Staying healthy during pregnancy is important. However, if you did not exercise regularly prior to pregnancy, now is not the time to start. Below are some helpful hints for exercising. It is recommended that you not resume exercise until a pregnancy ultrasound reveals a fetus with a heartbeat. If you have any questions, consult with your physician.
The following is an introduction to some of the more common prenatal tests that may be offered to you by your obstetrician. You should discuss the pros and cons of these tests with your obstetrician at your first prenatal visit.
In the second trimester, a test called a "multiple marker screening" is offered to screen for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and neural tube defects. This test measures the level of three or four substances in your blood. It is usually performed between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. The stage of pregnancy at the time of the test is important, because levels of the substances measured change during pregnancy. These tests can pick up 70-80% of fetuses affected by Down syndrome, and 80% of fetuses with neural tube defects.
These tests are used to actually diagnose a pregnancy with an abnormality, whereas screening tests can only provide a percentage chance that an abnormality exists.
Both amniocentesis and CVS carry a small risk of miscarriage. This risk will be discussed with by your physician prior to performing either of these tests.