Pregnancy is a wonderful journey to motherhood. During the antenatal period, the nine months before delivery, you will have regular antenatal check-up to predict, prevent and detect maternal and fetal complications during your journey through pregnancy. A few special tests will be done for early detection of fetal abnormalities, i.e.:
- Nuchal thickness test
- Triple test
- Detail scan
Nuchal thickness test
The Nuchal Translucency at the back of the neck is due to the edema beneath the skin at the nuchal region (behind fetus neck). This is an important marker to detect abnormality of the fetus such as Down Syndrome (trisomy 21), Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13), Edward Syndrome trisomy 18.
In normal healthy baby the nuchal thickness should not be more than 3mm. Nuchal thickness is assessed and measured by ultrasound scan at about 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Triple test is also known as triple screening. It is a test performed at about 15 weeks of pregnancy to detect chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects.
Your blood will be taken and test for AFP (alpha-fetoprotein), estriol and beta-hCG (human chorionic gonadotropins) levels. The result will determine whether your baby will be at risk for chromosomal abnormalities.
Amniocentesis is a prenatal test that used to gather information about your baby’s health and development. This is usually done around 16 weeks of pregnancy to determine whether a baby has genetic or chromosomal abnormality such as Down Syndrome.
A small amount of amniotic fluid is removed from the sac that surrounds your baby. The fluid collected will then be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
The aim of the detailed scan is to look at the baby’s anatomy in detail and to find out developmental and structural abnormalities of the baby, and to determine the position of the placenta and amniotic volume.
The scan will detect 80% of babies who have serious physical abnormalities, such as spina bifida (incomplete closing of backbone), cleft lip, anencephaly (without part of the brain), hole in the heart and omphalocoele (abdominal organs outside the body). Detailed scan is performed at around 20 weeks of pregnancy.
During detail scanning, the following structures of the baby will be identified and look for abnormality.
- Fetal lie
- Placenta localization
- Amniotic fluid
- Cord Insertion and vessels
- Lungs, Diaphragm
- Abdomen (stomach, kidneys , intestine, liver , bladder)
- Limbs (upper and lower limbs) and extremities
- Cervix of the mother
Cord Insertion at the umbilicus