7 Routine Blood Tests You Need During Pregnancy

The routine tests necessary during pregnancy

Contributed by- Dr. Dhrity Vats

“Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males. It is a woman’s crowning creative experience of a lifetime.”  – John Stevenson

 A woman’s body is the most beautiful creation of god. Along with a heart which cares for others, god gifted her with the capability of creating a new heart inside her body. A woman can create a simple microscopic organism into a living being – a new life – a baby. Motherhood comes with a bag full of responsibilities. Beginning from the initial day of getting to know that you are pregnant, you need to know if your body is fit enough to bring a healthy pregnancy or the life inside you can be taken care by your body. Hence, regular medical checkups are a must!

First things first! As soon as you get a positive pregnancy test go to a gynecologist
(doctor who specializes in conditions and diseases of the female body, particularly the reproductive system). Since you have already stepped into the 9 month pregnancy period, your doctor will advise you a few blood test during the first trimester of pregnancy to see that your body is healthy enough to nurture the life inside you throughout the pregnancy. The baby receives all nutrition and growth supplements through your body and blood so your medical health needs to be monitored regularly. Tests are done according to the development of the baby week by week or according to the trimester (a period of 3 months).

In every visit to the gynecologist, the midwife would record your body weight and blood pressure. The other tests include:

 

1 Complete Blood Count

Why is it done?

The blood running in your body is the only source of nutrition to the fetus developing inside. The same blood runs in his or her blood so the composition of the blood has to be screened so that a healthy supply is given to the baby. For this a complete blood count of different cells that is RBC, WBC and platelets is done. Majorly the hemoglobin is regularly monitored so that the mother and the fetus do not become anemic. If you’re anemic due to iron deficiency, your doctor will tell you about the best foods to eat to boost your iron levels. She will prescribe iron tablets, as this is the best way to treat anemia in pregnancy. This test can be repeated after a period of 8-10 weeks to check the levels again.

How is it done: The phlebotomist takes a blood sample and is read under a microscope. Results are given within 24 hours.

The phlebotomist takes a blood sample and is read under a microscope. Results are given within 24 hours.

 

  2.  Blood Grouping And Rh Factor

Why is it done:

It is very important to know the blood group, just in case a transfusion is needed during pregnancy or birth. of all the blood groups, O is the most common. The Rh status also plays an important role. If you’re rhesus negative and your mate is positive, there’s a high chance that your baby will be rhesus positive. In this case, your body may produce antibodies that start to attack your baby’s red blood cells. Injections of a substance called immunoglobulin, given at 28 weeks, should prevent this from happening.

How is it done:

The phlebotomist takes a blood sample and it is read under a microscope. Results are given within 24 hours.

 

  1. Rubella Antibody Status

Why is it done:

All pregnant women are checked for rubella antibody during the first trimester, as it can be very harmful to the fetus. If the mother has Rubella antibody in the blood then there are high chances of the baby to be born with some congenital defect such as blindness or deafness. If the mother is not immunized then this may get passed to the fetus. Also remember that Rubella vaccine cannot be given during pregnancy.

How is it done:

The sample is collected by the phlebotomist for microscopic observation. Reports are received in 24 hours.

  1. Hepatitis B

Why is it done:

If the mother is a carrier of Hepatitis B, then studies show that upto 85% infants are born with Hepatitis B. This shall increase the risk of the infant being born with a liver disease. The baby will need to be protected with a series of injections of vaccine and antibodies, starting as soon as it is born. A follow-up blood test when the child turns one is used to check whether he has avoided the infection or not.

How is it done:

The sample is collected by the phlebotomist for microscopic observation. Reports are received in 24 hours.

  1. HIV/AIDS

Why is it done:

All mothers-to-be should test the presence of HIV virus as this disease is easily transferable to the baby. If you have HIV then there are methods to reduce the risk of getting the virus transmitted to the fetus.

How is it done:

The sample is collected by the phlebotomist for microscopic observation. Reports are received in 24 hours.

  1. Diabetes Screening

Why is it done:

Most women develop Gestational Diabetes during the second trimester of their pregnancy. If you have a family history of diabetes or are overweight do get tested for diabetes. A glucose tolerance test is generally done for pregnant women.

How is it done:

A sample of fasting blood is taken. Then 75 gm of glucose is administered and blood sampling is done after 1 hour and 2 hours of glucose.

  1. Antenatal Urine Tests

Why is it done:

The urine routine is done to side rule chance of any urinary tract infection with can cause irritation to the mother. If this is found in your urine, it may mean you have an infection that needs to be treated. Infection in the urine can lead to pre-term labour.

How is it done:

A midstream urine sample is collected by the individual herself in a sample bottle provided by Healthians. Reports are generally given within 24 hours unless a culture is done which might take up to 72 hours.

All mothers-to-be should take care of themselves and the fetus for a healthy mother-child relationship. The healthier your pregnancy, the happier your motherhood would be.

 

Get Tested For A Healthy Pregnancy
 

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