There are many tests and procedures to monitor the health of both mother and baby. Talk with your physician about which tests are necessary for you. Some common prenatal tests include:
An ultrasound scan is a diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs. A screening ultrasound is sometimes done during the course of a pregnancy to check normal fetal growth and verify the due date. Ultrasounds may be done at various times throughout pregnancy for different reasons.
Blood tests may be done to determine your blood type and Rh factor, as well as test for anemia (to see if you need more iron) and infection. Your blood may also be tested for immunity to German measles, for gestational diabetes and for HIV.
Group B Streptococcus
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are bacteria found in the lower genital tract of about 25 percent of all women. GBS infection usually causes no problems in women before pregnancy, but it can cause serious illness in the mother during pregnancy. GBS may cause chorioamnionitis (a severe infection of the placental tissues) and postpartum infection. Urinary tract infections caused by GBS can lead to preterm labor and birth, or pyelonephritis (where one or both kidneys become infected) and sepsis.
Certain STDs can cause risks for your pregnancy. Syphilis can cause severe birth defects if it is not detected during your pregnancy. This prenatal testing is mandatory. DNA probes are used to screen for gonorrhea and chlamydia infections of the cervix, which can also infect a newborn.