Prenatal Screening | Fit Pregnancy

Prenatal Screening

Thyroid Testing

Starting with the drugstore kit that confirms you’re expecting, you’ll undergo scores of screenings, urinalyses, ultrasounds and other tests during pregnancy. Yet few expectant women undergo thyroid testing, a fact that disturbs some experts. When moms-to-be with thyroid problems go untreated, they’re more likely to have pregnancy complications, and their children may be at risk for decreased IQ.

Glucose Screening

I just had my glucose screening test, which was certainly nothing to write home about, especially the third time around. I went to the lab and was promptly handed a bottle of an orange sugary drink and was told that I had five minutes to down the sucker.

Amnio Results

The geneticist called a few days after our amnio to deliver happy news: 46 chromosomes. No risk of Down Syndrome. No risk of Trisomy 18.
Needless to say, I was elated.
“And did you want to know the sex of the baby?” she asked.

An Agonizing Wait

I spent a few days after our amnio obsessively Googling “choroid plexus cyst.” Most of what I read was entirely reassuring – tons of message boards where parents who’ve gone through the same thing talked about their completely healthy babies. I found academic studies that pointed to positive outcomes most of the time, especially in cases where the cysts are “isolated,”—i.e. where no other markers like cleft palate, heart defects, club foot, or clenched fists are found on the ultrasound. 

To Amnio or Not to Amnio?

I sat in the car, crying, looking at our baby’s ultrasound photos and trying to figure out what to do: Should I get the amnio or not? Could I just sit tight and hope for the best, expecting everything to turn out fine? No, I didn’t think so—I’m a total worry wart.  I would agonize over it for the entire pregnancy. 

Our 18-Week Ultrasound

After an agonizing three-day wait, Monday was finally here! Today was the day when we were going to see our baby and—knock on wood—find out the baby’s gender. I couldn’t wait. 

Do You Have To Have An Ultrasound?

Marci's newly pregnant. She hasn't even gone to her first prenatal visit. She's a nurse and calls herself a by-the-books kind of girl. She sounds like she's already on the path to having a healthy pregnancy—eating right, exercising and all that. Like every newly pregnant woman on the planet, she's worried about miscarriage. Oh, honey, if only we could wave a magic wand and skip over the first trimester with all the worry, nausea and fatigue and get to the good trimester—the second one.

When The Going Gets Tough

It's going to be a long one this week, ladies, because I know this is going to hit home for a lot of you. A reader, I'll call Claire, sent me the most heart-breaking email. She has the toughest time with vaginal exams. Though she prepares herself as best she can, she's totally traumatized, has panic attacks and cries whenever she has to get "checked." She thinks she's the only woman in the world who feels this way and worries about all those cervical exams that come toward the end of pregnancy at her prenatal visits.

Testing 1-2-3

It goes with the territory: When you’re pregnant, you can’t help but worry about the health of your baby. Fortunately, there are a host of prenatal tests that can help ease your fears and make even a healthy pregnancy less stressful. Following is a rundown of the tests you’re most likely to undergo; see the chart at right for detailed information.

Screening tests

Too Much Testing?

By her second trimester, Elizabeth Lampert, then 34, was used to the seemingly endless prenatal tests. So when her obstetrician drew blood for a routine procedure called a maternal serum screening (also known as a double marker, triple marker or alphafetoprotein [AFP] test), Lampert didn’t think twice. Until she got the results, that is: The test indicated that her baby might have Down syndrome or another defect. “I was just destroyed,” she recalls.