Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Antenatal visits and tests

WCH for Women

Antenatal tests and investigations

It is usual to have a number of routine tests and investigations during your pregnancy. A number of tests are not performed routinely and are recommended only for some women.  There are advantages and disadvantages for all tests offered by the hospital and we encourage you to discuss these with your doctor or midwife.

At your first visit

With your permission, a single blood sample will be taken:

  • to detect anaemia and red cell antibodies
  • to record your blood group
  • to check your immunity to Rubella (German Measles)
  • to check whether you are infected with Hepatitis B or C, Syphilis or HIV (AIDS)
  • to screen for other conditions as appropriate.

A urine sample will be requested to check possible unrecognised urinary tract infection.

Test results will be discussed at your next visit.  We will contact you if any follow up is needed before your next visit.

Early screening (1st trimester)

You may choose to have screening to see if your baby has a number of conditions, though for most women this is not necessary.

Screening for Down Syndrome involves a blood test at 10 to 13 weeks, followed by an ultrasound scan of the back of your baby's neck at 11 1/2 to 13 1/2 weeks. The scan is currently only available at the WCH if you are expecting twins but you can arrange for it to be done at a private radiology or ultrasound practice, in which case you will be charged a fee in addition to the Medicare rebate.

At 14 - 20 weeks

You may choose to have a single blood sample taken to screen for Spina Bifida or Down Syndrome.  Your GP may carry out this test, or you may come to the Women's Outpatients Department Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 12.30pm. You will need to bring a completed request form, signed by your doctor or midwife at your previous visit.

At 18 - 20 weeks

You may choose to have an ultrasound scan to see

  • whether you are having more than one baby
  • the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby
  • how your baby is growing
  • to check the position of the placenta
  • to exclude some, but not all types of abnormality.

It may be possible to determine the sex of your baby (if you wish to know) though the test is not always correct.

It is necessary to bring a request form, completed by the hospital staff or your GP.

At 28 - 30 weeks

With your permission, a blood sample is taken to test for anaemia, red cell antibodies and diabetes of pregnancy (high blood sugar levels). This involves having a glucose drink one hour before the test.

At 36 weeks

You may choose to have a vaginal swab taken to identify if a bacteria called Group B streptococcus is present.

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last modified: 27 Jul 2018