There are many tests available that provide information about your baby’s health. Your doctor will advise you about the most appropriate tests for you. The first tests to consider investigate the baby’s genetic make-up. Screening for genetic problems may involve a blood test (Cell Free DNA and/or Genetic Carrier Screening), or an ultrasound measuring the thickness of the back of the baby’s neck (nuchal translucency). Occasionally, we recommend additional tests such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. Between 15-18 weeks, we recommend the Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) test to determine whether or not there is a problem with the baby’s spinal cord closing. Prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements have been very successful in reducing this problem.
Glucose screening tests determine whether or not the mother has developed gestational diabetes. The first, called the Glucose Challenge Screening, is a preliminary blood test performed between 26-28 weeks. If a positive result is obtained with the first test, a second blood test, the Glucose Tolerance Test, may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. Not all women who test positive for the Glucose Challenge Screening test are found to have gestational diabetes upon further evaluation. We ask that you not eat foods that will broken down into sugars the day of your test.