During Your Pregnancy
Routine medical tests to ensure the health of the mother and unborn child are an important part of prenatal care. Some tests, including blood pressure and hemoglobin, are given periodically throughout pregnancy while others are given at specific times. Tests may include:
- A Pap test to screen for precancerous abnormalities as well as sexually transmitted infections such as HPV, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Blood tests, to check a variety of measures of maternal health
- Ultrasound, to estimate due date and to monitor baby's growth and development
- Urine tests to measure your sugar (for diabetes) and protein levels (to watch for signs of preeclampsia, a pregnancy-induced condition that includes high blood pressure and swelling due to fluid retention)
- Chromosomal testing, to evaluate risk for Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities that may affect fetal growth and development.
- Quad screen, blood tests to detect certain genetic/birth defects. The tests screen for conditions such as open neural tube defects (ONTD), Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities.
- Depending on several different factors, including previous test results, some women may also have additional tests including amniocentesis (a test of the amniotic fluid) and chorionic villus sampling or CVS, a test performed on placental tissue.
- At about 20 weeks, a detailed ultrasound to evaluate fetal and placental health
- Screening test for gestational diabetes
- A test for group B streptococcus (GBS), a common bacteria that may cause no symptoms in the mother but can be dangerous of passed to the baby during childbirth
- Non stress test (NST) may be done if it has been determined that your baby should be monitored