For Patients

Prenatal tests


Your clinician (Obstetrician, General Practitioner or Midwife) will request some tests to check that all is well with your pregnancy. Some are optional and may depend on whether you can afford them or not. The tests include the following:
 

Routine tests to check your health and risks to the pregnancy


  • Your A, B, O and Rhesus blood group and antibodies (to see if your baby is at risk of anaemia or jaundice because your blood group differs from the baby’s father’s);
  • Your haemoglobin level (to check if you are anaemic);
  • Antibodies against Rubella (German measles), HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis (to see if your baby is at risk of sustaining an infection before birth);
  • Your blood glucose level (in some cases) (to check if you have diabetes, which might be underlying or brought on by the pregnancy);
  • Your blood pressure (to check if you have hypertension, which might be underlying or brought on by the pregnancy as in a condition called pre-eclampsia);
  • Your urine (to check for a bladder infection, or for protein in your urine (which might also indicate preeclampsia or underlying kidney disease);
  • A swab (in some cases) to check whether a bacterium called group B streptococcus is present in your vagina (this could cause a serious infection in the baby if born vaginally);
  • A basic ultrasound scan to determine exactly how far you are pregnant, whether the baby is in the uterus (womb) and alive, whether there are twins or not, to check the amniotic fluid volume around the baby and the position of the placenta (afterbirth).

Routine tests to check whether your baby is at increased risk for physical or mental problems.


The vast majority of babies develop normally but every pregnancy carries a small risk that the fetus (unborn baby, still in the mother’s womb) is not developing normally. It is important to realize that no test or combination of tests is fool-proof and that one can ever guarantee you will give birth to a baby without any abnormality.
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