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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

Testing During Pregnancy

Learn about tests during pregnancy and when certain tests may be recommended.

As part of your prenatal care, you may have tests and procedures to monitor your health and your fetus's health. Many of these tests pose little or no risk and can provide important information to you, your doctor or midwife. You should discuss any concerns you have with your LVHN health care provider. 

Names of tests commonly used during pregnancy:

  • First trimester screen (also called sequential screen part one)
  • Cell-free fetal DNA test
  • Chorionic villus sampling
  • Amniocentesis
  • Cell-free fetal DNA test
  • Quad screen
  • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
  • Ultrasound
  • Fetal blood sampling
  • Fetal monitoring
  • Fetal movement counting
  • Non-stress testing (NST)
  • Biophysical profile (BPP)
  • Doppler flow studies

 

Learn more about tests during pregnancy

Both the first trimester and second trimester provide opportunities for tests to check on the health of you and your fetus:

First trimester tests

Second trimester tests

All pregnant women are tested for the Rh factor during the early weeks of pregnancy. A mother and fetus may have incompatible blood types; the most common is Rh incompatibility. Rh incompatibility occurs when the mother's blood is Rh-negative and the father's blood is Rh-positive and the fetus's blood is Rh-positive. The mother may produce antibodies against the Rh-positive fetus, which may lead to anemia in the fetus. Incompatibility problems are monitored, and appropriate medical treatment is available to prevent the formation of Rh antibodies during pregnancy.

Additional tests:

  • Blood screening tests to detect diseases (such as rubella, also called German measles)
  • Genetic tests to detect inherited diseases (such as sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease)
  • Screening tests to detect infectious diseases (such as sexually transmitted diseases)

Each prenatal visit is an opportunity for you to ask your LVHN health care provider about any concerns that you have.