HatchPedia

From Amnio to Zygote, peep our glossary of all the pregnancy and birth-related terms you never knew existed, 'til now.

Genetic Testing

/juh·net·ik· test·ing/

Before you even get pregnant, you can test for all sorts of genetic disorders that may affect whether your child has genetic diseases. It’s totally up to you whether you want to know and to what length, but your doctor will likely suggest some to make sure you have a healthy baby. Some prenatal genetic tests are known as screening tests. They can determine whether your baby has an increased risk for certain disorders or diseases, but can’t say for sure. Other diagnostic tests are more definitive. Usually screenings come first and diagnostics later. Your provider might start out with a very basic carrier test of diseases like cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell disease, and others. If both you and your partner carry the gene for one of these diseases, you could pass it on to your baby, even if you don't have the disease itself.

Gestational Diabetes

/je·stey·shuh·n·all· dahy·uh·bee·teez/

Your doctor will likely recommend you receive a glucose screening somewhere between 24 and 28 weeks. The reason? To check for gestational diabetes, a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. (FYI it’s super common, not life threatening and it does not mean you will have diabetes following your pregnancy, so try not to stress it).

Like all screenings, the glucose screening won’t give you a true diagnosis (fun, right?) but it will identify if you’ll need more testing down the line. Here’s the deal. When you arrive for the test, your doctor will give you a kind of gross, super sweet solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. You’ll have to basically chug it. An hour later, you’ll have your blood taken from your arm to check your blood sugar level. The goal is to gage how efficiently your body processes sugar. The results should be available in a few days.

If your reading is too high, it doesn’t mean you have gestational diabetes, it just means you have to go back for the glucose tolerance test (GTT) which is when the real heinousness begins. The GTT is a three-hour test that begins on an empty stomach (so book that sh*t early). When you arrive for the test, they’ll prick your arm as a baseline, then you’ll chug the syrup, they’ll prick you again, and it will continue once an hour for three more hours. Chug, arm prick, wait. It’s a long and awful test, and if you start feeling nauseous or faint, speak up and ask that they let you lie down in an exam room. After the final blood sample, you get to leave and go eat/nap/cry.

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will explore a treatment plan with your doctor to manage the condition. Like we said, this diagnosis should only last as long as your pregnancy, but you'll have to take another glucose test six to eight weeks after your baby is born just to make sure.

Glucose Screening

/gloo·kohs· skree·ning/

A high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. It’s super common, not life threatening and it does not mean you will have diabetes following your pregnancy, so chillax. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will explore a treatment plan with your doctor to manage the condition. Like we said, this diagnosis should only last as long as your pregnancy, but you'll have to take another glucose test six to eight weeks after your baby is born just to make sure.

Group B Strep Test

/groop· bee· strep· test/

In the last month before you give birth, your doc will swab your vagina to check for this bacteria, which approximately 25% of all healthy women carry. Not to worry, if you test positive, it means you’re a carrier and chances are your baby will be totally healthy. Certain symptoms–like fever during labor, a UTI or premature labor–could signal heightened risk at delivering a baby with GBS, in which case your physician would want to give administer antibiotics at birth.