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First Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests

I am starting a weekly pregnancy vlog series. I will be sharing my weekly progress along with what most women are going through at this stage in the pregnancy. I will be sharing my struggles and how I naturally overcome them.

Other important topics I want to discuss include how I plan to have a natural pregnancy and birth. My goal is to make both as natural as possible and to do as few interventions as possible. I want to share this with as many women and families as I can so a wide variety of people can benefit from this information.

I plan on discussing how I have been dealing with nausea and morning sickness next week along with strategies that have worked for others. At the end of each video, I am leaving time for a question and answer session. If you have any questions that you need to be addressed, please leave them in the comments below. I will do my best to answer each and every one.

In the video below, I discuss why I have been absent on social media as of late. The first trimester hit me hard with morning sickness and exhaustion. It was especially hard with my work and travel schedule. Thankfully, my project ended and I am now able to be home.

Being at home has allowed me more time to recover from nausea and to get more rest. I would recommend if you have the ability to do so to take naps when you are feeling tired. It is also important to go to bed on time, especially when you are feeling tired. If you don’t listen to your body, you will feel awful. Everyone recommends that if you don’t have other children, try to get as much rest as you can before the baby comes.

I don’t think everyone is doomed to not sleeping when you are a new parent. There are many natural ways of getting babies to sleep more soundly. More on that later.

First Trimester Prenatal Testing

Let us briefly talk about first trimester routine and optional tests.

1. Pap Test – this is to screen for possible cervical cancer. If you are already up to date on this, it is not necessary.
2. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Testing – I believe the mandate depends on the state you are in. We are in North Carolina where it is mandatory.
3. Urinalysis and urine culture – According to this tests for the following:

“A urine tests is used to assess bladder or kidney infections, diabetes, dehydration and preeclampsiaby screening for high levels of sugars, proteins, ketones and bacteria.
High levels of sugars may suggest gestational diabetes, which may develop around the 20th week of pregnancy.
Higher levels of protein may suggest a possible urinary tract infection, or kidney disease.
Preeclampsia may be a concern, if higher levels of protein are found later in pregnancy, combined with high blood pressure.”
4. Serum Testing – Your blood will be drawn and tested for blood type, Rh factor, antibody screening, HIV, syphilis, anemia, Rubella immunity and Hepatitis B.
5. Cystic Fibrosis (optional) – We declined this test because it didn’t matter to us what happens.

6. First Trimester Screening (optional) – This test (genetic screening) determines your risk of having a child with Down’s syndrome (trisomy 21) or another chromosomal abnormality (trisomy 18). We also declined this test for the same reason as above.
7. AFP-Tetra (early 2nd trimester test) – The test looks at four hormones to determine if there is an increased risk for Down’s Syndrome, spina bifida, or other chromosomal abnormalities. We declined this test as well.
8. Amniocentesis (early 2nd trimester test) – A diagnostic test that is very invasive. A needle is inserted through a woman’s abdomen and into the fluid around the baby. They take a sample of amniotic fluid with the baby’s cells which are tested for chromosomal abnormalities. The risk of miscarriage is about .6% according to the Mayo Clinic (Source). Again we declined this test for the same reason as above, but also because of the small chance of miscarriage.

Thankfully I have a great OB/GYN who is more natural minded. There are a few things that are somewhat required that I disagree with. I will be sure to talk to you about them in future episodes! However, at my first appointment I asked a number of questions on their practices throughout pregnancy and birth. I was mostly satisfied with the answers I heard.

Most things are optional. There are consequences for not doing certain procedures, but for the most part they are hands off which I love! They don’t constantly bombard you during labor. If everything is going right, they leave you alone and don’t constantly monitor you. We are really blessed to have found such a great doctor.

Remember to submit any questions or comments you have for future videos!

What would you like to hear discussed? What are you struggling with in your pregnancy?