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Health Information For Parents
Prenatal tests are screening or diagnostic tests that can help identify health problems that could affect pregnant women or their unborn babies. Some of these conditions can be treated, so it’s important to find them as soon as possible.
Prenatal tests are given in the first, second, and third trimesters. In a mother, they can determine key things about her health that can affect her baby’s health, such as:
In a developing child, prenatal tests can:
Some prenatal tests are screening tests that can only reveal the possibility of a problem. Other prenatal tests are diagnostic tests that can accurately find whether a fetus has a specific problem. A screening test sometimes is followed by a diagnostic test.
Although your health care provider (who may be your OB-GYN, family doctor, or a certified nurse-midwife) may recommend these tests, it’s up to you to decide whether to have them.
Some prenatal tests are considered routine — that is, almost all pregnant women receiving prenatal care get them. They include things like checking urine (pee) levels for protein, sugar, or signs of infection.
Other non-routine tests are recommended only for some women, especially those with high-risk pregnancies. These may include women who:
Remember that tests are offered to you — it’s your choice whether to have them.
To decide which tests are right for you, talk with your health care provider about why a test is recommended, its risks and benefits, and what the results can — and can’t — tell you.
Questions to ask:
Advice and information for expectant and new parents.
Moms-to-be have a lot of questions about what’s safe during pregnancy. Keep your sanity by knowing what you can – and can’t – do before your baby arrives.
One of the most important things you can do to help prevent serious birth defects in your baby is to get enough folic acid every day – especially before conception and during early pregnancy.
Find out what tests may be offered to you during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Find out what tests may be offered to you during weeks 13 through 26 of pregnancy.
Find out what tests may be offered to you during weeks 27 through 40 of pregnancy.
Our week-by-week illustrated pregnancy calendar is a detailed guide to all the changes taking place in your baby – and in you!
The reality of labor and birth may seem extremely far off – but now’s the time to start planning for your baby by creating a birth plan that details your wishes.
Advances in genetic testing help doctors diagnose and treat certain illnesses. The type of test done depends on which condition a doctor checks for.
During your pregnancy, you’ll probably get advice from everyone. But staying healthy depends on you – read about the many ways to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.
Whether you feel confused, worried, scared, or excited, you’ll want to know how your life will change, what you can do to have a healthy baby.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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