9 Important Checkups To Be Aware Of During Pregnancy

July 22, 2022

While your mind is occupied with pickle recipes, yoga asanas, maternity dresses, baby crib designs, pregnancy cravings and baby clothes discounts, make sure to remember the two most important things in your pregnancy: your health and your baby’s health. Antenatal or prenatal checkups are essential tests that ensure your as well as your baby’s good health during the pregnancy. They also determine any complications in the pregnancy and identify abnormalities in the baby’s growth. Following is a list of common prenatal tests that you should undergo to guarantee that you and your little one are healthy:

  1. First-trimester screen
  • When is it done? At 11 to 14 weeks.
  • Why is it done? This test identifies heart defects and chromosomal disorders like trisomy 18 and Down syndrome in the baby. It can also alert you to the presence of twins, triplets and so on.
  • How is it done? A blood test and a nuchal translucency screening are performed in the first-trimester screen. The nuchal translucency measures the thickness of the back of the baby’s head, and the blood test measures some essential elements in the mother’s blood.
  1. Amniocentesis
  • When is it done? At 14 to 20 weeks.
  • Why is it done? The amniocentesis test can identify spina bifida, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and other genetic conditions in the baby. Couples who are at a higher risk for genetic disorders are advised to undergo the amniocentesis test.
  • How is it done? Using a thin needle guided by ultrasound, a small amount of amniotic fluid is taken from the amniotic sac (the sac enveloping the foetus).
  1. Non-stress test (NST)
  • When is it done? After 28 weeks.
  • Why is it done? The non-stress test helps monitor the baby’s health. It also helps identify any signs of distress in the baby, for example, insufficient oxygen supply to the baby.
  • How is it done? A belt is wrapped around the mother’s tummy. Next, the baby’s heart rate is recorded in response to its movements.
  1. Urine test
  • When is it done? Any time during the pregnancy.
  • Why is it done? Urine test results can identify preeclampsia (which occurs in 5% of pregnancies), urinary tract infection and diabetes in the mother.
  • How is it done? A small sample of midstream urine is collected in a sterile cup. The urine sample is checked under a microscope or testing strips are used for a dip test to identify essential substances in the urine.
  1. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
  • When is it done? At 10 to 13 weeks.
  • Why is it done? The CVS test helps identify and diagnose some congenital disabilities in the baby including genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis and chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome.
  • How is it done? A tiny cell sample is taken from the chorionic villi of the placenta in the mother’s womb using a needle.
  1. Glucose tolerance test
  • When is it done? At 26 to 28 weeks.
  • Why is it done? This test is done to check for gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) in the mother.
  • How is it done? Your doctor will give you a diet plan to follow for a few days before taking the test. You cannot drink or eat anything except sips of water for 14 hours before the test. You will be asked to have a sugar-containing drink once your fasting blood sample is taken. Another blood sample will be withdrawn after consuming the drink. Your blood will be tested hourly for the next 3 hours to check how well the sugar is processed in your body.
  1. Ultrasound scan
  • When is it done? Any time during the pregnancy.
  • Why is it done? An ultrasound scan is typically performed as a part of the biophysical profile and first-trimester screen. Mothers usually get an ultrasound scan done between 18 and 20 weeks to see the baby’s growth. At this point, the scan helps to detect any abnormalities in the baby’s body organs and systems.
  • How is it done? A gel is applied to the mother’s belly, and a special tool that produces sound waves is moved over the abdomen. The sound waves then generate your little one’s picture and display it on a monitor.
  1. A biophysical profile (BPP)
  • When is it done? In the third trimester
  • Why is it done? This test is done to check if your baby is growing as expected. The results of this test also help decide if the baby should be delivered on time.
  • How is it done? A non-stress test and an ultrasound scan are performed in the BPP test. This test can give you data on your baby’s breathing rate, the amount of amniotic fluid and the baby’s muscle tone and movements.
  1. Triple screen test/alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)/multiple marker screen/quad screen
  • When is it done? At 15 to 20 weeks
  • Why is it done? A maternal serum screen test helps to detect any defects in the neural tube of the baby, such as defects in the brain, spine or spinal cord, and chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome.
  • How is it done? This test only needs a blood sample from the mother.
  • To find out the nearest test lab, visit www.health assure.in. You can also chat with expert gynaecologists about your test reports and other pregnancy issues on the HealthAssure app. Download the app today and book an appointment for your next checkup with an expert obstetrician right away!

Book your appointment at 022-61676633.

To get your login credentials for Health Pass, please mail at support@healthassure.in

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