Antenatal tests week-by-week


Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:

First visit at 6-8 weeks

  • History-taking and clinical examination to establish current and past health status, and to estimate baby’s due date.
  • PAP smear
  • Blood tests to establish your blood group, immunity to rubella and whether or not you are anaemic.
  • Ultrasound may be performed now to confirm the presence of the gestational sac.  
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) may be recommended if genetic or chromosomal screening is indicated

8-28 week appointments:

Monthly antenatal visits are recommended until 28 weeks gestation. Routine tests and procedures conducted at each visit include:

  • Urine testing to check for sugar, protein in the urine or signs of infection.
  • Blood pressure. The reading from for the first visit will establish a baseline. Hypertension (high blood pressure) with headaches, blurred vision and protein in the urine may indicate pre-eclampsia which requires close observation.
  • Weigh-in to establish a baseline and ensure that weight gain is neither to little or too much – about 12kg is average.
  •  General observation to establish the well-being of mother and baby, including checking the extremities for swelling, varicose veins, etc.
  • Abdominal palpation to assess the size of the uterus and later the position of the baby.

12 weeks

Ultrasound to observe the foetal heart beat and to measure the nuchal folds at the back of the baby’s neck, which may indicate the presence of Down’s syndrome.

16 weeks

  • Ultrasound: to detect the presence of foetal abnormalities.
  • Triple blood test: this is a screening tool used to establish a risk factor for Down’s syndrome, spina bifida and other chromosomal disorders. Depending on the risk, further testing such as CVS or amniocentesis may be recommended.

20 weeks

Amniocentesis if indicated

24 weeks

Routine observations now include assessing foetal movement and measuring and charting the height of fundus (the length of the uterus).

28-36 weeks

Visits are recommended every two weeks from 28 weeks onwards.

36 weeks

Vaginal examination and pelvic assessment may be carried out by some caregivers to assess size of the pelvis

36 weeks until delivery

Weekly visits will be recommended until the baby is born.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
9% - 896 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
55% - 5203 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
33% - 3113 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 302 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.