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Maternal Prenatal Screening and Serologies

Snow, Timothy M., RN, MSN, NNP-BC; Coble, Melissa, DNP, RN, NNP-BC

Section Editor(s): Newberry, Desi M.

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000568
Special Series: Congenital Infections

Background: Maternal prenatal screening is essential in preventing pregnancy complications as well as preventing and/or predicting neonatal and infant medical issues after delivery that are due to certain communicable diseases.

Purpose: This article is aimed at gathering and presenting the most recent information regarding the most common prenatal screening laboratory studies and the implications with the various diseases.

Methods/Search Strategy: An extensive medical database search was performed and the most relevant medical texts regarding the subject of prenatal screening were obtained.

Findings/Results: Maternal screenings should be performed at the first provider visit once pregnancy has been confirmed. Additional screenings vary based on the specific disease and on maternal risk factors. Methods of screenings involve measuring antigen or antibody titers, a combination of antigen/antibody titers, or by specialized genetic tests.

Implications for Practice: Providers responsible for pregnant women should be able to identify which diseases they need to screen for and how to interpret the findings. Neonatal providers should be able to interpret the findings and they should also be able to manage neonates appropriately.

Implications for Research: Future research should be aimed at developing better, cost-effective tests for both existing diseases and new diseases that either impact large or small populations of pregnant women and their fetuses.

Wake Forest Hospital-Brenner Children's Hospital, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Correspondence: Timothy M. Snow, RN, MSN, NNP-BC, Wake Forest Baptist Health-Brenner, Children's Hospital, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston Salem NC, 27157 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2018 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses