Understanding tests and screenings during pregnancy

After successfully passing your first prenatal test- Peeing on a stick, it’s now time to focus on other tests as well. Medical tests enable you to understand your health and that of your baby. Most of these pregnancy-related tests comprise of noninvasive prenatal tests (NIPT) that are safe and accurate.

Besides the baby’s health, these tests will identify problems and complications that may occur in your pregnancy. Early knowledge prepares you to find ways of solving common medical problems. Here are some of the tests to expect:

  1. Prenatal tests

Prenatal tests diagnose your health and your baby’s. Prenatal tests include some common tests and screenings that check for health inconsistencies. Your doctor may use ultrasound to check whether your baby is growing well. Your doctor will monitor your baby’s placenta regularly, as it is responsible for your baby’s breathing, nutrients uptake, and excretion of waste products.

  • First trimester tests & screenings
    • Urine tests: Your urine will be regularly tested for diabetes, preeclampsia and urinary tract infections (UTI)
    • Rh factor testing: Rhesus is one of the proteins carried by the red blood cells. Rhesus positive mothers are fine but Rhesus negative mothers will need an effective treatment to protect their babies.
    • Initial blood workup: Your doctor will perform some blood tests to screen for hCG levels, STI’s, blood type and vitamin D deficiency.
    • Ultrasound: Ultrasound gives you a close look-up of your baby.
    • Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT): NIPT involves blood screening that analyzes your baby’s DNA in the bloodstream. The screens help to detect genetic disorders such as Down syndrome in a baby.

Other tests and screenings include a CVS test and NT screening

  • Second-trimester tests
    • Quad screen: The blood screen helps you make a decision on genetic testing in the future.
    • Level 2 ultrasound: It gives you a close glimpse of your growing baby
    • Glucose screening: The screen checks for gestational diabetes-if the doctor detects the disease early, they can easily manage it.

Other 2nd trimester tests include   3D and 4D ultrasound and amniocentesis.

  • Third-trimester tests& screenings
    • Nonstress test: The test checks for the health and well-being of your baby
    • Biophysical profile: Biophysical profile checks are ideal for high-risk moms and overdue babies. Physicians use the biophysical profile checks to determine whether it’s the right time for inducing labor.
    • Group B strep tests: These tests check for group B strep infection in pregnant women.

Doctors’ can also carry specific tests on some mothers. During the screens and tests, consult your doctor on their outcomes and seek advice for maintaining the health of your growing baby.

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