Mandatory Tests For Pregnant Women
Many tests are available once female patients become pregnant.
A doctor’s goal is to manage the health of the mother and the unborn child.
Screening tests are optional tests that pregnant mothers will be offered at different stages of their pregnancies. These tests are done to control out possible complications that sometimes occur during pregnancy.
Though the chances of the tests coming back with unwanted results are low, it’s still good for the patient to know.
Usually, these tests will set the mom to be’s mind at ease. If the results were to return abnormal, the patient would have more time prepare for the road ahead.
This article goes through the short list of tests we believe ALL pregnant women should have done.
That said, midwives and doctors are the best sources of information when it comes to pregnancy screening tests. They can best explain how medical tests are performed, how they work, and how long before you will know the outcome.
General Medical Tests Performed During Pregnancy
Height And Weight
There are several routine things pregnant women can expect when visiting their doctor or midwife. One of the first things they’ll check is the patient’s height and weight. Being significantly overweight or underweight is never good especially while pregnant.
The mom may need to lose or gain weight to be healthier and decrease the chances of undesirable complications. In this case, they can receive counseling from their practitioner. If the patient began at the normal weight, the doctor would also want to make sure they are gaining weight. Gradually putting on pounds during pregnancy is to be expected if the baby is developing normally.
The doctor or midwife will perform checks at different milestones of the pregnancy. Besides the ultrasounds, doctors can also check the growth of the baby by measuring the mother’s baby bump. They’ll use a measuring tape to figure out the distance from the top of the mother’s protruding tummy to the bottom. This should also grow larger during the pregnancy if everything is going well.
Sometimes a mother’s blood pressure can fluctuate a little during pregnancy. It’s fine as long as its stays within a certain range. If the mom’s blood pressure gets too high, Preeclampsia can occur. Preeclampsia is associated with the placenta not functioning properly, so the sooner it is diagnosed, the better. The doctor will want to do additional monitoring and medical testing to see that everything stays under control.
Position Of The Fetus
The position of the baby is vital to know in later stages of the pregnancy. If the baby is breeched, pregnant women will have options to consider. Babies should come out head first, but sometimes the baby can be upside-down. If the baby’s feet are at the birth canal, attempts can be made to turn the baby. This procedure can be very painful, so the doctor may also have pregnant women consider a C-section.
Down Syndrome Screening
Screening tests for Down’s Syndrome are one of the most common tests for pregnant women will elect to do. Most of the time babies that would have been born with Down ‘s Syndrome do not survive the second trimester of pregnancy. Screening for Down Syndrome is often recommended by the end of the first or start of the second trimester.
Medical testing will show if the fetus has an extra chromosome. Normal genes have forty-six but having forty-seven can come with a host of serious medical conditions. The most common are Down Syndrome, but others that lead to infant mortality can occur too. This screening test is a blood test. Other more invasive tests may be recommended if the initial test results are positive.
Placenta Previa Testing
Medical Testing for Placenta Previa is often advised for pregnant women to have as they enter their third trimester.
Although not common, sometimes the placenta can get stuck over the opening into the birth canal. An ultrasound can reveal if the placenta could potentially be blocking the baby from exiting through the cervix and into the vagina.
If caught early, then these things can be done to ensure a safer birth for the baby.
The Importance of Medical Testing During Pregnancy
As stated before, medical testing is a strong suggestion, not a requirement.
Pregnant women under the age of eighteen and above the age of thirty-five run a higher risk for complications.
Pregnant women who did not take fetal vitamins or did not know they were pregnant for months may also be at a higher risk.
If you smoked or drank during their pregnancy, then the baby’s good health could be in question.
It’s strongly suggested for pregnant women who fall into these categories to undergo all of the tests above.