Written by: Neelu Prajapat.

If you are pregnant and have a higher risk for certain birth defects or chromosomal abnormalities, your doctor may recommend an amniocentesis.

Amniocentesis is a great way to learn more about your baby’s health. Amniocentesis is a safe and standard procedure, but it’s important to know what to expect before you go through with it.

What Is Amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is a prenatal test in which a small sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is removed and tested. The procedure is usually performed between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy.

Why Is It Performed?

Amniocentesis can be performed for several reasons and to detect chromosomal abnormalities:

Certain birth defects such as Down syndrome.

Chromosomal abnormalities such as trisomy 18 can also be detected.

The presence of certain infections, such as rubella, can be diagnosed through amniocentesis.

Amniocentesis is used to determine if a baby’s lungs are mature enough for birth by testing the maturity of the fetuses’ lungs.

Fetal Infections and other diseases can be detected.

Genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis can be identified.

Metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria (PKU).

For treating polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid).

To determine the sex of the fetus.

What To Expect During The Amniocentesis Procedure?

On the day of the procedure, you will need to wear a loose-fitting shirt and pants so that the doctor can easily access your belly. After applying a gel to your abdomen, your doctor will use an ultrasound transducer to examine your baby’s position on a screen. Next, the doctor will clean your belly with an antiseptic, and then they will use a needle to remove a small amount of amniotic fluid.

A long thin needle is inserted through the abdominal wall and into the uterus during the procedure. The needle is then carefully inserted into the amniotic sac using ultrasound guidance. A small amount of amniotic fluid is removed and sent for laboratory analysis.

The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes to an hour. You will be awake during the procedure, but you may feel some pressure or cramping as the needle is inserted.

Diet Guidelines For Gestational Diabetes

If unfortunately, after proper care you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, don’t panic. You can beat this problem by becoming very picky about what you eat.  

The main headline is to eat what will keep your sugar level to normal. Everyone has a different body and different needs for sugar. You need to look at the general guidelines and then pick the best for you. 

If you are thinking that it can be managed as a one-man army then no. The assistance of your nutritionist matters a lot here. She can better update you on your present carbohydrate needs. The general diet plan is explained below.

How To Care For Yourself After The Procedure

After your operation, you can see your fetus. You may be undergoing fetal blood pressure checks every hour. When feeling nausea or lightheaded, tell a doctor immediately.

It’s important to take a rest. You may experience some cramping and light bleeding, which is normal. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous activity for the next 24 hours.

If you experience symptoms like leaking amniotic fluid through the vagina, vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal cramps, decreased fetal movements, pain, and redness or swelling in the area where the needle was inserted, call your doctor.

What Do The Amniocentesis Results Mean?

The test results of the amniocentesis will take a few weeks to come back. Your doctor will go over the test results with you once the test results are in. The results can tell if your baby has a genetic disorder, chromosomal abnormalities, infection, or other health problems.

If the test reveals a problem, your doctor will discuss your options. For example, you may choose to terminate the pregnancy or decide to continue with it and receive prenatal care for a high-risk pregnancy.

Risks Of Having An Amniocentesis

There is a small risk of infection or bleeding, as with any medical procedure. There’s also a slight danger that the needle will harm the baby or placenta.

The risk of miscarriage associated with second-trimester amniocentesis is low compared to the first trimester. The chance of a successful pregnancy is about 99 percent.

Occasionally, a tiny amount of amniotic fluid may leak through the vagina as a result of amniocentesis. This is not a problem in most cases, but if you experience excessive leaking or watery discharge after the procedure, contact your doctor.

 Sources:

Amniocentesis (amniotic fluid test) / MedlinePlus

Amniocentesis /MayoClinic

Amniocentesis /Wikipedia

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