Pre-natal test can reveal potential problems early so that steps can be taken to ensure a healthy outcome for you and your child. Some screening and diagnostic test can also be done to determine if your child is at risk of certain chromosomal anomalies
The most common test includes:
Hemoglobin levels (CBC) – helps in the diagnosis of anemia, a complication of pregnancy that occurs as a result of iron deficiency. It can be increase the risk of low birth and premature birth. Also, can cause problems if you bleed too much during delivery. It is addressed by a therapeutic dose of iron.
Blood type and the presence of antibodies to the Rhesus factor– as problems can occur if the mother has anti-bodies to the fetal blood, in particular antibody to the Rhesus factor.
Test for Syphilis (RPR) – this is a sexually transmitted disease, often with no symptoms and needs to be treated to prevent transmission of the disease to the child
Immunity to rubella screening (IgG) – to check if you are immune to German measles. If you don’t have immunity you should get vaccine once the child is born while using contraception.
Hepatitis B Virus (HbsAg) – to check if you are infected, if it is positive you and the the fetus needs treatment.
Thyroid function test– important to evaluate thyroid function accurately during pregnancy. Maternal thyroid dysfunction or only the presence of thyroid-specific antibodies is associated with increased risk for early abortion, preterm delivery, neonatal morbidity and some obstetrical complication
Test for HIV– infection can be passed to a baby during pregnancy, at delivery or after birth by breastfeeding. As part of your routine antenatal care, you’ll be offered a confidential test for HIV infection.
Toxoplasma IgG, IgM– to check if you are previously o recently infected with toxoplasma because recent infection can be harmful to the baby.
Glucose screening– between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy or earlier if indicated a blood test will be taken after you drink a solution containing 75grams of glucose. An abnormal glucose may indicate that the body isn’t able to safely deal with sugars and you may need more testing to see if you have gestational diabetes (diabetes associated with pregnancy)
Blood pressure checks at each antenatal visit all pregnant women should have their blood pressure checked. A rise in blood pressure can be an indication of serious complication for you and the baby and is mostly completely symptomless. Early discovery and treatment is a necessity to prevent serious maternal and fetal complication
Urinalysis at each visit the urine should be checked for glucose for diabetes, protein for renal function and nitrates for sign of infection. Both kidney disease and urine infection are serious in pregnancy and have to be promptly treated.
An ultrasound test is where the doctor uses a handled device called a transducer, which uses sound waves that the computer translates into video and produces images of the baby.
Viable scan: done between 7-11weeks. The aim of this scan is to confirm an intrauterine pregnancy, viability, dates, and fetal number.
Anomaly scan or Anatomy scan
Done between 19-23weeks. This test will confirm fetal growth, the amniotic fluid level, details of the limbs, chest, bladder, stomach and spine. It is a screening test that mostly is normal but may detect anomalies.
Further scans during the pregnancy can be arranged as follows:
Gender determination & continued viability – 16 weeks
Cervical length / preterm labor risks – 20-24 weeks
Utero-placental bloodflow to predict risks of growth problems and high blood pressure – 22-26 weeks.
Growth, liquor and bloodflow assessments – 24-42 weeks
Presentation and pre-labor – 38-42 weeks