Medical tests such as a pregnancy ultrasound can help your health care provider monitor your baby's development, while more specialized pregnancy tests such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) can help detect conditions such as Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis.  

In our section devoted to pregnancy, learn more about these types of pregnancy tests as well as the importance of prenatal care.  Also get information about pregnancy discomforts and multiple pregnancies.

Determining Your Baby’s Health

A considerable number of pregnancies are unplanned. In fact, around 50% or 1 in 2 of women falls pregnant without having planned to have a baby.

In such cases, it is impossible for couples to have a full health evaluation before trying for a baby in order to assess their genetic health and determine whether the baby they conceive will inherit any family diseases.

However, for the couples who are planning and trying for a baby, there is what is known as preconception genetic testing- this is ideal if you want to try to ensure the baby conceived is free of certain chromosomal abnormalities and hereditary diseases.

Your doctor or prenatal care specialist will first and foremost assess you and your partner’s family medical history to see whether there are any illnesses which seem to run in the family. Further to this, they may suggest carrying out genetic health testing to see whether you and your partner carry the disease causing gene.

Following this, they will discuss the likelihood of the disease being passed on to the baby, any likely complications and so forth. Couples can then decide, based on the risk evaluation, whether to have a baby of their own and adopt.

Prenatal Testing

A range of screening tests including ultrasounds are used to indicate whether there is anything wrong with the baby and monitor the health of the baby closely as pregnancy advanced.

Unfortunately, when it comes to certain conditions such as Down syndrome, a screening test such as an ultrasound will not provide a confirmation. So, if any traits associated with Down syndrome are spotted during a routine ultrasound, the expectant mother may be advised to undergo an amnio.

Amniocentesis and other diagnostic tests such as CVS carry certain risks such as miscarriage or injury to the fetus’ limbs. Pregnant women may be given the option of non invasive prenatal testing which is carried out with 0 risk using just blood samples from the mother.

The fact that the test is done using blood samples collected from the mother means that, unlike amniocentesis or CVS, there is not puncturing of the amniotic sac or tissue biopsy. Non invasive prenatal testing is offered also for paternity and a number of companies, including Genetic Testing Laboratories. The test is done using a kit and blood collection tubes. The blood is collected by a medical blood draw and a medical professional will need to do this.

Prenatal Care, Stages of Pregnancy and Teen Pregnancy

Taking care of your health is essential to the well being of your growing baby. Prenatal care means finding the right care giver for you as well as attending regular prenatal medical checkups.

Here you'll also find information on finding a doula and midwife, as well as questions to be sure to ask your health care provider.

Welcome To Pregnancy. Are You Ready?

Learn about the stages of pregnancy and follow your baby's development with our very own pregnancy calendar. Discover how to calculate your baby's due date and find fun ideas on how to announce your pregnancy.  

Also get information about the what your baby may look like week to week during your pregnancy and find out more about the differences in your body and your pregnancy during the different trimesters of pregnancy.

Teen pregnancy brings with it its own unique set of challenges. Learn about pregnancy myths and facts as well as teen pregnancy statistics. Here you'll also find advice on how to tell your parents that you are pregnant and about your options after your pregnancy is over.

Pregnancy Discomfort And Multiple Pregnancy

Experiencing discomfort during pregnancy is something all moms-to-be go through.

Learn about how to alleviate common pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, cramps and swelling, as well as how to minimize the appearance of stretch marks and varicose veins.

Eating for more than two? Being pregnant with twins or multiples is an exciting time for moms-to-be that can also bring with it special concerns.

Learn about staying healthy during a multiple pregnancy as well as information on how to reduce the risk of complications.

If you're a mom-to-be, working during pregnancy can be a challenge. Find out about how to stay safe from workplace hazards for pregnant moms as well as how to talk to your boss about going on maternity leave.

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

Don't forget the importance of a healthy diet and exercise to your growing baby. Discover easy tips on eating right and staying fit during your pregnancy so that both you and baby stay healthy!

One common concern moms-to-be have is about sex during pregnancy. Learn about when sex during pregnancy can be unsafe and about comfortable sex positions, as well as changes in your libido during pregnancy.



Discuss all your pregnancy questions with other women in the forum

Login to comment

Post a comment

hey fish 09, read your post and i feel for you, its hard when you have such a life changing decision like this. i was 21 when i gave birth to my now 2.5 yr old and i wont lie there are days when i look back to what my likfe was b4 i had him.. and i think boy that was easy..but was my life fore filled? him and his brother fill my life everyday with joy, memories and sometimes frustration but would i change it? hell no...BUT.. i have an amazing husband and we had been together for 5 yrs. i knew how he felt and he is amazing wit kids, so reality is i have it great with him.. i believe if you are driven, hard working and committed, then you can do it..regret is a hard thing to forget. but you need to know that children change your life completly, in my case for the absoulte best..only you know wot to do!! best of luck:)
7 years ago
I am 39 yrs old my youngest is now 13. I missed my period all of July 2011 and it's now Aug 13th I started spotting brownish pink yesterday and a little today. I feel and have been feeling bloated. I took at the begining of this month Aug and another one about four days ago both were negitive.Does anyone have a similar situation??? Could I be Preg??? nd today. I been feeling bloa ted I took a h.p.t. last week and one four days ago bit they were negitave. ??? Wondering am I preg??? Does anyone habe a similar situation?
7 years ago
hi ladies! i'm 24 yrs old & just found out that my husband & i are expecting our 2nd child! :) just a little about my fam history: my brothers are identical twins, my mom's sister has fraternal twins, & they have a 1st cousin (on their mom's side) that has a set of fraternal twins as well. with that said, i went for my 1st ultrasound on mon & we deff had one perfect 6w, 5d baby in there BUT there was some thing else in there as looked like another sac however we couldnt see any thing inside or a heartbeat (but obviously we could on the other). i saw my dr's midwife for this 1st confirmation ultrasound & she said it could be a couple different things: twins & one just wasnt as far developed as the other yet, twins & one was in a hidden posistion, we conceived twins but lost one, or some thing to do w/ me health wise like a blood clot. HELP!!! has this happened to any one else & if so what was the out come?? i just don't know what to think or if it all even makes sense to me! So ladies help me out i need all the "this happened to me" stories i can get! lol :)
7 years ago
I am getting married this september, very exciting but my fiance and I think that I am is too early to take a HPT because I only would have concieved on august 29th...I have not missed a period yet, I should be getting it on august 17, but I can't stand waiting that long to know for sure! I have had many symptoms, VERY tender/sore breasts (to the point where I am brought to tears) major cramping in my abdomen/stomach area, bloating (I already seem to have a "baby bump" obveously not Baby yet!),Nausea (no vomiting yet),Frequent urination, strange cravings, food aversions, fatigue/exaustion, dizziness, sensitivity to aromas,heart burn, constipation, low back pain, clear discharge, irritablity, and a few pounds of weight fiance is SURE I am pregnant, but I am nervous and scared about this so I dont want to jump to conclusions until I get an accurate pregnancy test result.. any suggestions or tips?
7 years ago
Hope someone can help! Major problem!! So I've been dating this guy since February. He got me pregnant about 5 weeks ago and absolutely DOESN'T want it. He is all for getting an abortion and i don't know what to do. Part of me wants it, but part of me doesn't because of the things he says. I've always been against abortion, but now i'm pregnant and don't know what to do. I'm only 20 years old, i'm a server. i'm about to be 21 in december. Can someone please give me advice on what i should do. Most of me wants to keep this baby, but not sure if i'll regret it.
7 years ago