Third-Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests
Prenatal Screening Tests You Should Take During the Third-Trimester
During the last three months of your pregnancy, your baby becomes bigger, he grows with his fingers and fingernails and opens and closes his eyes. You may feel tired and may be out of breath. It is completely normal. You should also feel more movement from your baby.
By the 37th week, your baby can be born and considered early. The longer they stay, the healthier they will be at birth.
During your pregnancy, you want to know how your baby grows up. Third-trimester Prenatal tests can provide valuable information about your health and that of your growing child.
If your doctor recommends screening or tests, make sure you know the risks and benefits. Most parents find that prenatal testing provides them with peace of mind while preparing for their baby’s arrival. But it is your choice to accept or reject a test.
All these peeking and needles are starting to fade? This guide to the most common tests from the third quarter should help you to keep things right. You will undoubtedly receive these screenings, and the cases indicated as optional should be discussed with your doctor.
Group B Streptococcal Screening
This test, administered to all women up to 36 weeks, can detect harmless bacteria from the rectum and vagina that can be dangerous if they are transmitted to the baby during labor. Vaginal and rectal swabs were taken between 35 and 37 weeks of pregnancy to detect streptococcal bacteria group B. Although group B streptococci can affect up to 30% of healthy women, this is most importantly leading to life-threatening infections in newborns and can also cause mental retardation, hearing loss, and visual impairment. One who tests positive is treated with antibiotics during delivery to protect the baby against infection at birth. Instead, your doctor or midwife may choose not to perform screening test for strep throat, but to treat you during childbirth, if to develop certain risk factors.
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A contraction test (TSC), such as the NST test, measures the fetal heart rate. In this test, however, the heart rate of the baby is measured in response to uterine contractions caused by the administration of oxytocin (Pitocin) or stimulation of the nipples. The test is sometimes called the oxytocin challenge test. Typically, blood flow to the placenta slows down during contractions, but if the placenta is working correctly, the baby’s heart rate remains stable. In case of placental dysfunction, the baby’s heart rate temporarily slows down after a contraction. Research into the heart rate of the baby in response to uterine contractions may help the doctor to assess how the baby will respond to stress during labor. This test is not performed as often as the NST or the biophysical profile.
Related: WHAT ARE BRAXTON HICKS CONTRACTIONS AND WHY DO THEY OCCUR?
The test without stress (NST)
The stress-free test (NST) refers to a fetal monitor attached to the mother’s abdomen to measure the baby’s heart rate during exercise. It is called “non-stress” because no stress is imposed on the fetus during the test. This test is sometimes performed every week during risky pregnancies. This happens after the 28th week of pregnancy, but usually after 32 weeks. The measurements are usually done for 20 to 30 minutes.
A contraction stress test (CST)
A contraction test (TSC), such as the NST test, measures the fetal heart rate. In this test, however, the heart rate of the baby is measured in response to uterine contractions caused by the administration of oxytocin (Pitocin) or stimulation of the nipples. The test is sometimes called the oxytocin challenge test. Normally, blood flow to the placenta slows down during contractions, but if the placenta is working properly, the baby’s heart rate remains stable.
Related: LABOR INDUCTION – WHICH MEDICAL TECHNIQUES ARE USED?
Ultrasound can be performed in the third trimester if necessary to help assess fetal growth and to detect placental problems.
Usually performed with the nonstress test in the third trimester, a biophysical profile shows the baby’s heart rate, activity level, breathing movements, muscle tone and the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus. Your doctor might recommend it if you’re carrying multiples, are past your due date, or have risk factors such as high blood pressure or kidney or heart disease.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR NATURAL CHILDBIRTH?
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BABY AND WHAT TO PACK FOR THE HOSPITAL OR BIRTH CENTER?
Related Prenatal Screening Tests Guides:
- First-Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests
- Second-Trimester Parental Screening Tests
- PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK GUIDE – PREGNANCY STAGES