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What blood work is done at your first pregnancy visit?

Blood Type and Screen

This lab tells blood type. It also shows if you are Rh negative or positive. When Rh negative, you will receive Rhogam at your 28 week visit. Occasionally you may need it earlier in pregnancy if you have bleeding. Often women need an additional dose of Rhogam after delivery, depending on your baby’s blood type.

This test also screens for red blood cell antibodies. Antibodies are molecules formed by your immune system. These antibodies can form as the result of a previous pregnancy or a blood transfusion. If present, these antibodies occasionally cause anemia for your baby, which requires more intensive monitoring during your pregnancy.

CBC (Complete blood count)

This lab shows anemia and views cell types to see how well your blood clots. It gives clues to causes of anemia, if present.

Urine culture

This lab checks for bacteria in urine. Pregnant women are more prone to serious urinary tract infections and kidney infections, than non-pregnant women. When you have excess, symptomless bacteria in urine, we will give you antibiotics to clear the infection.

Rubella Immunity Status

This is a test to indicate if you have Rubella antibodies. While Rubella is rare in the United States, infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. If you are not immune, we will recommend the MMR vaccine after delivery.

RPR (rapid plasma reagin)

This blood test is for Syphilis. Syphilis is becoming more common in the United States and can have serious and fatal complications for your baby. If found, treatment can be completed in pregnancy.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency virus)

This tests for the human immunodeficiency virus in the blood, which can also cause AIDS. HIV in pregnancy requires treatment to minimize the risk of your baby contracting the virus.

Hepatitis B testing

This looks for an infection that causes liver problems. There are treatments to decrease your baby’s risk of contracting the virus.

TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)

This test is ordered based on your risk factors for thyroid problems. This test views how well your thyroid gland is functioning. Thyroid hormone is essential for your baby’s development, so it is important to monitor.

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

These are tests which look for infections that can cause preterm labor and cause complications in newborn babies. These both can be cured in pregnancy.

Hemoglobin A1c or 1 hour glucose tolerance test (GTT)

This test is ordered based on diabetes risk factors. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause birth defects so early detection is important. The 1 hour glucose tolerance test is the same test that all pregnant women do around 24 weeks. It shows how well your body can metabolize glucose, which is sugar. With pregnancy, your ability to metabolize sugar can change. If your blood sugar is high, it can cause complications during pregnancy. These include complications such as excessive fetal growth, stillbirth, increased risk for pre-eclampsia and shoulder dystocia at time of delivery.

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