In addition to having your weight tracked and belly measured, most pregnant women also undergo an arsenal of standard testing during their nine months pregnancy.
While each prenatal healthcare provider may order different tests at different times, here’s a list of the 10 most common tests that are offered to expecting moms during their pregnancy.
1. A battery of blood tests
During your first trimester, your healthcare provider is likely to conduct a battery of blood tests. These tests may include everything from determining your blood type to testing you for sexually transmitted diseases. Other tests may include a Complete Blood Count, RH Factor, Hepatitis B and testing for immunity to Rubella and Varicella.
During your first trimester your healthcare provider is likely to do a papsmear that will be used to test for additional sexually transmitted diseases and any other abnormalities.
3. Blood Pressure
Throughout your pregnancy your blood pressure will be monitored to be sure it stays within an appropriate range for your pregnancy.
At most every appointment your healthcare provider will test your urine for sugar, protein and any possible infections.
5. Group B Strep
Between your 35th and 37th week your provider will perform a painless vaginal/anal swab test to confirm that you aren’t infected with streptococcus. If your test comes back positive, you’ll likely be given antibiotics just prior to and/or during your delivery.
While your provider may order an ultrasound at any point during your pregnancy, most women have at least one between their 18th to 20th week of pregnancy.
7. Non-stress test
At the end of your pregnancy, your provider may order a non-stress test to measure your contractions and/or to assess how active your baby is during a specific period of time or in response to your contractions.
8. Glucose screening
While your provider may order a glucose screening at any time, during 24-28 most women are ordered to have a glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes.
9. Fetal heart rate
Once your baby’s fetal heart rate is confirmed, your provider may use a Doppler or fetoscope to check your baby’s heart rate. These devices can usually pick up a baby’s heart rate by the 12th week of pregnancy.
10. Internal exam
During your pregnancy your doctor may do an internal exam for a variety of reasons. At the beginning of your pregnancy, he may check to see the size and growth pattern of your uterus. At the end of your pregnancy he’ll check to see if you are dilated or effaced and ready to give birth.
While women over the age of 35 are routinely offered genetic testing and screening, it’s important to understand what you are being offered. Genetic testing is diagnostic in nature and genetic screening is used to determine if you and your partner are at an increased risk of having a child with a hereditary genetic disorder.
Prior to any testing or screening, your provider should clearly explain what you are being tested for and why. If you’re confused or unsure about a test, be sure to speak with your provider prior to testing.