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Health Information For Parents
Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll want to know how your baby is growing. Prenatal tests can offer valuable information about your health and the health of your growing child.
If your doctor recommends a test, ask about the risks and benefits. Most parents find that prenatal tests offer them peace of mind while helping to prepare them for their baby’s arrival. But it’s your choice to accept or decline a test.
Your first visit to the obstetrician (if you haven’t gone already) should include a pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy and a full physical that includes a pelvic exam. Your urine (pee) also will be tested for protein, sugar, and signs of infection.
If you’re due for your routine cervical test (Pap smear), the doctor include it as part of the pelvic exam. This test detects changes in your cervical cells that could lead to cancer. During the pelvic exam, your doctor also will check for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
A blood test will check for things like:
You can expect to get your urine tested and your weight and blood pressure checked at every (or almost every) visit until you deliver. These tests can find conditions such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure).
Throughout your second trimester, you’ll be offered more tests depending on your age, health, family medical history, and other things. These can include:
Health care providers might order other tests during a woman’s pregnancy based on such things as her (and her partner’s) personal medical history and risk factors. It’s important to speak with a genetic counselor if your baby is at risk for hereditary conditions.
Screening or diagnostic tests offered include tests for:
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.
Advice and information for expectant and new parents.
The sooner in pregnancy good careÂ begins, the better for theÂ health of both moms and their babies. Here’s what to expect.
If you just found out you’re pregnant, one of the first tests you should expect is a blood-type test. This basic test determines your blood type and Rh factor, which may play an important role in your baby’s health.
Every parent-to-be hopes for a healthy baby, but it can be hard not to worry. Find out what tests can keep you informed of your health â and your baby’s â throughout 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!
Some birth defects are minor and cause no problems; others cause major disabilities. Learn about the different types of birth defects, and how to help prevent them.
Read the basics about genetics, including how certain illnesses, or increased risks for certain illnesses, pass from generation to generation.
Genetic counselors work with people who are either planning to have a baby or are pregnant to determine whether they carry the genes for certain inherited disorders. Find out more.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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