Pregnancy Care Guide
Preconception check up
How to get pregnant
Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
Foetal Develpoment
First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester
Changes in the woman
Check Ups and Tests
Blood Tests
Urine Tests
Tests on the Uterus
Diet and foods for the pregnant
Essential Nutrients
Recommended Daily Diet for the Expectant Woman
Tips for Healthy Eating
Wholesome Eating During the Trimesters
Exercises during pregnancy
Antenatal care
Complications during Pregnancy
Causes of repeated abortions and miscarriage
High Risk pregnancy
Twins and multiple pregnancies
Gestational diabetes
Pregnancy induced hypertension
Bleeding during pregnancy
Preterm or premature labour
Ectopic pregnancy
Rhesus Factor

Blood Tests

Various tests are carried out on the blood of the mother to ascertain her blood group, the amount of haemoglobin in her blood, her powers of resistance against various viruses, etc., and to determine whether she is suffering from a serious disease such as syphilis.

Haemoglobin : It is essential to keep tabs on the amount of haemoglobin in the blood of the expectant mother through­out the period of pregnancy. Haemoglobin is the active substance in the red blood corpuscles (erythrocytes) which performs the important function of carrying oxygen to all the cells of the body. The amount of haemoglobin in the blood therefore determines the capacity of blood to absorb oxygen, and a low proportion of haemoglobin is the diagnostic indication of anaemia. It is not possible for a baby to develop normally in the womb of an anaemic women, i.e. one with a low proportion of haemoglobin in the blood. A timely diagnosis of anaemia in the initial stages of pregnancy would make it possible to restore the correct concentration of haemoglobin in the blood of the expectant mother by the relatively simple expedient of giving her tablets containing organic iron. The level of haemoglobin in the blood of a pregnant woman should not be allowed to fall below 70%.

Resistance to Viral Infections : It is important to ascer­tain the powers of resistance of the mother-to-be to various viruses, so that treatment can be instituted in time if nece­ssary. Failure to do so may prove hazardous for the baby. Infection with the virus of Rubella (German measles) can have a greatly adverse effect on the baby. If the mother contracts this disease in the first three months of pregnancy, the effects (malformation, deafness, blindness, heart disease, etc.) on the baby can be serious enough to make termination of the pregnancy mandatory. It is therefore advisable to make sure before conception whether the woman intending to have a baby has a natural immunity to the disease, or if not, whether she has had the vaccine administered to her. In any case, no woman should contemplate conception unless she is either naturally immune, or has been immunized, against this disease, Rubella. It is a simple matter for a doctor to determine whether she is immune or not by testing her blood. If a woman is not naturally immune to the virus, all she has to do to acquire such immunity is to take the vaccine. But she should take care to ensure that she does not conceive for at least three months after, she has been immunized.

Syphilis : Whether the woman has syphilis, or has had syphilis, in the past, is ascertained during the very first blood test. Necessary treatment to control infection is undertaken immediately on detection of the disease, so as to safeguard the baby against the disease.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Some women deve­lop high blood pressure during pregnancy. If the condition persists continuously for two months or so, it becomes necessary to keep a watch on developments. If the hypertension persists for even longer periods, the mother-to-be must seek admission to a hospital for intensive treatment. In many cases the hypertension is caused by nothing more serious than worry; so she would be well advised to avoid undue anxiety, and take complete rest. This by itself may be sufficient to bring down the blood pressure.

Rhesus Blood Group : The blood of every human being is either Rhesus positive (Rh +) or Rhesus negative (Rh-). The Rhesus group of a woman should be ascertained in the very beginning of the first pregnancy, if not even earlier. Whether the blood contains antibodies to Rhesus positive blood cells should also be determined at the same time. The antibodies can cause serious harm to the baby in certain cases. The interactions are complicated, and the matter is best left to the doctor.

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