During your pregnancy, you'll receive several tests. Some are repeated at nearly every visit to your ob-gyn; others will be suggested if either you or your baby is at increased risk for certain problems. According to the March of Dimes in White Plains, NY, all women are tested for:
- Anemia. It can cause extreme fatigue and may increase the risk of preterm delivery.
- Bacteria in their urine. If the bacteria lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI) that spreads into the kidneys, both mother and baby are at risk.
- Blood type. Women who are found to lack a protein called the Rh factor require treatment after delivery to protect their babies from a potentially dangerous blood problem.
- Immunity to chicken pox and rubella (German measles). If women have these illnesses for the first time while pregnant, their babies are at increased risk for birth defects.
- Protein in their urine, which may be another sign of a UTI or of preeclampsia, a condition that can cause, among other problems, poor fetal growth.
- Sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and hepatitis B, which can harm babies. You'll likely be offered an HIV test too.