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Prenatal Testing Guide

Prenatal testing is an important part of your pregnancy health care.

Every expecting parent wants to ensure their baby is healthy and thriving, and prenatal testing is one way to check on the health of mom and baby before delivery. Many prenatal tests are routine and performed as part of your regular OB appointments, while others are done when specially requested or if they are deemed necessary.

Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Test
The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test is available to women between their 15th and 20th week of pregnancy to screen for fetal abnormalities. Read the article

Amniocentesis is an optional prenatal test often performed during the second trimester of pregnancy (usually between 15 and 20 weeks) to test for some of the most common chromosomal and genetic birth defects. Read the article

Chorionic Villus Sampling
Chorionic Villus Sampling, or CVS, is a prenatal screening test used to detect chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome, and inherited diseases, such as Tay-Sachs and hemophilia. Read the article

Fetal Fibronectin Test
To help predict preterm delivery, some doctors now suggest that women with symptoms be given the fetal fibronectin (fFN) test. Read the article

GBS (Group B Streptococcus)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the number one cause of life threatening infections, such as sepsis and meningitis, in newborn babies, and is also a frequent cause of newborn pneumonia. Pregnant women are routinely tested for the bacteria late in pregnancy (35-37 weeks). Read the article

Genetic Counseling
Genetic counseling allows parents to stop worrying about, prepare for, or even prevent genetic disorders for which their baby may be at risk. Read the article

Glucose Tolerance Test
Gestational diabetes usually begins in the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy (between the 24th and 28th weeks), and it often has no symptoms, so most women are routinely tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Read the article

Non-Stress Test
Your obstetrician really has two patients: you and your baby. Your doctor can ask you how you are feeling and perform a variety of tests to determine your well-being, but the best way to determine how well your baby is faring in your uterus is by performing a non-stress test. Read the article

Nuchal Translucency Screening Test
The nuchal translucency screening test, also called the nuchal fold scan, is often used as the first test to determine whether you are at risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down Syndrome, trisomy 13 or trisomy 18. Read the article

Prenatal Blood Work
Now that you're expecting, get ready to give some blood and on a regular basis. By the end of your pregnancy and most certainly by the end of labor and delivery you will breeze through it like a pregnancy warrior. Read the article

Rh+, Rh-, and Rhogam
Rh status describes whether or not you have the Rh factor, a protein on the surface of red blood cells. Read the article

An ultrasound is a prenatal tool used by your health care provider to measure your baby's growth and evaluate the development of important organs and structures, including the head, abdomen, heart, stomach, bladder, umbilical cord and placenta. Read the article

At each of your prenatal visits, you'll be provided with a cup and a bathroom and asked to produce a urine sample. Read the article

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