Blood Test During Pregnancy
Blood test is a routine part of prenatal test although it can be used for screening during pregnancy. A blood test should be expected during your first prenatal visit. During later pregnancy , a blood test is used to monitor complications such as anemia or infections.
How is a blood test performed ?
Your health care provider collects blood through a vein in your arm . The sample is then sent to the lab for analysis.
What does a blood test look for ?
A blood test is used to check for the following :
- blood type – A, B, AB and O
- Rh factor
- iron, hemoglobin and glucose levels
- assess if you are immune to rubella
- check for sexually transmitted disease
- infections such as toxoplasmosis
- screening tests such as quad screen or triple screen test
It can also be used to diagnose certain genetic diseases such as Tay Sachs disease, sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia, cystic fibrosis and familial hypercholesterolemia.
What can a blood test reveal ?
Blood type : It can tell you if you belong to blood group A, B, AB or O
Rh factor : A blood test can tell if you are Rh positive or Rh negative. If you do not have the Rh antigen, you are Rh negative. If you have the Rh antigen, you are Rh positive. This test is essential due to problems that may arise if the mother’s blood does not have the Rh factor and the baby’s blood does.
Hemoglobin level : A blood test can assess the hemoglobin level. Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells. The level should be between 12 and 14 grams. You will need treatment for anemia if the level falls below 10 grams.
Iron level : A blood test can tell if you are iron deficient. Low levels of iron in the blood does not mean you are anemic. It just means you are at increased risk of anemia . In this case, your health care provider will prescribe iron tablets or injections.
Glucose level : This is used to screen for gestational diabetes. It checks the body’s ability to metabolize sugar. If your glucose level is between 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter of blood, your doctor or midwife will request a glucose tolerance test.
Rubella (German measles ) : The result of a blood test can be used to check if you are immune to rubella. This is done by checking if you have antibodies for rubella.
Toxoplasmosis : A blood test can check for this infection. The infection can cross the placenta and harm your unborn child.
Labs and Tests During Pregnancy. Group Health. http://www.ghc.org/healthAndWellness/?item=/common/healthAndWellness/pregnancy/pregnancy/firstTests.html. Accessed January 2, 2015
Tests you need during pregnancy. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/tests-you-need-during-pregnancy Accessed January 2, 2015