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.



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hi my name is Chasidy and I'm 16 i need some help i have been feeling like I'm pregnant I'm having cramps in my stomach really bad every time i push on my stomach it just hurts i feel bloated I'm always hungry but I'm not having food cravings also I'm having lower back pains i have my boyfriend pop my back but that seams like it don't work at all ,also feeling tired all the time then usual ive been having mood swings also, I'm on the depo shot and i have been bleeding off and on ever since august my doctor said i wont bleed but i have and i go get my injection again January 25-2012 of this month but me and my boyfriend is trying to get pregnant i took a pregnancy test this morning about 10:30 when i woke up and it was negative. im going to take one tomorrow really early and see what it says but it probably come out negative also.
7 years ago
I'm preg w/ my 4th LMP was Oct 19th and I had a positive preg test on Nov 24th. I've had 3 u/s all showing a gest sac, yolk sac but no baby or heartbeat. They have done 4 HCG level checks. The first one was 600+ (I think I had it done early Dec) the second one was on Dec 11th (I went to the ER due to some bright red light bleeding) and it came back 7,099.. The third one was taken on Dec 13th and came back 8,550 I just had the fourth one done yesterday (Dec 22nd) and it came back over 28,000! They've done 3 u/s total and said there has been no change/growth. But the one akem on the 11th put me at 5wks 6days..I'm now measured at 6wks. They're saying I'm going to miscarry, but why are my levels still rising? HELP!!!!
7 years ago
I hve had 4 miscarriage one Was ectopic my last menstrual was Oct 17 but I had an ultrasound 11/29/11 shows a gestation sac 5w3d another one done in about 1week and a couple days shows 6weeks but this time it shows a yolk sac but no fetal pole I go bck in two weeks 12/30/11 hopefully it shows a heartbeat my hcg numbers are doubling but I hve no symptoms except sore breast at times and headache my doctors don't seem to b concern but jus think I'm really early or maybe i ovualated late someone please help every experience this
7 years ago
I am new to this so any advice would be wonderful..My boyfriend and I have been having sex lately without protection except for infomus "pull-out" method. I do not have a normal period cycle due to a medical issue. I am confused on how long after sex should I take a pregnancy test. And also if that whole method is just alot of talk or if it is possible to actually work...PLEASE HELP
7 years ago
any advice would be great, im 38 weeks pregnant and have been having pains and cramps in my belly is there anything i can do to get it started ?? im in agony and the midwifes wont do anything untill my waters go ??
7 years ago