Early in your pregnancy, your doctor may suggest a choice of two different types of blood tests and/or ultrasound. These screening tests allow your doctor to discover what the chances are for your baby to have a problem. If your chances are high, special tests called chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis can be done. With these tests, chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome can be found. These studies cannot detect all abnormalities. In any pregnancy, there is always a small possibility of a birth defect being present. More information regarding CVS and amniocentesis will be given to you if you and your doctor decide the test may be needed.
If these tests are abnormal, you and your doctor will discuss the nature of the possible problems and what actions may need to be taken.
Women over 35 have a slightly higher chance of having diabetes during their pregnancy. Your doctor may do a simple blood test to check for this. If diabetes is found, more information will be given to you.
There may be an increased chance of having problems with high blood pressure, bleeding, and problems with labor. Some of these problems may increase the possibility of having to have a cesarean or surgical delivery.
There may also be a small but greater chance of having a miscarriage or stillbirth (baby dying late in pregnancy). The baby also has a small but higher chance of being larger or smaller in size than the normal range for babies.
However, if the mother keeps her appointments and allows her doctor to keep a close watch on her and the baby, most problems can be minimized. The chances of having a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy will still be very good.
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