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Are the tests the same for a second pregnancy?
Q: I just found out I'm pregnant. I already have a 2-year-old son, and my pregnancy was very easy the first time. What kinds of tests do I need this time?
A: Congratulations on your second pregnancy! If you haven't signed up for prenatal care, this should be one of the first items on your to-do list. While there's a good chance that this pregnancy will be as trouble-free as your first, it's important for you to bejust as attentive with this pregnancy.

Most prenantal tests will be similar to those offered during your first pregnancy. If you're using the same healthcare provider, copies of your previous prenatal record should be available. If you're changing providers, it would be good to get a copy of your past records for your new provider.

At your initial visit, you will likely be offered a series of routine blood tests to repeat your blood type and screen, assess your level of immunity to rubella, check your blood count to evaluate for anemia and confirm that you have not been exposed to infections such as syphilis, AIDS and hepatitis. Other common tests include a pap smear of your cervix, screening tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia and a urine test to check for infection.

Depending on your age and past medical history, you may also be offered genetic testing such as an amniocentesis or a multiple marker screening test. Many providers also request at least one ultrasound during pregnancy. Later in pregnancy, you'll be offered a blood glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes, another test for anemia, and you may be screened for group B streptococci.

Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist