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Prenatal Testing

Summary

Prenatal testing provides information about your baby’s health before he or she is born. Some routine tests during pregnancy also check on your health. At your first prenatal visit, your healthcare provider will test for a number of things, including problems with your blood, signs of infections, and whether you are immune to rubella (German measles) and chickenpox.

Throughout your pregnancy, your healthcare provider may suggest a number of other tests, too. Some tests are suggested for all women, such as screenings for gestational diabetes, Down syndrome, and HIV. Other tests might be offered based on your:

  • Age
  • Personal or family health history
  • Ethnic background
  • Results of routine tests

Some tests are screening tests. They detect risks for or signs of possible health problems in you or your baby. Based on screening test results, your doctor might suggest diagnostic tests. Diagnostic tests confirm or rule out health problems in you or your baby.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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