Around 8 weeks-
At your first visit we will do the following routine blood work:
- Your blood type. If your blood type is Rh negative we will need to order an injection called RhoGam that you will receive later in pregnancy. If the baby’s father is Rh negative, the injection is not necessary. We must have proof of the baby’s father’s blood type. This is important to help prevent a disease that can affect your future pregnancies if your blood type is Rh negative and your partner is Rh positive. If you are Rh negative a doctor will discuss this with you in more detail.
- A complete blood count is done to rule out anemia and platelet problems.
- Screening for some common STDs (Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B, HIV). This is very important information because we can prevent spreading these diseases from the mom to the baby. The pediatricians will want to know this information before they take care of the baby. These tests are required by law.
- Rubella antibodies. You were immunized against rubella (German Measles) as a child. We do this test to see if you still have that immunity. If you do not, you will get another rubella vaccine after delivery and before leaving the hospital. This is to prevent a rubella infection during any subsequent pregnancies.
- Urine culture. We look for asymptomatic urinary tract infections in all pregnant women because you are more likely to have a bladder infection or kidney infection while you are pregnant. If it is a severe infection it can lead to preterm labor. If we find a certain bacteria in your urine, Group B Strep, we will also need to give you an antibiotic in labor.
- Cystic Fibrosis is an optional test. A provider will discuss this with you at one of your visits. If you have not had this discussion or received a pamphlet, please let one of the office staff know and we will explain this in more detail. We do not recommend this test for everyone but we want you to know what it is and that it is available so that you can decide for yourself if you want to have it done. You may have had this test done previously and we can attempt to get old records if you may have had it done.
- Hemoglobin electrophoresis. We will do this blood test to determine if you are likely to have a baby with a genetic anemia such as Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia. This test only needs to be done once, so if you had it done during a previous pregnancy through us we will not repeat it.
Around 11 weeks-
We recommend you have some type of genetic screening for Down’s Syndrome and Trisomy 18 (as well as other less common genetic conditions). If you are older (greater than 35 years old), have a family history of this condition, or feel strongly about having a child with a chromosome problem, you may consider having a genetic counseling consultation at another facility. If this is desired, we will schedule this for you for the appropriate time frame. If this has not been discussed with you and you would like to know more information please let someone in our office know and we will make sure your questions are answered. For most patients who aren’t going to have the CVS or amniocentesis, the “first trimester screening” will be performed between 11 and 14 weeks. This test consists of an ultrasound which measures the thickness of the skin fold behind the babies neck. This is a technically difficult ultrasound and we currently send you to the high risk doctor to have this done.