Mother’s Health During Pregnancy Week 9Brought to you by
Are you experiencing a stuffy nose or even nose bleeds? Don’t worry–both are common complaints during pregnancy. Try using a humidifier or a vaporizer to help.
You are approaching the period in your pregnancy of when you have the opportunity for several screening tests for genetic abnormalities. These are optional tests, and whether or not you take them depends on your approach to the information they provide. Consider how the possible results will be useful to you, before determining whether or not to go forward with the testing.
The First Trimester Scan: This test consists of a blood test, coupled with an ultrasound known as the nuchal translucency screening. It is non-invasive, and doesn't pose a risk to the baby or mom. The first trimester screen is performed between 11 and 13 weeks. Keep in mind that this is a screening, not a diagnostic test. It evaluates the level of risk for conditions, such as Down syndrome and other chromosomal problems. Your level of risk may fall within a normal or abnormal range. If your test shows a higher level of risk, you may opt to pursue further testing. This test cannot tell you for sure whether or not your baby has one of these conditions; it simply evaluates several factors to determine the ratio of your risk. A normal result doesn't guarantee your baby won't be affected, and an abnormal result doesn't guarantee a baby with one of these conditions.
If you pursue further testing, you may be offered a chorionic villus sampling (CVS). This is an invasive procedure, which involves removing cells from the placenta to test for genetic abnormalities. The test is done between 10 and 13 weeks. Due to the risk of infection or miscarriage, many women choose not to complete this test, unless they have abnormal results from earlier testing. Your doctor can discuss the risks and help you to weigh your options in determining which tests are right for you.