If you have been following our recent blog posts, you must have read the blood tests that are important in the first trimester. Today, we have compiled a list of tests during second and third trimester that are only important for the health of your baby but that of a mother too. Depending on your age, health and family history your doctor may advise you more tests.
Multiple Marker Test or Maternal Serum Alpha-Fetoprotein Screening (MSAFP)
This is a genetic screening test done around 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. This test is done to look for any abnormalities in the fetus in terms of Down’s syndrome or neural tube defects. Although this is just a screening to look for possibility of a defect in the baby, it is not a fool proof method as a genetic defect may also go unnoticed.
Glucose Tolerance Test or GTT
The GTT tests for gestational diabetes that many women suffer from. It is a kind of diabetes that happens only during pregnancy. While some women get rid of it shortly after their pregnancy ends, for others it continues longer. This test is usually done around 24 and 28 weeks but in case you fall under any risk category it could be done earlier as well. Although at the time of the test a blood sample is taken, along with it you will also have to drink a glucose solution.
Amniocentesis is a test where a sample of the amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding your baby) is taken. This fluid sample is taken with the help of a very thin needle pricked from the abdomen into the uterus.
This test is performed very safely and it gives valuable information regarding the health of the fetus. If you are 35 years or above, have a family history of genetic disorders or have a baby with genetic defects, your doctor will highly recommend getting this test done.
Group B Streptococcus Screening
Between 37 and 38 weeks of pregnancy i.e. in your third trimester nearing your due date, vaginal and rectal swabs are taken. This is done to see any presence of group B strep bacteria which can cause fatal infections in newborns. Not only that, it is known to also cause impaired vision, mental retardation and hearing impairment in babies. If the test turns out positive, you will be given antibiotics so that your baby does not contract the same from you.
Contraction and Non Stress Test
Both these tests are done on women who have high-risk pregnancies. These are also done in case the pregnancy involves high blood pressure or case of diabetes. In non-stress test, a fetal monitor is wrapped around a woman’s abdomen in order to see the baby’s heart rate. And contraction test is done to see how the baby will respond to the contractions during labor. Both these tests are important for pregnancies with higher risk.
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Based on your health record and previous pregnancies (if any) your doctor may advise you more or less tests than the ones mentioned above. But whatever the case may be, getting these tests done is not only beneficial for you but also your baby. So ensure you make your monthly/weekly visit to your doctor on time.
Did you get any more tests done during your second and third trimesters? Let us know about how your experience was.