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Ultrasound image of fetus in utero.
Figure 13.1 Prenatal Ultrasound Ultrasonography allows expectant parents to “see” their growing fetus. (credit: “Late second trimester ultrasound” by Robyn Alvarez/Flickr, CC BY 4.0)

Prenatal screening and diagnostic tests are recommended to provide baseline information. Ultrasound can provide information such as gestational age, congenital abnormalities, and the condition of a fetus in a high-risk pregnancy. Blood tests are used to determine blood type, Rh status, antibodies, STIs, genetic abnormalities, anemia, and gestational diabetes. Expectant parents are educated on the reasons for, and risks and benefits of, prenatal testing when deciding to have prenatal testing performed. Some prenatal tests should be performed at specific times throughout the first, second, and third trimesters. It is important that these tests are performed at the appropriate time. This chapter outlines the different types of prenatal testing for the first, second, and third trimesters.

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