Testing in early pregnancy for the baby

Early Pregnancy Tests To Determine Your Baby’s Health

Early Pregnancy Tests To Determine Your Baby’s Health
Testing in early pregnancy for the baby

Early Pregnancy Tests To Determine Your Baby’s Health

 

Nine months might seem like a long time, but time flies when you have to prepare for your little bundle of joy to arrive. When it comes to your baby’s well-being, it’s best to be prepared for whatever might come your way. Doctors advise pregnant women to take a number of lab tests as routine antenatal care. These tests are very important in finding conditions that might increase complications for you and your baby. There are routine tests like CBC, Blood group and Rh typing, Urinanalysis, TSH, Diabetes screening, Rubella status, Hepatitis B, VDRL, HIV and infection screening that every mother-to-be has to take. However, your doctor might also ask you to take screening tests and diagnostic tests to be sure about your baby’s good health. 

 

Screening Tests:

Screening tests are usually done in early pregnancy to find out if the baby has a risk of common birth defects. These tests do not usually confirm whether or not the baby has birth defects which is why confirmatory tests are done. These tests help detect potential birth defects early into the pregnancy so necessary measures can be taken to treat your little one. 

 

Screening tests involve ultrasound scans and blood tests and can detect abnormalities like spina bifida and down syndrome. They can also detect whether your little one has the risk of inheriting disorders in the family. Screening tests are absolutely normal and usually cause no harm to the foetus. Your doctor might ask you to take certain screening tests, however, whether or not you’d like to do the tests is totally up to you. If you do decide to go through with it, your doctor will guide you. Based on the results, your doctor might even refer you to a genetic counsellor or fetal medicine specialist for an opinion. 

 

Diagnostic Tests:

Your doctor may ask you to take diagnostic tests if you already have a child with birth defects, if your family has a history of birth defects or if you’re 35 years old or above. These tests can help detect many but not all birth defects in the foetus by detecting defects in a gene or chromosomes. As accurate as diagnostic tests are, they are also invasive and can prove to be harmful for the foetus. Usually, women are asked to take diagnostic tests to confirm if the baby has any defects that might’ve been detected in the screening tests. 

 

Diagnostic tests include taking a sample of your amniotic fluid through a needle and determining whether the baby has down syndrome or other choromosomal conditions. If down syndrome is detected, you will be referred to a genetic counselor for further steps. 

 

These tests are optional and you can decide whether you want to take them or not. However, it’s always good to be prepared, especially when it comes to your baby’s healthy and happy future. 

 

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