Amniocentesis is done by your
obstetrician in his or her office or in the hospital.
An overnight stay in the hospital usually is not needed unless problems occur
during the test.
You will be asked to expose your belly. You will
then lie on your back with it slightly raised to relax your belly muscles. Your
lower belly will be cleaned with a special soap.
checks the position of your fetus and the
placenta with a fetal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses
sound waves to make a picture of the uterus, your fetus, and the placenta on a
TV screen. Your fetus's heart rate can also be watched during the test using
ultrasound. For more information, see the topic
ultrasound picture as a guide, your doctor gently puts
a thin needle through your belly and into your uterus without hurting your
fetus or the placenta. If your fetus moves too close to the needle, the needle
will be taken out and your doctor will try again in another spot.
About 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of
amniotic fluid is taken out in a syringe attached to the needle, and then the
needle is taken out. The site is covered with a bandage.
The whole test takes
about 15 minutes. The thin needle is only in your belly for 1 to 2 minutes.
Your fetus's heart rate and your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be
checked before, during, and after the test.