It is very common that every pregnant dreams for a healthy baby.
However, there are some serious health conditions that can develop and harm your baby during pregnancy.
Fortunately, you have a wide range of prenatal testing methods to identify and treat the health conditions that could cause danger to you and your unborn baby.
Prenatal testing is generally performed to detect the disorders in the unborn fetus.
In order to maintain a healthy baby, gain knowledge about the prenatal testing methods to detect them early for right treatment.
With prenatal testing, it is possible to detect the mother’s treatable health conditions that can affect the baby. It also helps detect the characteristics such as age, sex, size, and the position of the baby.
Also determine the risk of developing congenital, genetic, or chromosomal problems in the developing baby. You can also detect abnormalities in the fetus such as heart problems.
The prenatal testing methods vary from one pregnancy trimester to another. Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters where each trimester includes three months.
The prenatal testing usually starts from your first prenatal visit where your doctor performs a pelvic examination to assess the condition of your pregnancy.
The doctor may also perform a Pap smear to determine the presence of abnormal cells. The doctor also recommends a blood test to determine the blood type, the Rh factor as well as the blood count to ensure anemia.
The doctor also recommends a urine test to determine the urinary tract infections and other related infections. A glucose challenge test is suggested when you have gestational diabetes.
On the other hand, screening tests are performed from 9 weeks to 13 weeks pregnant, to determine the possibility of developing chromosomal disorders and birth defects in the baby.
A carrier screening is offered depending on your family medical history and your personal health to identify the possibility of developing genetic disorders including thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell disease.
In some cases, your doctor suggests a chorionic villus sampling (CVS), which is a genetic diagnostic prenatal testing method to determine the chromosomal abnormalities that may affect the unborn baby. Generally, the test is done between 11 and 12 weeks of pregnancy.
During 15-18 weeks, a multiple marker screening is done to determine the chances of developing chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects in the baby.
During 16-20 weeks, an ultrasound test is recommended to identify physical abnormalities as well as to determine your due date. Also, an amniocentesis is recommended to identify whether the baby has Down syndrome and genetic disorders.
Around 24-28 weeks, a glucose-screening test is performed to determine gestational diabetes.
Between 35 and 37 weeks, prenatal testing is done to identify an infection called group B strep, which can infect your baby easily. So, it is always good to have all these tests in order to keep the baby free from diseases and to maintain a healthy pregnancy.