor offered extensive genetic testing to check the health of their fetus, the couple leaped at the opportunity. Shara had a history of rare disease in her family.

"I had a high-risk pregnancy, and there had been a lot of complications prior to this," says Shara. "And, so I just wanted to have all the information that I could."

Glut of information available to expecting parents

In the past, doctors may have screened parents for a few suspect diseases common to their specific ethnicity or family history. But now a growing number of companies offer extensive panels testing for hundreds of... see more