Risk Assessment Tests for Expectant Mothers, By Dr. Philip Shlossman

Throughout a pregnancy, most physicians recommend a variety of tests for expectant mothers and fetuses. These tests provide ongoing information about the mother’s and baby’s health, which allows doctors to address any problems early and prevent them from escalating.

While a woman’s medical history will likely affect which specific tests a physician performs, certain tests are more or less standard for all pregnant women. Common tests performed during pregnancy include the following:

Ultrasounds. These tests use sound waves to create an image of the fetus. If a physician detects potential problems, he or she can perform more detailed ultrasounds to get more information.

Maternal blood tests. Some blood tests are used to evaluate the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and other birth defects.

Maternal immune system tests. Swabs and samples taken from the mother are used to determine whether the mother has any infections or diseases that could affect the fetus.

Ongoing screenings. At regular intervals, physicians monitor maternal blood sugar and blood pressure levels, as well as other indicators of overall health.

About the Author:

As Vice President of the Delaware Center for Maternal & Fetal Medicine of Christiana Care, Dr. Philip Shlossman provides care for women throughout their pregnancy and delivery. Dr. Shlossman lives in Wilmington, Delaware.


An Interview with Dr. Philip Shlossman

Dr. Philip Shlossman is a Board Certified OB-GYN at Christiana Care Health Services in Newark, Delaware, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jefferson Medical College. An expert on the challenges of premature birth, Dr. Shlossman gives advice on how to avoid the tragic scenario.

Who is at risk of premature delivery?

There are many things women can do to decrease their chances of early delivery. But when women wait until they become pregnant to stop smoking or manage chronic diseases, it is often too late. Both malnutrition and obesity also place pregnant women at risk. So dealing with these things right away is important for women of child-bearing age.

Dr. Shlossman, are there particular stages in pregnancy that bear more risk than others?

Receiving prenatal care early in a pregnancy and throughout the pregnancy is extremely important. The factors underlying premature birth are multiple and complex, so it is important to work with a health care provider throughout the pregnancy to both screen for problems and become educated in the best practices of self-care.

A Look at the Delaware Center for Maternal and Fetal Medicine of Christiana Care, by Dr. Philip Shlossman

The Delaware Center for Maternal and Fetal Medicine of Christiana Care, Inc. provides top-quality care to pregnant mothers and their babies. With an expert team of perinatologists, the two facilities that comprise this entity understand many of the issues that can occur due to or during childbirth. Specialists also assist during high-risk pregnancies caused by chronic illness, mothers being over 35 years of age, prior pregnancy losses, and the existence of diabetes.

Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, these Newark-based clinics, part of the Christiana Care Health System, also evaluate the baby while the infant is in utero. Using basic and targeted ultrasounds, duplex Dopplers, contraction stress tests, and other devices, the professionals at the Delaware Center can recognize growth and structural conditions and make treatment recommendations to the parents. Additionally, the center offers genetic counseling and first-trimester screenings.

About the Author:
An award-winning obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Philip Shlossman has tended to patients for over 20 years. Focusing on fetal medicine, Dr. Shlossman has acted as Vice President of the Delaware Center for Maternal & Fetal Medicine of Christiana Care since 2007.