Prenatal Tests

Ultrasound

Pros

  • least harmful
  • find the age of the fetus
  • finds the position that fetus is in
  • can assist in turning the baby if it’s in a breach position
  • seeing the placenta and fetus when there’s been vaginal bleeding
  • finding if there’s spina bifida, heart defect, cleft palate
  • determining if there is more than one fetus
  • fetal growth
  • if the fetus is alive

Cons

  • most costly
  • no long-term studies on the effects on the fetus
  • inaccurate in finding gender

Maternal Serum Alpha-fetoprotein Screening (also called MSAFP or maternal serum AFP)

Pros

  • can find if there’s more than one fetus
  • if the fetus has died
  • low birth weight
  • maybe complications
  • digestive system problems
  • urinary tract defects
  • find if the baby might have Down’s syndrome
  • might find a chance of abnormalities

Cons

  • inaccurate
  • 5% chance of abnormal results even when the fetus is fine

Chorinic Collis Sampling (CVS)

Pros

  • can find disabilities like Down syndrome
  • reveal baby’s gender

Cons

  • 4% chance of miscarriage
  • can cause damage to the baby’s arms, legs, fingers, and toes

Amniocentesis

Pros

  • reveal baby’s gender
  • can find abnormalities and defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly

Cons

  • 1.5% of miscarriage or fetal damage

Screen for Gestational Diabetes

Cons

  • 50-70% inaccuracy

Prenatal Rhogam

Pros

  • finds if the mother is RH positive or negative

Cons

  • side effects can be inflammation, malaise, chills, fever, rash, and anaphylaxis
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