Pregnancy is an exciting time, and proper prenatal health is essential for helping ensure you and your baby are healthy throughout your pregnancy. Regular doctor visits and prenatal tests are some of the best ways to monitor your growing baby’s health.
It’s helpful to know what tests to expect as you get further along in your pregnancy. Knowing what developmental milestones are occurring in your pregnancy week by week can also help you better understand why your doctor is ordering certain tests. Some of the most common tests during pregnancy include:
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound produces an image of your baby via high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasounds are used for a variety of purposes, from confirming pregnancy, to determining the sex of the baby, to finding congenital abnormalities.
- Amniocentesis: This test is used primarily to determine the presence of genetic abnormalities. It involves inserting a needle into the mother’s abdomen and removing a sample of amniotic fluid.
- First trimester screen: This type of testing is relatively new and involves both a blood test and an ultrasound to determine the presence of abnormalities in the baby, such as heart problems. It is considered one of the most accurate means for detecting problems.
- Fetal monitoring: This is most likely to occur towards the end of your pregnancy and during labor. This type of testing monitors the baby’s heartbeat to ensure it is normal. Too slow or too fast could indicate stress or problems with the baby.
These common pregnancy tests allow doctors and parents to monitor the health of both baby and mother.