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What Blood Work To Expect While Pregnant During The First Trimester!

Updated on June 20, 2014

Why Is Blood Work Essential In The First Trimester?

It is important for your doctor to have a clear picture of your health while you are pregnant. One way doctors are able to get this picture is through a series of tests and blood work. You may feel a little like a lab rat with all the tests you have to look for; however, be assured that these tests are to ensure a healthy pregnancy and determine what precautions your doctor will have to take during your 9 months of pregnancy.

These tests are also important to see if you have a higher risk of developing a medial problem while you are carrying your child inside your belly. Your health is very important because it is also connected to the health of your baby at this time. This is one of the many reasons that prenatal care is very important and recommended during your pregnancy.You do not want to develop and issue that can transfer to your unborn baby through the placenta barrier. This is also another very important reason as to why your diet is important during this time. Check back at a future time regarding diet during pregnancy. This article should be up within a day or two.

Although there is simple blood work that will be done during your first trimester, there is also a screening blood test which should also be offered to you unless you have already opted out of this. This screening test will not give you definite answers to whether your baby has a problem or not but it will help determine the chances of your baby having down Syndrome. My partner and I opted out of this test because due to my age I was already in such a low chance of having my baby develop Down Syndrome. Yes, if you are wondering by that statement if age can affect the chances of this developing it can. As the mother's age increases the chances also increase.

The screening blood test is typically part one of a two part test, the other part of this test includes a Nuchal Translucency Test. A Nuchal Translucency Test is a simpler test then it sounds like. This test is simply an ultrasound. This ultrasound measures the clear space between the tissue at the back of the baby's developing neck. This test; however, has to be done between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is because at this point the base of your baby's neck is still transparent and the ultrasound tech will still be able to measure this.

Blood Work Is Nothing To Be Scared About!

When you have the first blood work done the phlebotomist will take about 7 or more vials of blood!
When you have the first blood work done the phlebotomist will take about 7 or more vials of blood!

How To Prepare For Blood Work!

Having to have blood work done is nothing to feel apprehensive about. It will take at tops a few minutes for the Phlebotomist to get all the blood they need for your tests. Some doctors office will draw the blood themselves within the practice. However, some doctors will have to send your blood work order to a lab and have them draw your blood there. This is very dependent on how your doctor's office is set up. Regardless of where your blood is drawn they will typically be running all the same tests.

If your blood work is being done in the doctors office, then they will most likely simply take your blood after your initial appointment. This means after you have seen the nurse and the doctor they will send in the phlebotomist to draw your blood. If this is the case, this at this time is all you have to worry about. They will then send your blood out to a lab that will run all the tests that they have ordered. You will most likely hear from your doctors office within a couple days with the results of these tests.

However, in some cases, your doctor will have to send the blood work order to a separate lab. in my case, this is what my doctor had to do with my blood order. Having your blood work order sent out to a separate order does not make the process any harder. However, you will have to take the extra time out of a day to go get the blood work done. If this is the case you will simply sign into the lab and they will look over your blood lab order to decide how many vials they will have to draw and if there are any other steps that have to be done to do your tests. My doctor also ordered a glucose tolerance test to test for pre-pregnancy diabetes. Although this was an extra test, my test came back with normal values. If this test is also ordered on your blood test this will add extra time to your blood work. For the Glucose Tolerance test, you will have to drink a very sweet drink of glucose and exactly 1 hour later they will draw your blood to test your glucose levels. If this test was not added to your order they will simply take the necessary amount or vials and you will be on your way. You will also get the results of these tests within a few business days.

There is one thing I would like to recommend to all woman that are a little squirmish about giving blood. Ask if you can lay down while they take your blood. If you are apprehensive about getting your blood drawn you may become lightheaded and possibly pass out. If you do there is no reason to worry cause this issue does happen often. In fact, the first day I went to get my blood work done. I asked them to use my left arm so I can more easily use my right hand after they were done. However, before they were able to finish drawing one vial my vein collapsed and I started to get light headed when they tried to find another vein. The next day, I went again, and they laid me down when they drew my blood and there was no issue that time.

How Many Vials Of Blood Did They Draw From You?

See results

Blood Work Easy As Pie!

No reason to worry Phelebotomist's are trained individuals to take care of you!
No reason to worry Phelebotomist's are trained individuals to take care of you!

Blood Tests That Will Likely Be Ran!

  • Blood Type, Antibody Screening, and Rh Factor
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Rubella (German Measles) Immunity
  • Hepatitis B Testing
  • Syphilis Screening
  • HIV Testing

Run Down Of The Blood Tests!

There are many types of blood tests that will be ran during your first trimester these are the main tests they will run.

  • Blood Type, Antibody Screening, and Rh Factor: Your doctor will need to know your blood type in case of emergency. There is a slight chance that during labor you will have to be given a blood transfusion if you lose too much blood. Your Rh factor is another important aspect of your health your doctor needs to know. If you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive your body will start to make antibodies that will fight the baby and future pregnancies. If you are Rh negative you will get a shot about halfway through your pregnancy to prevent your body from creating these antibodies. An antibody screening is important to understand what your body has immunity to.
  • Complete Blood Count: A complete blood count is important to help determine if you have anemia. If it is discovered that you have an iron deficiency then your doctor will most likely put you on an iron supplement.
  • Rubella Immunity: Most women are already immuned to this disease because they were vaccinated at a previous time. If you are not immuned to Rubella you can not get the vaccination while pregnant. However, it is highly recommended that you vaccinate yourself after you have your child to protect future pregnancy. The Rubella virus can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and preterm birth along with a wide range of birth defects.
  • Hepatitis B Testing: It is important for the doctor to know if you have Hep B. If you do your doctor will protect your child by giving them the Hep B shot hours after birth to protect their liver and ensure their health.
  • Syphilis Screening: if you test positive for Syphilis your doctor will give you antibiotics to fight the infection. If this infection is not treated it can lead to problems that will develop in you and the baby. It is important if you are found positive to take the doctor's prescription as ordered to ensure your health and your baby's.
  • HIV Testing: HIV is the virus that will lead to the development of AIDS. If you have HIV there is a chance that you will pass this to your baby unless you are under treatment for it. If you are found to be positive there are treatments that will be given to you to prevent the virus from passing to your baby. (You can; however, opt out of this test).

Blood Type Break Down

Blood Type
Red Blood Cell Antigen
Plasma Antibody
Blood Type A
Has only A antigen on red blood cells
B antibody in plasma
Blood Type B
Has only B antigen on red blood cells
A antibody in plasma
Blood Type AB
Has both A and B antigen on red blood cell
neither A or B antibody in plasma
Blood Type O
Has neither A or B antigen on red blood cell
A and B antibody in plasma

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Good Luck On Your Pregnancy!

Having the blood work done during pregnancy is a necessary thing. However, it may seem like an inconvenience to some people it is important to ensure your health and your baby's. You do not want to pass your baby a disease you want to take all the precautions you can to ensure the healthiest baby to be born. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments and I will find the necessary information for you.


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      jazjaz 5 months ago

      Great overview on blood work during pregnancy. Some doctors also seem to be interested in ordering Hepatitis C testing as well as vitamin and hormone levels. Those might seem excessive but it does seem like a good idea if you want a baseline. FYI, I got mine done through this website: