There are a number of tests you may take throughout your pregnancy to ensure that all is well for you and your baby. The tests you take will depend on your age and your pregnancy history.
An ultrasound will probably be one of the first performed to confirm your pregnancy. But after that, how do you know which ones you should have?
There are some tests that all mothers will be offered, like glucose screening and alpha-fetoprotein. Tests for things like cystic fibrosis are only performed if you have a family history of the disease. Other tests, like chorionic villus screening and amniocentesis are more commonly offered to pregnant women over the age of 35. Women can confirm the true father of their baby by opting for paternity testing. This can be done as early as the tenth week of pregnancy.
Your medical practitioner and/or genetic counselor will advise you on which tests would be most beneficial. Because all of these tests have positive and negative aspects, it is important to be informed about them. Be sure to read about all of them so you can decide what you want to be tested for.
Revision date: July 5, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD