Blood Tests in Pregnancy
Blood tests are carried out during pregnancy as an important part of antenatal care. These tests are performed to check for anything that may cause problems throughout pregnancy, during labour and after birth for you and/or your baby.
Some of these tests are outlined below.
You will be asked to have this blood test to check your blood group or type. There are four main blood groups or types: A, B, AB, or O.
It is important to know your blood group in case of an emergency where you require a blood transfusion. This may include haemorrhaging (heavy bleeding) during pregnancy and birth.
Rhesus (Rh) factor
Alongside your blood group, your blood test will determine if your type has an additional blood factor. This is known as Rhesus (RhD) factor. If you have it, you are RhD positive; if you don’t, you are RhD negative. In Australia, most people are positive, around 17% are negative.
As a pregnant woman, being RhD negative isn’t a problem, unless the foetus in your womb happens to be RhD positive. If your baby is RhD positive and you haven’t developed antibodies against your baby’s blood, you will be given an anti-D injection at 26-28 weeks and 34-36 weeks to protect the baby. You will also be given an Anti-D injection with 72 hours after delivery if your baby is truly Rh-positive.
Pregnant women often develop anaemia or iron deficiency if their haemoglobin level is low. Their bodies require extra iron for their babies to have sufficient blood supply and receive necessary oxygen and nutrients.
If your haemoglobin level is low, you will be advised to eat more iron-rich foods and iron tablets may be prescribed to you.
Some infections can affect your pregnancy and your unborn baby. Blood tests will be carried out to identify some, including:
Gestational diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels become higher than normal during pregnancy.
It mostly develops in the third trimester (after 28 weeks) and disappears after delivery. If not effectively managed, this can affect your health and that of your baby.
You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.