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Prenatal Testing and Ultrasound 0

prenatal testing and ultrasoundAuthor: Mandy Robinson With advances in technology, even if there was a problem with the prenatal development of your baby, doctors are able to respond sooner. This is all made possible due to technologies such as prenatal testing and ultrasound. It is a common misconception that pregnancy testing takes place only once, at the beginning of your pregnancy. Nothing could be further from the truth - from ultrasounds to blood tests, you will be bombarded with test after test up until even the very morning of your delivery date. 1. Primary Testing Quite a lot of blood work is performed initially for various reasons including whether you are Rh negative or positive, your immunity to viruses such as rubella, and whether you have a more serious condition such as hepatitis B, or HIV. At this initial visit you will also receive a physical and internal examination to check your capability for giving birth, and if necessary, a PAP smear. 2. Ultrasound Ultrasound, unfortunately, is not merely a tool that allows the mother to see her child before it is born, or to determine the sex of the child prior to childbirth. The real purpose of an ultrasound is to detect fetal development problems in advance or to pinpoint potential delivery problems such as placenta previa. Don't worry, however, this is actually a routine procedure carried out at 18 weeks for all pregnant women. Ultrasounds can:
  • Determine early the gender of the baby
  • Measure the placenta
  • Check embryonic fluid composition
  • Ensure the umbilical cord is not causing any complications
  • Ensure there is no internal bleeding
3. Gestational Diabetes Testing for gestational diabetes is carried out on all pregnant women during their second trimester. This primarily involves fasting until the test, then drinking a special glucose drink, waiting a specified period of time and then checking the blood sugar level with a simple finger prick blood test. If the blood sugar levels are off the charts then you will have to go for additional blood testing at a later date. 4. Amniocentesis You are only eligible for this level of testing if you are over 35 years of age or if you have a medical history in your family such as Down's syndrome. Usually carried out between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, there is a slight risk of miscarriage as a result of this test so it is not compulsory. 5. Chorionic Villus Sampling The most feared and invasive of all pregnancy tests, this is an exhausting test for a woman to endure. Carried out between weeks 10 and 13 of pregnancy. This test is only carried out when there is an absolutely urgent need to determine the health status of the baby. About the author: For more great pregnancy related articles and resources check out great-pregnancy.info Sheryl's comment: Please do not assume that just because these tests are routine that they are safe. They are certainly not natural. If you love your child with your whole heart and there is no way you would terminate your pregnancy despite Down's syndrome or some other condition, then refuse the CVS or the amniocentisis (unless you are really concerned about your OBGYN's Mercedes payment).   Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/sunshinedays/400372857/