It’s important to test for it during pregnancy because it can be transmitted to the fetus before or during the birth.
Urine tests Your urine will be tested at every prenatal visit to check for protein in the urine, which indicates pre-eclampsia—a manageable condition characterized by swelling and high blood pressure that risks reducing blood flow to the placenta.
Your sugar levels may also be tested to determine your risk for gestational diabetes.
The doctor either inserts a needle into your abdomen (after local anesthetic) or a thin tube or catheter through the vagina and cervix to get to the placenta. CVS has also been associated with other defects (though only if it’s performed before week 10). Not all hospitals and clinics allow sonographers to share this info, so don’t be too shocked if they aren’t willing to divulge.) This ultrasound involves a complete “anomaly scan” (and we mean complete—everything from the nose to the heart’s chambers will be scrutinized) to make sure your baby is developing normally in all areas and that everything is a-OK.
Through the needle or tube, the doctor extracts a sample of chorionic villi, or fingerlike growths in placental tissue, which harbour genetic information (even the sex of the baby). Tests in second trimester What to expect Your second-trimester ultrasound; the glucose challenge When Around 20 weeks; around 26 weeks Your 20-week(ish) ultrasound Yup, this is the ultrasound you’ve been waiting for—if you want to find out whether you’ve been schlepping around a wee boy or a wee girl. The technician will also scan the umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid to see how the pregnancy is progressing.
Anemia is treated immediately upon detection with an iron supplement.
• Hepatitis: Many women have a liver condition known as Hepatitis B and don’t know it.
The test can also tell you the sex of your baby, the Rh factor and the maturity of his/her lungs (which is useful if you show signs or have a history of premature delivery).
The whole process takes about half an hour, usually with little discomfort except for some minor cramping post-procedure. Expectant moms who usually have this test are moms older than 35, women who have a family history of birth defects, women whose partners have a family history of birth defects, or women whose previous children were born with abnormalities.
This blood test looks for: • Down syndrome: A blood test is performed in combination with the first ultrasound to determine the likelihood your baby will have Down’s Syndrome.
Specifically, caregivers test for abnormal levels of h CG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) and PAPP-A (pregnancy associated plasma protein).
And don’t forget to ask for photos of your little one. Most hospitals charge a small fee for pics these days.) Glucose Tolerance Test (weeks 24 to 28) You’ve no doubt heard about the orange pop test—this is the one they do to check for gestational diabetes.