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Prenatal Care

Prenatal tests and monitoring at Scripps

A medical professional examines a pregnant woman who is lying in a hospital bed, representing comprehensive prenatal care at Scripps.

Prenatal tests and monitoring at Scripps

Throughout your pregnancy, your obstetrician will monitor you and your baby and perform various tests and examinations. These checkups are important to detect any signs of problems as early as possible, and to provide you with peace of mind about your baby’s development.

Scripps Clinic and Scripps Coastal prenatal guide

Do you have a Scripps Clinic or Scripps Coastal OB-GYN physician? This important prenatal guide (PDF, 1.4 MB) can help you learn what to expect throughout your pregnancy and at appointments with your Scripps Clinic or Scripps Coastal physician.

Common tests throughout pregnancy

The following provides an overview of what to expect during your prenatal visits, including pregnancy blood tests and ultrasound examinations. Every pregnancy is unique; your obstetrician will determine which tests are appropriate for you and when, and answer any questions you may have.

Additional prenatal tests

In some pregnancies, your doctor may request additional prenatal exams. These exams are often suggested for pregnant woman over the age of 35 because of the increased risk of complications including Down syndrome.


Multiple marker screening (triple or quadruple screen testing)

This blood test checks for birth defects, similar to the first trimester screen.


Biophysical profile (BPP) 

This includes multiple tests to evaluate the baby’s heart rate, movement, breathing and amount of amniotic fluid.


Chorionic villus sampling 

This involves removing a small sample of placenta tissue to test for genetic defects.


Non-stress test 

This test measures the fetal heart rate while the baby is moving.


A contraction stress test using a fetal Doppler (heart monitor)

This is used to ensure that the baby will stay healthy during labor when there are reduced oxygen levels.


Early detection of health problems can help your obstetrician prepare for a safe delivery. Our perinatologists – medical doctors specializing in high-risk obstetrics – will work with your doctor to perform and interpret results of prenatal testing and design treatment plans for high-risk pregnancies.