A blood test is a routine test used by your health care provider as part of your prenatal care. Although blood tests are used in screening for pregnancy, the following describes how blood tests are used as part of your prenatal care.
Your healthcare provider will collect a small sample of blood, usually from a vein in your arm. The sample of blood will be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
A blood test should be expected during your first prenatal exam. Additional blood testing may be requested to monitor potential complications, such as anemia or diagnosis of possible infections, such as toxoplasmosis.
A blood test is used to assess blood type (A, B, AB, and O), Rh factor (Rh positive or negative), glucose, iron and hemoglobin levels. A blood test is also used to assess whether you are immune to rubella, to see if you have a sexually transmitted disease, or to see if you have a toxoplasmosis infection. A blood test is also part of the Triple Screen Test.
Blood tests can also be used to diagnose certain genetic diseases such as familial hypercholesterolemia, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia, and Tay-Sachs disease.
Outside of the discomfort from drawing blood, a blood test poses no risks to the mother or developing fetus. This test is a routine part of your prenatal care.
Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association