What to Expect When You Are Expecting

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There are so many changes your body goes through when you are pregnant, but there are also some screenings you may need to undergo to determine your health and the health of your unborn child; especially in your first and third trimesters.

  • First trimester testing may include blood and urine samples to determine
  • The level of the hCG hormone
  • Check for a kidney infection
  • Blood glucose for diabetes
  • Blood typing
  • Rh factor

Additionally, your blood could be tested for anemia, rubella (German measles), hepatitis B, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

As your pregnancy progresses, your obstetrician may order tests for diseases such as toxoplasmosis (toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the world’s most common parasites) and varicella (the virus that causes chickenpox).

If you are like most pregnant women, the only tests you’ll need in your third trimester are routine screenings. They are a combination of additional blood and urine tests, blood pressure check, measurement of your uterus and a check of your baby’s heartbeat and an ultrasound to mark the baby’s due date and fetal development.

You may be tested for group B streptococcus, a bacterium that you can pass to your child during delivery. If you test positive, you will need to receive antibiotics during labor to prevent your baby from becoming ill.

Depending on your racial, ethnic or family background, genetic testing may be required, as well as a:

  • Nonstress Test – Woman who are carrying multiples or have chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Aminiocentesis – This test is commonly done in the second trimester to diagnose or rule out fetal birth defects, and is generally recommended to women wo are age 35 and older.

It sounds like a great deal of testing, but the majority of the tests are minimally invasive and necessary since these conditions can affect the baby’s health and well-being.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.