Genetic counselors are board-certified in genetic counseling. Genetic counseling is an important part of the decision-making process for prenatal testing. Our genetic counselor evaluates the medical and family histories of patients to find out if there is an increased chance of birth defects or other problems. The counselor explains testing options, benefits and risks of testing and reasons why patients choose or decline to have testing. The genetic counselor provides follow-up for patients to discuss their individual test results.

Genetic Counselors are specialized health professionals that talk with patients about genetic risks, explain genetic concepts, available testing and address psychological issues associated with these topics.  Genetic Counselors are board certified in genetic counseling.  Prenatal genetic counselors deal specifically with patients who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy and have genetic risks that could affect their future offspring. 

Reasons for Referring to a Genetic Counselor include:

  • Advanced Maternal Age
  • Abnormal Pregnancy Screening
  • Family History of a Genetic Disorder
  • Previous Child with a Genetic Disorder or Chromosome Abnormality
  • Teratogen Exposure(a drug or other agent that causes abnormal prenatal development)

Genetic counselors evaluate the medical and family histories of patients to find out if there is an increased chance for birth defects or other problems.    The counselors interpret information about any disorder in the family and discuss the risk for the patient's pregnancy.  The genetic counselors can also provide information and counseling regarding medication or other exposures in pregnancy.  

Genetic counselors explain testing options, the benefits and risks of testing and reasons why patients choose to have or not to have testing.  Having genetic counseling does not obligate a patient to have any testing.

Genetic counselors provide support to patients who learn there is a possible problem with their baby.  The genetic counselors report the patient's test results personally and explain the meaning of the results.

Genetic counselors also provide preconception counseling to couples with a family history of genetic disorders or couples experiencing recurrent pregnancy losses.

Genetic counselors are available as educators and a resource for other health care professionals and for the general public.   

Janet E. Ulm, M.S.S.W.,C.G.C., is a native of Tennessee and is board certified in Genetic Counseling by the American Board of Medical Genetics.   Janet graduated summa cum laude from Carson-Newman College with a degree in Biology.  She then completed her Master's degree at the University of Tennessee.  Janet has over 20 years of experience in Genetic Counseling, working in the areas of adult, pediatric, cancer, newborn screening, infertility and prenatal.  She was the Director of the Tennessee Statewide Genetics Program from 1991 to 1993.  She then began and developed the Genetic Counseling program at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC prior to her return to Tennessee. Janet is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the American Society of Human Genetics, the American College of Medical Genetics, and the Tennessee Genetic Counselors Association.  She is a published author and has developed numerous patient education booklets.  Janet has organized workshops and educational programs for physicians and other healthcare professionals.  She has also made many presentations to nursing, ultrasound and medical students as well as the general public.  Janet joined the staff of Regional Obstetrical Consultants in 2005.


Regional Obstetrical Consultants serving mothers and babies throughout Southeast Tenn, North GA and Western NC.
902 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN
(423) 664-4460 | (866) 4HI-RISK