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Pregnancy and Newborns

Pregnancy Tests & Procedures

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Fast Facts
Doppler ultrasound is a special technique that may be used during pregnancy. It uses sound to study how blood is moving. For example, it can look at blood moving through the umbilical cord.
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Common Tests During Pregnancy
Common Tests During Pregnancy The following are some of the more common tests done during pregnancy: First trimester prenatal screening tests First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. This screening process can help to determine the risk of the fetus having certain birth defects. Screening tests may be used alone or with other tests. There are 3 parts of first trimester screening: Ultrasound test for fetal nuchal translucency (NT). Nuchal translucency scr...
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Pregnancy Tests & Procedures

Fetal Ultrasound
Fetal Ultrasound What is fetal ultrasound? Fetal ultrasound is a test used during pregnancy. It creates an image of the baby in the mother's womb (uterus). It’s a safe way to check the health of an unborn baby. During a fetal ultrasound, the baby’s heart, head, and spine are evaluated, along with other parts of the baby. The test may be done either on the mother’s abdomen (transabdominal) or in the vagina (transvaginal). There are several types of fetal ultrasound: Standard ultrasound. The test uses sou...
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) What is an alpha-fetoprotein screening (AFP)? Alpha-fetoprotein screening is a blood test that checks the level of alpha-fetoprotein in the mothers' blood during pregnancy. AFP is a protein normally made by the baby’s liver. It is found in the fluid surrounding the baby in the womb (amniotic fluid). AFP goes through the placenta into the mother's blood. The AFP blood test is called MSAFP (maternal serum AFP). The AFP can also be measured in the amniotic fluid, called AFAFP. Too m...
Biophysical Profile
Biophysical Profile What is a biophysical profile? A biophysical profile is a test that is sometimes used during the third trimester of pregnancy. It is often done if there is a question about the baby’s health. This may be because of other test results or certain pregnancy symptoms, or because your pregnancy is high risk. The biophysical profile combines two tests to check your unborn baby’s overall health: a non-stress test and an ultrasound. Non-stress test. This test checks your baby’s heart rate an...
Second Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests
Second Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests Second trimester prenatal screening may include several blood tests, called multiple markers. These markers provide information about a woman's risk of having a baby with certain genetic conditions or birth defects. Screening is usually done by taking a sample of the mother's blood between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy (16th to 18th is ideal). The multiple markers include: Alpha-fetoprotein screening (AFP). This blood test measures the level of alpha-feto...