Pregnancy is a wonderful phase of a woman’s life. It’s a time when you can pamper yourself silly, enjoy all the attention you get and excitedly prepare for the arrival of your baby. But one thing you must not forget amidst your eagerness and elation is the need for periodic prenatal tests.
Some of the basic and essential tests conducted during pregnancy check you for the following:
1. Blood type, Rh factor and antibodies
2. HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
4. Hepatitis B
5. Rubella immunity
6. Gestational diabetes
As pregnancy involves several doctor visits and tests, it’s a wise step to ensure yourself against these costs with an OPD health insurance plan, such as Day2Day Care.
Glucose tolerance test
Usually conducted in 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, glucose challenge and glucose tolerance tests are conducted to check if the pregnant women have healthy levels of glucose in her blood or have developed gestational diabetes.
Group B strep culture
Carried out between the 35th to 37th week, the Group B Streptococcus test is one of the most important medical tests that need to be carried out before childbirth. The GBS bacteria are found in the lower genital tract of about 25% women. These bacteria may not pose many problems otherwise but can cause serious illness in a pregnant woman and life-threatening infections in newborns, such as pneumonia and meningitis. If the mother is administered antibiotic treatment after a positive GBS test, the baby is 20 times less likely to contract the infection.
Ultrasounds are performed throughout the pregnancy for various reasons. It is essential to get such medical tests done regularly, to keep a check on the health of both mother and baby. The purposes of an ultrasound during different stages of the gestation period are:
– To establish the dates of a pregnancy
– To detect an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage
– To look for fetal abnormalities
– To check the amount of amniotic fluid
– To keep a track on fetal growth
– To determine the position of a fetus
– To check the placenta
If you and/or your partner have a genetic disorder or you’ve had a baby before with a genetic abnormality, you may want to go for genetic testing.
Performed within the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, amniocentesis involves collecting a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus. It is done to check for chromosomal disorders and open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
AFP and multiple marker screening tests
Undertaken usually between weeks 16 and 18, the maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein or AFP test and the multiple marker screening tests are used to find out the risk of a baby having neural tube defects and chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome. The multiple marker test is said to offer more comprehensive results.
It is important to be financially prepared to get all essential prenatal tests. Outpatient health insurance can be a useful aid during such times of considerable medical expenditure. Being well-prepared can help you enjoy this phase of your life without feeling stressed out or compromising on your and your baby’s health.