July 29th, 2023 | Pregnancy
Nurturing a Healthy Pregnancy: Understanding Prenatal Testing and Making Informed Decisions
Embarking on the beautiful pregnancy journey is an exquisite experience for both parents-to-be. It requires attention to the mom’s well-being, as well as the baby’s development. One way that helps monitor the health signs of the mother and baby is through prenatal testing. This is why in this blog, you will find everything you need to know about them! In the beginning, they might seem intimidating, but there’s nothing to be afraid of – through prenatal screening, you’re ensuring that both the health of the baby and yourself are in optimal condition.
What to Expect at Your First Prenatal Visit
The first prenatal visits are full of wonder, with a whole lot of joy and nervousness involved. Of course, the unfamiliarity of the entire process can cause a few shakes. However, there’s no cause for concern. For your first prenatal testing, the doctor will conduct some examinations to try and confirm your pregnancy. In order to do this, he’ll need a urine sample that will be tested for hCg, a hormone that indicates pregnancy. Additionally, your urine will be tested for protein, sugar, and signs of infection.
The physician will also assess any potential risks to your health and that of your baby. They usually perform a full physical exam, including a weight assessment, blood pressure check, and a breast and pelvic examination.
Determine your blood type and Rh factor
In addition to the primary urinary testing, your blood will also be tested. These tests determine your blood type and Rh factor, which is crucial for identifying any potential compatibility issues in pregnancy. For instance, if you are Rh negative and your partner is Rh positive, preventive measures can be taken to protect your fetus from developing any complications.
Furthermore, blood tests screen for anemia, hepatitis B, syphilis, and HIV, all of which can affect your pregnancy. Finally, as part of prenatal testing, immunity to German measles (rubella) and chickenpox (varicella) will also be assessed, as exposure to these diseases during pregnancy can pose risks to the developing fetus.
First Trimester: Ensuring a Smooth Journey
Going forward in the first trimester of your pregnancy, other pregnancy health examinations need to be done. One such test is the first-trimester screening, which combines a blood test and an ultrasound exam. This type of parental testing is especially important, as it helps determine the risk of any abnormalities. And although all of these technicalities might make your skin hairs jump, know that these procedures are entirely safe and cause no harm to you or your baby.
Ultrasound examinations are also performed during the first trimester. It is completely pain-free, using the help of sound waves to create images of your baby. In turn, this allows healthcare providers to see how far the fetus is developed and confirm the due date. Keep in mind that women with high-risk pregnancies may have several ultrasounds during this period to monitor their baby’s progress.
However, since technology is advancing by the minute, many other prenatal testing procedures provide detailed information about your fetus, such as the non-invasive DNA-cell prenatal screening, but they are completely optional. Of course, if you have family members with genetic health conditions, it’s recommended that you do them. However, the results may not always be accurate.
As you can see, prenatal testing can be done in numerous ways, but only the ultrasound and the first prenatal visit are absolutely necessary. Again, they might cause some stress, but remember, there’s nothing to be afraid of – you’re in the hands of professionals, after all! Simply kick back and enjoy this incredible journey, as the experience of it is second to none.
Throughout your pregnancy, you need reliable support and products catering to your needs. That’s where our Preggie Line comes in! We offer a range of products designed to enhance your pregnancy experience, such as our Preggie Pops, providing relief when that nasty morning nausea occurs.
To learn more about making your pregnancy more enjoyable and comfortable, check out the rest of our blogs!