Prenatal Screening – What You Should Expect

The Harmony Prenatal DNA Test - Non-Invasive Prenatal Genetic Testing for Down Syndrome | Trisomy 21 & 18 Screening 2013-05-09 14-17-31A new pregnancy is an exciting time in the lives of a new parents and it is important to perform the routine tests, especially if this is a first time pregnancy or there is a history of chromosomal abnormalities on either side of the family. Getting prenatal screening during your first pregnancy can ensure that the baby is developing normally and can tell the expecting parents whether problems found in the first pregnancy will also carry into subsequent pregnancies. Some of the things that you should know about prenatal screening include some of the common tests that are done, the types of blood testing available, the type of urine test available, and some reasons why you should be tested during your pregnancy.

Common Tests

There are many Prenatal Screening options that are available if you are pregnant and want to check on the development of your baby. Most places will start out by performing a basic blood test to find out some preliminary information about you and the baby. This test will screen for any common chromosomal abnormalities, the mother and father’s blood type, and even the sex of the baby. Blood work is taken from the mother to determine these things and brought back to the doctor to make important decisions. If it looks like an abnormality may be present, other tests will be performed such as amniocentesis, group B strep, stress test, and ultrasound.

Blood Tests

It is important to have several prenatal screening blood tests done in order to determine common problems that may occur. Blood tests will check for anemia, blood type, STDs, and Rh factors. If a mother has Rh negative and the father has a positive blood type, the baby could be positive also. When this occurs, there can be serious consequences in any subsequent pregnancies. However, this can be treated through a series of two shots given to the mother – one during pregnancy and one after giving birth.

Urine Tests

There are also a few abnormalities, which can be determined through the use of urine tests. Some of these include the presence of excess protein and sugar in the urine, if there are extra white blood cells for the presence of infections and human chorionic gonadotropin.

Reasons to Test

There are many reasons to perform prenatal screening while pregnant. If there is a family history of certain abnormalities you can specifically test for that and find out if your developing baby is a carrier for them. If the pregnant woman is in her forties or even older, it might be a good idea to test since this increases the likelihood of developing chromosomal abnormality. It is also nice to have the peace of mind that your baby is developing properly and that there aren’t any defects present, which can only be determined with the use of these tests.

If you would like to know more about prenatal screening, contact Ariosa Diagnostics. They are available to answer your questions at 1-855-9-ARIOSA.

The Harmony Prenatal DNA Test - Non-Invasive Prenatal Genetic Testing for Down Syndrome | Trisomy 21 & 18 Screening 2013-05-09 14-15-29

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