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Cynthia FlynnEarly Pregnancy Blood Tests
by Cynthia Flynn, CNM, Ph.D.

Q. I'm in my first trimester and have been seeing my doctor since 5 weeks. Everything is going as scheduled with no problems so far. I have been scheduled for some blood tests. What does this consist of and how important is it that I have it?

A.This test is usually ordered at your first or second appointment. It consists of finding out your blood type, whether you are immune to rubella (measles), if you have antigens to hepatitis, your hematocrit (amount of iron in your blood), and whether you have antibodies to certain rare conditions that could affect your baby such as RH factor. Some practices include a routine urinalysis. You may be offered an HIV test at the same time, and some people will be given a sugar test.

It's your body, your baby and your birth, and you have the legal right to refuse any test. But in order to take care of you, your provider needs to know how you test on each of these things. If anything does not come back normal, how you and your baby are cared for will change.

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