What tests might I be offered during my pregnancy?

Health advice, Questions/answers

Updated article on June 6, 2023.

Excellent question!

As a first point, I would answer that each woman experiences her pregnancy in her own way and everything depends on her needs. So that said, tests during gestation can vary from one woman to another. However, most basic tests suggested for a pregnant woman are directly associated with medical best practice guides during pregnancy monitoring and are pretty standard across the country.

For example, blood tests at the start of pregnancy determine if possible problems exist. Do you have enough iron in your blood? Are you adequately immunised for specific illnesses that can harm your baby’s development? The answers will allow health professionals to take the proper steps to promote a healthy pregnancy.

You will also have an ultrasound around 20 weeks of gestation to check your baby’s morphology. Then there’s a pregnancy diabetes test around 28 weeks (or earlier if risk factors are present). A strep-B test at 36 weeks will take place to identify women carrying the disease. This is to plan for treatment during labour to avoid infecting the baby during childbirth.

Genetic screening tests are optional but may be suggested to determine the risk of congenital anomalies in the fetus. These include blood tests to detect aneuploids as early as the first trimester of pregnancy,  fetal DNA testing to detect possible fetal anomalies even more accurately,  nuchal translucency, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

Other tests can be added throughout your pregnancy based on each woman’s situation, such as:

  • Repeated ultrasounds for different reasons: to determine the pregnancy age, evaluate the baby’s growth, monitor twin development, or to identify conditions to monitor, such as a poorly placed placenta;
  • Fetal health surveillance through monitoring, for example;

As you can see, many possible tests exist, but happily, they don’t take place at the same time or for the same person!

Stay well, everyone!

To learn more, read the following articles:

Or watch these videos (in french):

Marie
The Baby Expert

Learn more about the tests available during pregnancy, offered at Prenato.

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