Page 14 - Great Expectations

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14 – Great Expectations
Throughout your entire pregnancy, the well-being of you and your baby is your healthcare provider’s main concern.
Thanks to medical technology, new and innovative tests are available to carefully monitor your health and the progress
of your baby. Today, many fetal problems can be detected and treated while the baby is still in the womb. The different
prenatal tests at times can be confusing, especially to first-time mothers. Your healthcare provider has 4 categories of
tests that are utilized during pregnancy.
Routine tests
are performed on virtually all pregnant mothers to detect conditions that might be harmful and treatable.
Screening tests
such as blood tests or ultrasounds are part of all prenatal care. Several screening tests are performed
on all pregnant mothers, regardless of family history and risk factors. Others are only used for mothers considered to
be high-risk (age at pregnancy, ethnic background, etc.). If a screening test indicates the possibility of an abnormality,
your healthcare provider will most likely order related diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic tests
are used to make certain the diagnosis of a condition. It is used when screening tests might indicate
a problem. It is also utilized when maternal age, family history, or your medical history indicates the likelihood of a
medical problem. Diagnostic tests may carry additional risks and are not considered routine for all pregnant mothers.
Monitoring tests
are done later in pregnancy to monitor the health of the baby as it matures in the mother's womb.
Routine Tests
These test are routinely performed on all pregnant mothers during their pregnancy. They are designed to give baseline
medical information about the overall health of the mother and allow for treatment of conditions that could prove
harmful to the mother and/or baby during pregnancy.
These include the following:
• Complete blood count
• Serology (syphilis test)
• Rubella screen (German measles test)
• Blood type, Rh factor, and antibody screen
• HIV testing (with permission)
• Hepatitis B screening
• Urinalysis (and culture if necessary)
• Glucose tolerance test (later in pregnancy)
• Group B strep culture (later in pregnancy)
• Ultrasound (use is determined by healthcare provider)
Abnormal results on any of these tests may require special treatment or management during pregnancy. The glucose
tolerance test and group B strep cultures which are performed later in pregnancy are described in more detail next
in this section.
Keeping Track of
Your Baby’s Health