Prenatal Testing

black and gray stethoscope

From AFP to Ultrasound, here is a look at the most common tests you might be considering during pregnancy.

Gone are the days when providers recommend tests and patients ask no questions before agreeing to them. However, parents today are left with making decisions when they don’t always have information. Our technology age has increased the sheer numbers of tests available today. Expectant parents must have heads that are swimming with facts and figures!

There are a variety of prenatal tests out there that may be administered throughout your pregnancy. These tests are meant to determine if there are any abnormalities or problems with the baby’s development. Most of the tests are conducted in the first trimester or early second trimester .

Many times prenatal testing is strongly encouraged if the mother is over the age of 35 . This is because there are more risks associated with mothers in this age group.It is important to know that you should not feel pressured to have any of these tests done. Although they are quite accurate, they are not 100% foolproof. False positives have resulted. In these cases, unnecessary anxiety on the part of the mother will result, which can have negative effects on the pregnancy. It is important to speak with a doctor well in advance before embarking on any of these tests.

Here are some helpful articles all written in an easy Q & A format to make things easier when you are deciding about prenatal testing.


One of the most common prenatal tests, the AFP is simple and non-invasive to administer. Yet controversy persists about accuracy. Find out how new testing approaches have made the AFP more accurate.


Often one of the earliest prenatal tests available during pregnancy, CVS is known to be able to detect many genetic problems. However the risks to the baby can lead some parents to decide against CVS. Find out why.

Nuchal Fold Translucency

One of the latest options in prenatal testing, the nuchal fold translucency helps to screen for problems such as Down Syndrome. Is this test for you?


Although ultrasounds can help to identify problems and appear to carry little if any risk, the frequency of ultrasound use today should make us question whether or not we are helping or harming babies. What are the pros, cons and limitations of ultrasound?


Likely one of the most informative and accurate prenatal tests we have, amnios are often recommended to women over 35. However does all of this information comes with a price? Find out the truth about risks from amnio.

A Deeper Look at Prenatal Tests

Beyond looking at test results, this article shares a conversation I had with my own Obstetrician about prenatal testing as well as some pertient questions that all parents should consider before they start down the road of prenatal testing. What do you need to know?

Tests for Gestational Diabetes

Although these tests take place much later than the previous ones, every woman will be screened for gestational diabetes. What is involved in testing for gestational diabetes?

Group B Strep

All women are screened and nearly 30% of women may test positive for GBS. Learn about how GBS can affect your baby and how it can be successfully treated.