Prenatal Blood Tests
If you are having your antenatal care in South Africa you can expect that you will have what is called “Antenatal Blood Screen” are your first visit. This includes
Hemoglobin test or Hb
This test is part of the Booking Antenatal Blood Screen to detect anemia by checking your hemaglobin level or Hb.
Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, you need double the amount of iron that non pregnant women need to make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby.
Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
Hepatitis B: This test checks for the hepatitis B virus, which can be passed from mother to baby during delivery. If a mother tests positive, the baby will receive medication and a vaccine shortly after birth to prevent infection.
Syphilis: This test checks for syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection that can cause serious complications during pregnancy. If left untreated, it can cause stillbirth, premature birth, and low birth weight.
Rubella: This test checks for immunity to rubella, a viral infection that can cause birth defects if contracted during pregnancy.
HIV: This test checks for the human immunodeficiency virus, which can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Treatment during pregnancy can reduce the risk of transmission.
This test is part of the Booking Antenatal Blood Screen. Any bacterial infections identified would be treated with antibiotics and attempt to prevent infection of the infant.
Blood Type and Rh Factor – Do you know your blood type?
This test determines your blood type and whether you have a protein called Rh factor on the surface of your red blood cells. If you are Rh-negative and your partner is Rh-positive, you may require additional testing to monitor your pregnancy for Rh incompatibility.
The video below explains the significance of knowing your blood type. This test is part of the Booking Antenatal Blood Screen.