Check for Pregnancy-associated Health Conditions
What are pregnancy tests?
A pregnancy test is done to confirm your pregnancy. Your obstetrician can also confirm your pregnancy by doing an ultrasound, which will then show a gestational sac if you are indeed pregnant. Further tests will be done to also monitor that baby’s development in the womb.
There are different types of tests that may be conducted during pregnancy, like:
- Prenatal tests
This involves tests to confirm a pregnancy, maternal health screening, routine screening tests to check whether the baby has health problems, and diagnostic tests to check if the baby has certain health conditions, especially for high-risk pregnancies.
- Maternal health screening
During pregnancy, blood tests will be done to check the following:
- Your blood type – this helps you and the obstetrician know if you are Rh-negative because health problems may occur if an Rh-negative woman carries an Rh-positive baby.
- Test for anaemia, rubella immunity, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV.
- Iron levels
- Whether you have gestational diabetes.
- Urine test to check for urine infections, especially early in pregnancy. If there are urine infections and they are left untreated, they can lead to early labour, or the baby may have a low birth weight.
- Group B streptococci, a bacteria that is carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. If this bacteria is passed to the baby during birth, it may make them very sick.
- Glucose test for gestational diabetes
Some women may develop temporary diabetes during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes. A pathology test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes, which requires a blood sample before and after a glucose drink. Glucose testing is normally done between 28 – 28 weeks of pregnancy.
There are several immunisations administered during pregnancy, such as the influenza vaccine and the adult dTpa (diphtheria-tetanus acellular pertussis) vaccine. Adult dTpa vaccine helps protect both the mother and baby against pertussis, also called whooping cough.