About Prenatal Testing
Throughout your prenatal care at the Caring Center for Women, we may offer or recommend certain tests to be administered to discover more about your developing baby. Our doctors, Drs. Irwin, Blaue, Fay, Reid, Schumann, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., and Hermann are board-certified or board-eligible obstetrician-gynecologists who administer prenatal testing for expectant parents in New Braunfels, TX. These tests may help identify potential risks, disorders, deformities, and more. Early pregnancy prenatal tests like the Ultra Screen or the cystic fibrosis blood test can give you some insight as to how your baby is developing. In the second trimester or earlier, you may be asked to have a gestational diabetes screening, which is for your health as much as it is for the baby. We will screen you for gestational diabetes at 24 – 28 weeks and may repeat it as needed. Read more about our some of our more requested prenatal tests below.
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Our prenatal testing can be scheduled in the first, second, or third trimester based on the test or screen performed.
To indicate chromosomal and/or fetal abnormalities, you may choose to have an Ultra Screen (blood test) in addition to your prenatal exam. While it is not a diagnostic tool, the Ultra Screen may give you an idea of the chances your baby may have birth defects or disorders. You may have further testing, such as an amniocentesis, performed at the doctor's request (if wanted).
Newly expectant parents can have genetic testing for cystic fibrosis early in the pregnancy performed by mouth swab or blood draw. This test is to see if the baby is a carrier or will develop this mucus-building, inherited disorder of the lungs and digestive tract.
The quad screen is an important blood test performed in the second trimester (15 – 18 weeks) to assess the risks of developing neural birth defects or chromosomal deficiencies like Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, spina bifida, and anencephaly. This blood panel will test for Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), Estriol, and Inhibin A markers. These are all hormones or substances in the body that pass between the fetus and mother.
Group B Strep (GBS)
Group B Strep (GBS) is a very important diagnostic test that may be repeated several times in the late stages of your pregnancy. Why? Group B Strep is a bacterium found in the vagina and rectum that when exposed to your newborn may cause sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis. We will take swab samples from you starting in week 35 to make sure you are not carrying an infection to pass on to your baby, which may manifest as a fatal infection of the blood, lungs, lining or fluid of the brain, or spinal cord. It takes approximately 2 – 3 days to see your results.
Every expectant mother will be tested for gestational diabetes at our office. We test your insulin levels so that if you are not producing the right amount of insulin during your pregnancy, we can manage it with diet and possibly medication. If you were overweight before your pregnancy, over age 35, and/or have a family history of diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, glucose intolerance, or carbohydrate intolerance.
In the second trimester, your doctor may perform a more invasive testing, an amniocentesis, to further analyze the amniotic fluid for chromosomal and fetal abnormalities like Down syndrome, birth defects, and other genetic conditions.
Plan Your Procedure
When You Want to Know
Many prenatal tests are not mandatory but available at the Caring Center for Women. Your doctor may recommend tests that can benefit your health (like gestational diabetes testing for insulin resistance), and others to give you information on what is developing in your womb. When you want to know if your baby has chromosomal disorders or other birth defects, we are here to guide you through the process. Schedule today.