During the first trimester of pregnancy, several tests and examinations are typically recommended to monitor the health and development of both the mother and the foetus.
Routine tests help keep close check on you and your baby. Hence it is crucial to keep your prenatal appointments which are done periodically to rule out presence of any complications.
You should schedule at least one appointment with your doctor during your first 12 weeks of pregnancy, ideally as early as possible.
First trimester screening is a combination of ultrasound and maternal blood testing.
- Ultrasound Scans – Ultrasound (also called sonogram) is a prenatal test for pregnant women. It is a procedure that uses sound waves to create images of your baby while it’s in the uterus (womb). It may be done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It checks the baby’s health and development.
- To confirm a normal pregnancy
- Determine the baby’s age and heart rate
- Look for multiple pregnancies
- Identify problems of the placenta, uterus, cervix, and ovaries
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)> – This test measures the different parts and features of your blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. A CBC can help diagnose a variety of health problems, such as anaemia, clotting disorders, and risk of infections.
- NT Scan – The nuchal translucency (NT) test is one of the many tests a doctor recommends for a pregnant woman. It is an optional ultrasound performed in the first trimester of pregnancy. It helps determine your baby’s risk of congenital conditions like Down syndrome. It is usually part of the combined first-trimester screening which includes an ultrasound and blood test.
- Urine Tests – You’ll have a urine test at your first prenatal visit and at later visits, too. Urine tests can indicate potential problems such as a bladder or kidney infection, gestational diabetes, dehydration and preeclampsia (high blood pressure and signs of liver or kidney damage that occur in women during pregnancy.)
- HIV Tests – It can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy. A child gets HIV if the mother was infected with the virus, at the time of pregnancy. The Government of India has made it mandatory for a HIV test for all pregnant women, soon after the conception.
Your doctor will determine which tests and examinations are necessary based on your individual medical history and risk factors. It is important to attend all recommended appointments, tests and scans, physical examinations to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.