Pregnancy / Childbirth

The most important research in the third trimester


The third trimester of pregnancy is the last simple one to solve, but it should be remembered that in the heat of preparation, preparing the layette, children's room, etc., do not forget about the most important thing - about your own and unborn baby's health. To make it easier for all mothers who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new family member, we have prepared a calendar of all tests that should be performed in the last trimester of pregnancy along with their short description and explanation of what they are used for. We hope that thanks to this, every expectant mother will be able to be perfectly prepared for childbirth, also in terms of health.

Calendar of tests during the third trimester of pregnancy

In the third trimester of pregnancy, the future mother is waiting at least 3 visits to a gynecologist conducting pregnancy, however, due to the presence of pregnant associated diseases, of course, there may be more.

First visit -27-32 weeks pregnant
During this meeting, compulsory tests include:

  • blood count
  • general urine test
  • immune antibodies
  • ultrasound examination
  • cytological examination (if it was not performed at an earlier stage of pregnancy)

Second visit - 33-37 weeks of pregnancy
Obligatory tests during this period of pregnancy:

  • blood count
  • general urine test

Other recommended tests:

  • culture for beta-hemolytic streptococci (GBS)
  • HBs antigen
  • in the group of women with an increased population risk / individual risk of infection: VDRL, HIV, HCV study
  • cytological examination (if it was not performed at an earlier stage of pregnancy)

Third visit - 38-39 weeks of pregnancy
During this period two tests are necessary:

  • blood counts
  • general urine tests

Examination after 40 weeks of pregnancy

After the 40th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound examination is performed with fetal weight assessment and the fetal condition is monitored by cardiotocographic (CTG) records.

What is the purpose of examinations during the third trimester of pregnancy?

First, tests that are performed on a pregnant woman in the third trimester give information to the attending physician and hospital staff about how the pregnancy is carried out, what state of health is pregnant at present and whether there are any adverse factors such as an infection that may pose a threat of premature delivery or be a danger to the baby during delivery.

It is important for the expectant mother to have all the results of these tests on the pregnancy record, which is the most important document of a pregnant woman and is a great help for specialists, e.g. when she suddenly goes to hospital unexpectedly.

However, for every woman preparing for childbirth to be fully aware of why each of the tests listed above is performed, now we will briefly describe each of them.

Blood count

A blood count test gives a lot of information on the health status of a pregnant woman. First, pay attention to the number of erythrocytes, or red blood cells, and hemoglobin, which tell you if your pregnant woman has anemia. The second important value is the number and distribution of white blood cells. Their elevated values ​​may be indicative of an infection that may result in preterm labor. The next evaluated parameter are platelets, which indirectly give information on coagulation, which is an important parameter in the context of perinatal bleeding and some diseases during pregnancy, e.g. HELLP Syndrome.

General urine test

A general urine test is a test that reflects first excretory functions nerek, and secondly controlling the presence of urinary tract infection. It measures urine specific gravity (e.g. excessive weight may indicate proteinuria or dehydration), pH, color, transparency, the presence of erythrocytes, leukocytes and epithelial cells, as well as glucose and protein. Suspected urinary tract infection suggests finding erythrocytes and leukocytes in the urine, and this result obliges the doctor to implement appropriate treatment. Protein in the urine, on the other hand, is one of the symptoms of the threat of pre-eclampsia eclampsia.

Cytological examination
As in the general female population, a cytological examination is performed in pregnancy. Its purpose is to assess the state of cervical cells, and thus the risk of the appearance or presence of cervical cancer, which can sometimes be diagnosed for the first time in a pregnant woman.

Immune antibodies

Immune antibody testing is performed to assess the presence of serological conflict. It checks whether maternal blood has antibodies against incompatible fetal erythrocytes. Conflict during the first pregnancy is usually not a threat (unless the mother's blood comes into contact with the baby's blood, e.g. in case of placental leakage), but if the pregnant body has not yet developed antibodies, appropriate preventive measures are taken to prevent their creation.
 
Culture for beta hemolytic streptococci (GBS)
This examination is particularly important in the case of delivery via natural paths, as mothers who carry these bacteria may become infected with the newborn baby while passing through the birth canal. In the case of confirmed carrier status or lack of result, prophylactic antibiotic therapy is used, which is designed to protect the child against infection that may cause sepsis and a direct threat to the baby's life.

Hbs antigen
A positive result in the mother's Hbs antigen test shows that she is a carrier of the hepatitis B virus. This situation obliges doctors to give the newborn immediately after delivery a specific immunoglobulin that will protect his liver from being damaged by the virus. It also informs staff that they are particularly careful during their operations so that there is no accidental stinging or infection.

Infectious Disease Research (VDRL, HIV, HCV)
VDRL is a reaction that is performed to diagnose infection or carrier of syphilis. This is extremely important because untreated syphilis in a pregnant woman can lead to infection of the fetus through the placenta and congenital syphilis. Its course may include for damage to the auditory nerve and deafness, keratitis and blindness, or deformation of teeth.

An HIV test is done to see if your mother is infected with HIV and is a carrier of HIV. In the event of a positive result, the woman should be transferred to a special center, and delivery should be done by caesarean section before the delivery and before the outflow of the waters.

A test for HCV infection (hepatitis C virus) is important for both the mother and the fetus. If the result is positive in a pregnant woman, she should be referred for hepatitis B vaccination. On the other hand, the child should be thoroughly diagnosed in this direction, and after confirming the infection, she must be under the care of a specialist who can then start treatment. Untreated HCV infection can lead to cirrhosis as well as hepatocellular carcinoma.

Ultrasound examination
Fetal ultrasound before delivery is one of the most contributing studies. Firstly, during the check the position of the fetus (i.e. whether the child is correctly directed to the mouth of the birth canal or not) is checked, as well as its dimensions and approximate weight. In addition, the amount of fetal water is measured and the location, appearance and thickness of the placenta are assessed. It also controls the degree of cervical shortening and dilation.

KTG
Cardiotocography is an extremely important study that is able to pre-assess two very important aspects: fetal well-being and the presence of uterine contractions. One of the electrodes measures the baby's heart rate, which should be in the range of 110-140 / 150 beats per minute, while the other monitors uterine contractions. In addition, a pregnant woman with a special button gives a sign when she feels movement, thanks to which the specialist can assess whether the baby is responding well or something disturbing is happening, which may require urgent intervention.

We hope that our article provided future mothers with the necessary information on all tests carried out on the last straight before the solution. Thanks to them, they will be better prepared and more aware of what they are used for. We would also like to remind you that you should always have a pregnancy record card with you just in case - it will provide specialists with much needed information if the baby decides to leave the world a little earlier than originally planned.