Labwork is an important part of any prenatal care. It can help monitor the health of the mother and her unborn baby.
We are able to draw hemoglobin and hematocrit blood tests to determine whether or not an expectant mother has developed anemia (low iron level). We will also draw a platelet count to ensure that a woman will not run the risk of having excessive bleeding after giving birth. Learning each of these things will allow us to take better care of the expectant mother and her baby when it is time for delivery.
Other blood tests will be performed to determine whether the mother has a positive or negative blood type. If the mother has a negative blood type she will need to receive a Rhogam injection at about 28 weeks to help ensure a safe delivery. Since the baby's blood type is not known until birth, it's necessary to make sure the mother's and baby's blood types are compatible. A second Rhogam shot may be given after the delivery depending on the baby's blood type. These tests also help the medical team be prepared in case there are complications with the birth.
Urine screenings are done to ensure there isn’t a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTI's can cause kidney abnormalities which might indicate excess sugar or protein in the expectant mother's system. These can be harmful to both mother and baby. Urine screenings can help prevent more serious kidney infections that might lead to pregnancy complications including pre-term labor.
If necessary, other lab tests can be performed to ensure the health of the mother and baby.
All of us at Metro OB GYN take personal pride in working with expectant mothers to do all we can to make the baby's arrival the joyous occasion it should be.