Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider about Non-Routine Prenatal Tests

During your pregnancy you will receive prenatal tests to help your health care provider learn about how you and your baby are doing. Some prenatal tests such as blood tests, urine tests, and blood pressure checks, are routine. Other tests are not offered routinely, but only if you or your baby are at increased risk for certain problems or conditions. You are not under any obligation to have prenatal tests, however many of the tests are very important for a healthy pregnancy. You and your partner, together with your health care provider, can determine what's best for you and your baby. Before you agree to a test, make sure your health care provider gives you the answers to the following questions:

prenatal testing questions
Why are you recommending this test?

What do you hope to learn from this test?

How accurate is it?

If it suggests a problem, will I have to take other tests? (If yes, all of these questions apply to other tests.)

Have you done this procedure before?
How many times?

What risk does this procedure pose to me or my baby?

Who examines the results?
What is their experience and training?

What are my options if the results of this test are positive/negative?

Are there any alternatives to this test?
What about no testing?

Where can I learn more about this test?
Do you have any literature on it that I can read?

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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010