During your first trimester testing is needed to make sure you and baby are healthy.

Medical Testing for your First Trimester

Most women book with us for antenatal care during their first trimester. At your booking visit we will arrange a number of blood and other tests. We will also discuss tests that are available to screen for Down syndrome. We have an ultrasound scanner in our clinic and can confirm that your due date is correct, check for baby’s heart beat and confirm whether you are pregnant with one baby or with twins. You can read about medical tests during pregnancy in more detail by downloading our booklet on medical tests in pregnancy here.

Your Booking Blood Tests Include:

A full blood count
This is to check for anaemia.

Blood group and antibody screen
This is to check your blood group and rhesus group (positive or negative). Blood group antibodies are also checked. Blood group antibodies can interfere with cross matching blood for a transfusion or cause anaemia in a developing baby.

Rubella serology
This is to confirm that you are immune to rubella (also called German measles). Most women will have been vaccinated against rubella in childhood but a few women will have little or no immunity.

Hepatitis B serology
This is to check for previous infection or immunity to hepatitis B. Hepatitis B carriers can pass hepatitis onto their children. There are very effective treatments that can prevent hepatitis B being passed onto your baby after it is born. Occasionally, hepatitis B carriers will also need treatment with anti-viral drugs in pregnancy.

This screens for syphilis. This is now a rare disease but if detected treatment in pregnancy can prevent baby being infected.

HIV screening
HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) is still rare in pregnant women in New Zealand but carriers can infect their unborn child. Treatments are very effective in reducing the risk of fetal infection in women found to be carriers for HIV.

MSU (mid-stream urine)
A urine sample can check for unexpected urine infection or the presence of bacteria in your urine that increases your risk of kidney infections later in pregnancy.

HBA1C (Glycosylated Heamoglobin)
This is a measure of a woman’s blood sugar levels over the previous few weeks. High levels can indicate underlying diabetes or that you are more likely to develop diabetes later in your pregnancy. Women are more likely to develop diabetes in pregnancy if they are overweight, have polycystic ovaries or have a family history of diabetes.