Clinical Tests During Pregnancy
It's wise to receive medical examinations, consultations, and delivery preparations during pregnancy from a designated doctor, who is a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. There are anatomical and physiological changes during pregnancy that, ideally, should be observed by the same physician throughout the pregnancy.
Number of medical examinations:
# Up to 7 months pregnant, once a month
# 8-9 months pregnant, twice a month
# 10th month (last month), once a week
Tests to receive during pregnancy
# Blood test for anemia: Mother must take hemopoietics if anemia is present; avoid blood transfusions as much as possible.
# Blood type test and Rh factor: If the mother is Rh-negative and the baby is Rh-positive, the extreme hemolysis of the fetus can cause miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth.
# Blood serum test: A type of syphilis test, it must be done early in the pregnancy; the fetus can die or be stillborn if the mother has syphilis; if discovered early and treated properly the mother and baby can recover.
# Hepatitis test: The baby can contract hepatitis from its mother; many times mothers do not know they have hepatitis and it is impossible to detect without a liver function test (antigen, antibody test). If the mother is positive, the infant is vaccinated right after delivery.
# Urine test: Important in determining gestosis, diabetes, urethritis, pyelonephritis, and nephritis.
# Ultrasound: Ultrasound uses ultrasonic waves, a type of sound, to project images on screens and take pictures. It is a very valuable equipment in modern obstetrics; the level of fetal growth and development, deformations, hydatidiform mole, multiple pregnancy, placenta previa, premature separation of the placenta, early detection of unhealthy pregnancy, position and size of the fetus, and the placenta's size and position can all be diagnosed accurately without exposure to x-rays and radiation.
# Triple mark test: The maternal blood serum triple mark test taken between the 15th and 22nd week can detect 60% of fetus with Down syndrome and 80% of those with neural defects, such as spinal bifida.
# Amniocentesis: This test collects amniotic fluid between the 15th and 22nd week of pregnancy and checks for abnormalities with fetal chromosomes.
# German measles test: Vaccinations for measles, mumps, and German measles (rubella) are given at 18 months of age. Women who were vaccinated but are not immune to rubella must be revaccinated, because if a woman gets infected less than 3 months into the pregnancy, then 60% of such fetuses have deformities such as, deafness, congenital heart disease, and cataracts. Twenty percent of women who become infected 4-7 months into their pregnancies give birth to infants with deformities. Babies are aborted when affected by rubella. Three months after receiving a rubella vaccination, a woman should get an immunity test to see if immunity has formed, and then try to conceive.
# Other tests: electronic heart monitor, pelvic measurement, pap smear, etc.