Prenatal testing a crucial part of pregnancy monitoring

Nowadays, there are tests and screenings for nearly every condition, or so it may seem to Texas patients who must undergo these types of testing. For an expecting mother, there are also many different types of tests that must be taken to ensure fetal health and monitor the pregnancy. When done properly and according to the correct timeline, prenatal testing can help prevent pregnancy-related injuries.

Prenatal care generally encompasses screenings, tests, checkups with one's doctor and patient education regarding topics ranging from nutrition and breastfeeding to labor and delivery. At many of the regular checkups, doctors or nurses will observe the mother's blood pressure, the baby's heart rate and the amount of movement the developing baby seems to be performing. If a baby isn't moving enough, it may be an indication that the fetus is in some sort of distress and intervention may be needed. Without this type of monitoring, fetal distress can go unnoticed and the pregnancy may be jeopardized.

In addition, crucial prenatal tests can detect potentially harmful conditions in the mother, such as anemia, gestational diabetes or infections which can harm the baby. Tests are often performed on the baby itself to see if it may have conditions such as Down Syndrome or Cystic Fibrosis. One well-known type of testing is amniocentesis, which can identify spina bifida as well as Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis. This type of testing is particularly recommended for couples whose family history may involve genetic disorders.

It's important to know that screenings and tests are not necessarily the same thing. A screening functions as a sort of preliminary test; if a screening indicates the need for further investigation, a diagnostic test is recommended. This second type of test - if administered properly and during the right timeframe - can rule out conditions or confirm disorders.

When most people think of negligence in the hospital setting, they picture delivery room negligence, which is a real concern for all expecting mothers. Still, negligent monitoring can also lead to significant damages for mother, baby or both. To learn more about compensation for negligent monitoring, a parent can contact a Texas medical malpractice attorney skilled in pregnancy-related injury cases.