What to expect from dating scan
• Anemia: If you test positive for anemia, it means you don’t have enough red blood cells—typically because you are deficient in iron.
• Blood type and Rh (Rhesus) factor: It’s important for your caregiver to know your blood type and Rh factor.
If your Rh factor differs from that of your baby, you may have an immunological reaction to your baby’s blood.
This is mostly an issue in subsequent pregnancies, since it is the antibodies created in the first pregnancy that are harmful.
This test makes Rh Factor related problems preventable.
(Note: Your caregiver might require you take additional tests. Talk to your caregiver if you have questions or concerns.) Tests in first trimester What to expect Your first ultrasound(s), blood and urine tests When Weeks 11 to 13 (*dating ultrasound is done sooner) Dating ultrasound Not everyone gets this scan but some caregivers offer a dating ultrasound if you’ve had bleeding in the first few weeks or had problems in prior pregnancies (miscarriages, etc.).
First prenatal blood tests After your scan you’ll have blood taken.
Depending on where your scan is done (hospital, clinic, etc.), your partner might not be permitted to watch the entire scan (which usually doesn’t take too long if the baby is cooperating) but he’ll be called in toward the end to see baby.
Your 12-week(ish) ultrasound This scan (performed on the belly and sometimes vaginally—called a transvaginal ultrasound) in combination with a blood test will complete what’s called a “nuchal translucency test,” which estimates the likelihood that your baby will have Down sydrome by measuring the fluid beneath the skin of the back of your baby’s neck.
What about the 20-week ultrasound and all those other tests that moms-to-be have to take — amnio, glucose challenge, routine bloodwork? You might also be sent for one to check your conception date and to make sure the pregnancy is progressing well.
This blood test looks for: • Down syndrome: A blood test is performed in combination with the first ultrasound to determine the likelihood your baby will have Down’s Syndrome.
Specifically, caregivers test for abnormal levels of h CG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) and PAPP-A (pregnancy associated plasma protein).
(Read about those tests below.) The ultrasound technician will also measure the length of the fetus to give caregivers a more accurate estimation of your due date.
If the test indicates a high likelihood, caregivers will recommend amniocentesis or CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling), which are more invasive tests, but will give you accurate diagnoses.