Common screening tests include:
- First trimester screening (typically consisting of blood work and an ultrasound to measure the thickness of the skin at the back of the neck, (called nuchal translucency) which indicates if there's a risk that the fetus has Down syndrome)
- Maternal serum screening, sometimes called a quadruple check, which is performed in the second trimester
- Combined test using components of the first two
- Screening for a group of common birth defects, called open neural tube defects, can be performed between 15 and 20 weeks by measuring a chemical in the mother's blood
- A comprehensive ultrasound evaluation in the second trimester (typically performed between 18 and 20 weeks) evaluates growth, screens for birth defects and looks for any physical markers suggestive of a chromosomal abnormality.
Find out more about this book:YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy