Many women receive routine blood tests during pregnancy as it helps to evaluate your health and also help rule out health related problems. Your doctor will gather a small sample of blood, usually from the vein in your arm. The sample of blood will be sent to a laboratory for examination. Blood tests are used to identify your blood type and Rh factor, monitor for anemia, check for immunity to rubella and test for hepatitis B, syphilis, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Blood test during pregnancy can also be used to analyze certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis, familial hypercholesterolemia, sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia as well as tay-sachs disease.
Your obstetrician will talk about your routine blood tests at your first prenatal visit. Some blood tests may be performed at your physician’s office, while others may need to be done at a lab.
Pregnancy blood tests and its results:
- Blood type: Blood type testing will figure out your blood type which will be either A, B, AB or O. The blood type and Rh factor testing is often performed during the first trimester.
- Rh factor: Blood test will also reveal whether you are Rh negative or Rh positive. If you are Rh-negative, you will receive a shot of Rh immune globulin at least once during your pregnancy to avoid the development of Rh antibodies.
- Complete blood count (CBC): Your doctor also recommends for a complete blood count (CBC) test during early pregnancy. This particular blood test checks your hemoglobin levels in your body. The expected hemoglobin level is between 12 to 14 grams. If you have below the expected levels, your doctor may prescribe treatment for anemia. The CBC will also determine the levels of three major types of blood cells like white cells, red cells and platelets, which may help to detect infection and other types of health issues.
- Iron level: The blood test will determine iron levels in your blood. If you have low level of iron in your body, your doctor may prescribe iron tablets or injections.
- Glucose levels: The blood test is used to identify your glucose levels and also monitor for gestational diabetes.
- Rubella: The blood test is used to determine the level of antibodies to the rubella virus in your blood to check whether you’re immune. During pregnancy, the rubella virus can potentially cause a miscarriage, preterm delivery and stillbirth as well as serious birth defects.
- Sexually transmitted diseases: A blood test is a diagnostic test used to identify whether you have syphilis and HIV. If you have sexually transmitted diseases, both you and your baby could develop serious complications.
- Hepatitis: The blood test will also help to determine hepatitis. It is easily transferred to the unborn baby who in turn causes malformation of certain internal bodily organs. Hepatitis results in liver inflammation and improper functioning.