Testing: One, Two, Three
What to expect each trimester for your prenatal tests
Group B Strep (GBS) Who Most women When Between 35 and 37 weeks How Cells are swabbed from the rectum and vagina. Why To screen for Group B streptococcus (GBS) bacteria, which can cause meningitis or inflammation of the baby's blood, lungs, brain, or spinal cord. Some doctors only screen women considered at risk, meaning that they have a history of urinary tract infections, a fever near delivery time, or have delivered a previous baby with GBS. Ask to be tested even if you're not at risk. GBS is treated with antibiotics during delivery.
Non-stress Test (optional) Who Women who have complicated pregnancies, medical problems that could affect the baby, or who have had problems with previous pregnancies When Weekly How A monitor is strapped to the mother's abdomen. Why To monitor the fetal heart rate
Stress Test (optional) Who The same as those who undergo a non-stress test When Usually after a non-stress test that doesn't show a change in fetal heart rate when the fetus moves How A monitor is strapped to the mother's abdomen. Contractions are then triggered with an intravenous drip of Pitocin or with nipple stimulation. Why To monitor fetal heart rate during a contraction
Biophysical Profile (optional) Who Women whose doctors have a concern about the fetus's well-being When Anytime during the third trimester How An ultrasound is performed. Why To measure the amniotic fluid and the baby's muscle tone, "breathing" movements, and activity level.