With today’s increased knowledge of health and development of the fetus in the womb, there are several tests that expectant mothers will undergo to ensure the health prospects of both herself and her baby. All of these tests are standard, and you should make sure to ask your doctor about when they are scheduled and that they are all on his list.
- CBC Test: CBC stands for Complete Blood Count. This test checks for anemia and other abnormalities that may occur within blood components.
- Urinary Analysis: Regular urine analysis safety check for infection, protein, blood, or any other products that should not be present in the urine and that may signal complications.
- RH factor: This test also tests the blood type. Differences in the blood type or Rh factor could lead to serious complications in the newborn, or in your next child. Women who are RH negative need to have additional screening done later in the pregnancy.
- Immunity: A blood test is required to ensure immunity from German measles (rubella).
- STD: Tests for sexually transmitted diseases are also necessary, including screenings for diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis. Some tests include cultures for Chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Blood glucose is checked for diabetes.
- Pap smears check the cells of the cervix for abnormalities, including cancerous or precancerous cells.
- Screening for bacterial and viral infections in the vagina and cervix is often performed during the second half of the pregnancy. Testing to detect bacterial vaginosis, which could increase the risk for premature rupture of membranes and subsequent labor, and a culture for group B streptococci, which can infect and harm the newborn after delivery, may be done during your pregnancy.
There are other tests that may be taken according to your own personal health history. Expectant women with high blood pressure should be regularly checked. Make sure when you visit your obstetrician that all these tests are accounted for, and consult her on any that may need to be done additionally.