Over the years Fetal Medicine has emerged as a special entity which is separate from Obstetrics and Gynecology. It has been realized that the fetus within the womb should be considered as a distinct entity from the mother and as an individual which requires specific health care. The concept of Fetal Medicine has thus evolved to address the unique health needs of the unborn child – the fetus. Fetal Medicine specialists are mainly obstetricians who have had special training and skills in diagnosing and managing the problems faced by the unborn child. Apollo Cradle Fetal Medicine Centre is proud to have a team of dedicated specialists who have received high standard training leading pioneers in this field both nationally and internationally. They have been practicing as consultants in this field and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our unit. The ultrasound machines used in our unit are the finest in the world. This enables our specialists to perform highly detailed and accurate scans, keeping the patient’s safety as the foremost priority at all times. Our biggest strength is the support of the best neonatal and pediatric team in India. The availability of this exceptional team enables us to offer pre-birth planning during pregnancy where relevant. Our unit also benefits from the services of a nationally renowned team of Geneticists. This allows us to provide advice and support for the couples who have either delivered babies with genetic conditions before or are themselves known to have genetic conditions and are planning for a baby.
Specialized Services Carried Out At Our Unit
- Pre-pregnancy counselling and Genetic consultation.
- Nuchal Translucency (NT Scan): 11 to 13+6 weeks
- Pre-eclampsia screening
- Cervical length assessment al various stages of pregnancy (as indicated)
- Early anomaly scan: 16 to 18 weeks (where relevant)
- Fetal anomaly scan: 18 to 20 weeks
- Fetal Echocardiography scan
- Fetal well-being scans with Fetal Doppler
- Ultrasound guided invasive procedures for diagnosis and therapy such as Amniocentesis; Chorion villous biopsy, Fetal blood sugar sampling
- Identifying and monitoring for fetal growth problems
- Surveillance and monitoring of twin pregnancies
Guide To Tests And Scans
Congratulations!… You have taken a home pregnancy test. and that is positive!!! Your pregnancy is an exciting time for you and your family. You may be busy planning and dreaming about your baby and how to prepare for its homecoming. During your pregnancy, we will check your and your baby’s health and well-being by carrying out some tests. This information is an attempts to answer common questions that you may have regarding these investigations.
Confirmation Of Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be confirmed by a urine test done at home or in the hospital lab. In some instances, it is necessary to check for the levels of the pregnancy hormone (β-HCG) in the blood.
BEFORE 11 WEEKS: Early pregnancy scan (Viability scan): We perform this scan to determine the stage of your pregnancy, to check the baby s heartbeat and to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy occurring outside the womb).
BETWEEN 11 to 13 WEEKS: Down’s Syndrome Screening and the Dating Scan: Screening for Down’s syndrome is offered to all pregnant women. It is done by a blood test called the “Double Marker test” which is combined with a scan done at 11 to 13 weeks to measure what we call as “Nuchal Translucency” or NT. The combination of the blood test result and the scan helps us to determine the baby’s risk of having common chromosomal problems like Down’s syndrome.
The estimated “date” of delivery or EDD is calculated during the “dating” scan. Certain abnormalities in the baby can be checked at this stage. If you miss the early tests for Down’s syndrome screening, another blood test, “Quadruple marker test” can be offered between 15 and 21+6 weeks. Further details regarding the screening and diagnostic test for Down’s syndrome is available in a separate leaflet.
Booking Blood Tests:
These are the blood tests which are typically done at the time of your first visit during the pregnancy.
Blood group type and Rh factor: This test will tell us what blood group you belong to – A, B, AB or 0, and whether you have blood group antibodies. The test will also show whether you are Rh positive or Rh negative.
Tests for Thalassemia and Sickle cell disease: Thalassemia and sickle cell disease are genetic conditions that are passed on from parents to children. People originating from some specific regions of the world are more likely to be carrying the defective gene causing these diseases. Thalassemia causes severe anemia in sufferers. Sickle cell causes anemia, bouts of severe pain and occasionally complicated infections. Knowing about the carrier status will be important for both the mother’s and baby’s health.
Complete blood count: This test includes measurement of various blood components such as red blood cells, hemoglobin, white blood cells and platelets. Further test and corrective treatment will be offered if alterations in the levels of the blood components are found.
Screening Test For Maternal Infections:
A screening for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis (VDRL test) and Rubella are carried out at the booking visit. Treatment of syphilis, if found during pregnancy, reduces the risk of infection in the baby. In cases where women may have infections like Hepatitis B, C and HIV, certain steps can be taken to reduce the chances of transmission to the baby. Rubella (German measles) infection during pregnancy can cause serious problems for the baby. Tests for immunity are done so that appropriate immunization for future pregnancies can be offered after delivery.
On the first booking visit, a random blood sugar (RBS) test is done. It can be done at any time of the day and no fasting state is required. The thyroid gland function is checked by testing the levels of a hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).
Apart from these, at each visit you will be asked to provide a urine sample to look for sugar, protein and to rule out urinary infections.
Between 18-20 Weeks:
Anomaly scan: This scan is performed to make sure that the baby is normal. This is a detailed scan and may take around 45 minutes so please plan your day accordingly. Occasionally, the baby lies in a position that does not allow checking of all the organs. If this happens, you will be asked to come back within a week to complete the scan. Please note that sex determination is illegal in India and will not be offered.
Between 24-28 Weeks:
Blood tests: Repeat complete blood count is done. At 24-28 weeks, Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) is done to screen for diabetes in pregnancy. Your first blood sample would be obtained when you are fasting. Following this, you would be given a glucose drink and then 3 separate blood samples would be obtained at 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours respectively.
This scan is usually done at 32 weeks. It may also be offered at 28 and 36 weeks depending on individual circumstances.