To give birth to a healthy baby who has been carried to term is every woman’s dream. But thoughts of birth defects and diseases such as a high blood pressure and diabetes that is related to pregnancy can flood one’s mind. Prenatal tests can alleviate these fears and worries.
Prenatal Tests – Why They Are Performed
Reasons For Prenatal Tests
There are certain health factors that may affect the mother that can in turn affect the health of the baby. Prenatal tests can detect these health problems and treatment can be started so as to protect the lives of both the mother and the fetus.
Congenital anomalies can be detected before the birth of the baby by prenatal tests. When detected, some of these anomalies can be treated before the birth of the baby.
Not all congenital anomalies can be treated. However, by performing prenatal tests and detecting these anomalies, parents can prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for all that they need to face when the baby arrives. Prenatal tests can also detect the sex, size and the gestational age of the baby. They can also determine where the baby is situated inside the uterus.
There are some tests that are used to detect possible congenital anomalies. If a congenital anomaly is detected through these tests, advanced prenatal tests are further conducted to determine specific factors regarding the anomaly. These prenatal tests are known as diagnostic tests.
Routine Prenatal Tests To Determine The Mother’s Health
Routine prenatal tests that are conducted to determine the mother’s health and well being are conducted with every pregnancy. A mother’s health determine’s how healthy the baby will be. Certain diseases that the mother suffers from can affect the fetus, and hence prenatal tests are conducted. These tests determine the mother’s blood type, determine if she suffers from gestational diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases or cervical cancer. They also determine her immunity to certain diseases.
Special Cases For Prenatal Tests
While prenatal testing is a routine part of every pregnancy, there are certain special cases that warrant further testing.
These special cases include adolescent pregnancies, mothers who are above 35 years of age, a history of delivering one or more preterm babies, a history of delivering one or more babies with congenital defects, a pregnancy with more than one baby, and a family history of mental retardation.
Questions To Ask Regarding Prenatal Tests
It is your right to ask what each test is about. Being aware of what test is conducted and why is important for your peace of mind. Some questions and concerns that you may have are why is the test conducted, what will the test results reveal, the reliability of the results and the risk factors that are involved.
In the event that a certain test result is positive, talk to your gynecologist about what the result signifies and what your options are. Always weigh your options before making a decision. Do as much research as possible and also take a second and third opinion if it will help you relax, and make an informed decision.