Week 10 - Screening Tests
Hello. This is Dr. Mauldin. You are now in your 10th week of pregnancy.
Within the next 1-2 weeks, you are going to hear the baby’s heartbeat at your prenatal visit. The baby’s heartbeat is going to be much faster than yours. It will range somewhere between 120 and 160 beats/minute.
This is a good time to talk with your doctor about the screening tests that are available to detect certain birth defects such as spina bifida or genetic problems such as Downs Syndrome.
Screening tests are offered to all pregnant women. They are easy to perform and there is not a risk to the baby. Depending on which test is chosen, the tests use a combination of blood work and ultrasound findings. The first screening test available during a pregnancy can be performed between weeks 11 and 13. If a screening test does show an increased risk of having an affected baby, please remember not to panic. These tests are just screenings tests and most of these pregnancies are going to be healthy.
If your test does return as abnormal, speak with your physician. You will be offered additional counseling and testing to determine for sure whether there is a problem.
Your health care provider can help you decide which screening test is right for you.
I hope you are doing well and I’ll talk to you next week.