Motherhood is a life-altering experience for every woman. As soon as a woman realizes she is expecting, her entire worldview changes and everything becomes secondary to the health- well-being, and happiness of her child. An expectant mother goes through a range of checkups that can track how the baby is growing. Blood tests during pregnancy can be very important in this aspect since they can give accurate information about the health of the mother as well as the baby.
Today, we are going to point out the important blood tests a woman has to undergo while she is pregnant. Each of these will highlight a certain aspect of the mother and baby’s health, and thus, are very essential. If you are an expectant mother, then this will help you understand why you test throughout your pregnancy, from the first trimester blood test to your third trimester.
Why are Blood Tests During Pregnancy Important?
Pregnancy is no bed of roses. Every morning, you will wake up with nausea and morning sickness, you will feel your body changing and hormones will make your mood fluctuate day in and day out. Under these circumstances, it might be very exhausting to go to the doctor for routine blood tests. However, these tests are extremely important for you and your child’s well-being. Here are a few reasons why blood tests are necessary during pregnancy.
- A blood test can identify your blood group and detect infections in the body. It will also show if the child is in danger of contracting any diseases.
- Doctors can figure out whether you are Rh positive or RH negative since this plays a vital role in identifying your child’s blood group as well as keeping you informed about future pregnancies.
- Blood tests will paint a picture of your overall health and can determine if you or your child is in any form of danger.
Blood tests usually detect fetal abnormalities and diseases, the presence of gestational diabetes, or any kind of infection such as HIV that can be passed from the mother to the child, as well as make sure the fetus is growing healthily. You must have heard the doctor talk about the down syndrome test when pregnant, and this test can determine if your child has a congenital birth problem such as Down’s Syndrome.
However, all blood tests are not conducted at the same time. They are paced out differently. Some blood tests are only done once, while others can be done multiple times throughout pregnancy. Blood tests during pregnancy are usually divided among the three trimesters. Some of the necessary blood tests determine HCG levels in your blood, blood glucose level, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases, generic deformity tests, and nutritional deficiencies tests.
We understand that you might feel uncomfortable with going through so many tests, and also feel worried about the risk of infection from badly sterilized needles. Moreover, many people can worry after getting negative results for a pregnancy test while bleeding. If this is the case, please visit your doctor and explain your problem. It is always important to visit a clinic and get your tests administered by a professional. Here is some information about the number of blood tests required each semester. This will give you an idea of what to expect at your appointments.
First Trimester Blood Test
This is the starting period of your pregnancy, and you will be required to slowly change your lifestyle to adapt to your changing body. You will require lots of healthy food and some light exercise during pregnancy. The following tests are done in the first ten weeks.
1. Blood Group Determination and Rh Factor Test
These blood tests during pregnancy simply determine which blood group you belong to and whether you are Rhesus positive or negative. This information is crucial because it can affect your future pregnancies as well as give the doctor an idea of your blood group in case you require a blood transfusion in the future.
2. Anemia and Hepatitis B Tests
An anemia test determines your iron levels, which can be an important factor in the growth of your child. You may be prescribed dietary changes if your iron levels are too low. Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can be passed to the child. These blood tests during pregnancy determine if you have these conditions, and can help protect your child from inheriting them.
3. Rubella and HIV Testing
Rubella testing is important because it can lead to birth defects as well as increase the chances of a miscarriage. HIV testing is mandatory to make sure you are not HIV positive. In both cases, if the test comes positive, your doctor can take the necessary steps to make sure your baby is not affected by either.
Second Trimester Blood Test
The following tests are conducted in the second trimester. These blood tests during pregnancy generally determine if the baby has birth defects and if the mother has high blood sugar levels. Newer tests such as Cell-Free DNA tests are also becoming mainstream for testing for genetic problems.
1. Triple Screen Testing
This is important mainly for pregnant women who are over 35 years of age since this can be a factor in many birth complications. This is the down syndrome test when pregnant. The test measures the levels of AFB, HCG, and Estriol.
2. Gestational Diabetes
This is a kind of hyperglycemia that is seen among pregnant women. It is very important to keep blood sugar levels low when pregnant, otherwise, the child risks being born with high blood sugar too.
Third Trimester Blood Test
Other than testing for blood glucose and iron levels, there are some more blood tests during pregnancy in the third trimester. The main among these is to check for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). While HIV testing is mostly done during the first trimester itself, in the third trimester, the test can also check for other conditions such as syphilis. Many times, expectant mothers are not aware that they have STDs and can pass them on to their children. Testing for these can help treat the problem with antibiotics before the worst can happen.
These blood tests during pregnancy make sure that the baby is born healthy and without any birth abnormalities, and that the mother also delivers the baby without any problems. Always make sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions regarding these tests. Best wishes from us on welcoming your little bundle of joy!