Routine blood and urine checks are common throughout pregnancy, and most moms-to-be also have at least one ultrasound. Sometimes, your doctor might suggest additional testing.





Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) First trimester To check for chromosomal or genetic disorders, or to determine paternity A sample of cells is taken from the placenta using a needle.
Cordocentesis (Percutaneous Umbilical Cord Blood Sampling, or PUBS) After 17 weeks of pregnancy To diagnose chromosome abnormalities and blood disorders Advanced-imaging ultrasound is used to locate the point where the umbilical cord enters the placenta, and a small needle is used to withdraw a sample of cord blood.
Amniocentesis Second trimester To identify certain birth defects, neural tube defects, and genetic disorders Done under ultrasound, a small needle is used to remove a sample of fluid from the amniotic sac.
Maternal Serum Alpha-Fetoprotein Screening (MSAFP) Second trimester Screening test to determine if further testing is needed to check for fetal birth defects Blood is drawn from a vein.
Biophysical Profile After week 32 of gestation Conducted when there is a concern about fetal health or in certain high-risk pregnancies Non-invasive test that measures contractions and fetal heart rate. Done in combination with an ultrasound.

Remember that just because your physician schedules these tests, it doesn't mean your baby actually has a health problem.


Nita Crighton is a registered nurse from Harding Township.

Did you have to have any other prenatal tests? What were they and when, why, and how were they performed?