Today, your doctor will check your progress, as well as your baby’s, and offer a screening test. This means that you may get to see your tiny baby! Your doctor will also answer any pregnancy-related questions you may have. Your risk of miscarriage has dropped by now, so you may want to share your exciting pregnancy news with family and friends after this visit.
What You Can Expect:
Today your doctor will likely offer you a screening test to check for chromosome abnormalities. There are many different tests that does this. Your doctor can discuss the different ones and find one that is right for you. You also do not have to get any testing for this, it is up to you.
If you choose to test, you’ll also have an ultrasound, and the doctor will measure the thickness of the back of your baby’s neck. You’ll also have a blood test. The results of these two tests help determine your baby’s risk of Down syndrome and trisomy 18, an extra chromosome 18 that causes birth defects and mental retardation.
You may feel alarmed if you have an abnormal test, but remember that the result only means that there may be a problem. In most cases, the baby is healthy despite an abnormal test result. If the results of the test show an increase in risk, your doctor may suggest a more detailed ultrasound during your 20-week prenatal visit. Or he or she may recommend a diagnostic test like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). If your doctor recommends CVS, you’ll need to have the procedure done soon, so talk with your doctor about when to schedule it.
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