CBC (Complete Blood Count) Test in Pregnancy

CBC (Complete Blood Count) Test in Pregnancy

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During pregnancy, several tests are used to evaluate the health of the foetus. In this article, we’ll tell you about the Complete Blood Count (CBC) test and its importance.

What is the CBC Test?

Complete Blood Count Test (CBC) test is done in the early stages of pregnancy to determine any health issues the expecting mom may have developed. This test monitors the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. If the levels of iron in your blood are low, you may be prescribed iron supplements. The CBC also determines the count of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Is the Complete Blood Count Test Necessary?

The CBC test is indeed necessary, as it helps to diagnose illnesses or infections in the expecting mother. As the test calculates the count of the three types of blood cells, too, a general idea about the expecting mom’s health can also be obtained.

What Does This Blood Test Measure?

  1.  Red Blood Cells (RBCs)

The levels of red blood cells and haemoglobin can indicate her capability to carry oxygen via blood to the fetus. Low haemoglobin levels make pregnant women prone to fatigue and sickness. Iron supplements are prescribed to correct this situation. 

2. White Blood Cells (WBCs)

White blood cells play an important role in the human body, especially during pregnancy. There are five types of WBCs- basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes and monocytes. All of these are important parts of the immune system, which is greatly responsible for keeping the mother and the child free from any type of infection. This also finds out if the mother has any blood-related diseases, like sickle cell anaemia or leukaemia.

3. Platelets

Platelets make up the trio of the types of blood cells and are the smallest of the three types; however, their importance is huge. Platelets are responsible for clotting of the blood. If the count of platelets is too low, it means that the blood will not clot soon enough, while the number being high means that the mother is susceptible to sudden internal blood clots and haemorrhages.

4. Haemoglobin (Hb/Hgb)

Haemoglobin is the protein in your blood that holds oxygen.

5. Hematocrit (Hct)

This calculates the percentage of red blood cells in your blood.

6. Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

MCV measures the average size of your red blood cells.

How to Prepare for the CBC Test

If your blood will be tested only for the complete blood count, you can eat and drink normally before the test. If it’ll be used to conduct other tests, too, your doctor may ask you to fast for a specific number of hours.

How Is the CBC Test Done?

Getting the CBC test done requires just a few minutes. A nurse will insert a needle into your arm and take a blood sample. This sample will be sent to a pathology lab for testing. You can leave the clinic after giving your blood sample.

What Do the CBC Test Results Really Mean?

The test results help to detect the onset of illnesses in a pregnant woman.

  • If WBC count is low, you are more prone to infections. The normal range is 4,500 to 10,000 cells per microliter (cells/mcL).
  • If your RBCs are low in count, you may have anaemia. The normal range for men is 4.5 million to 5.9 million cells/mcL; for women, it’s 4.1 million to 5.1 million cells/mcL.
  • The normal range of haemoglobin for men is 14 to 17.5 grams per deciliter (gm/dL); for women, it’s 12.3 to 15.3 gm/dL.
  • A low score on the Hct range scale may be a sign of iron deficiency. A high score could mean you’re dehydrated. The normal range for men is between 41.5% and 50.4%. For women, the range is between 36.9% and 44.6%.
  •  If your RBCs are bigger than normal, your MCV goes up. That could happen if you have low vitamin B12 or folate levels. If your red blood cells are smaller, you could have a type of anaemia. A normal-range MCV score is 80 to 96.
  • The normal range of platelets is 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/mcL.

ANAEMIA

Here are the normal CBC values from pregnancy first to third trimesters.

First trimester:

Unit Count
HB g/dl 11.0-14.3
RBC 10^6/ul 3.52-4.52
HCT % 31-41
MCV fl 81-96
MCH pg 27-32
MCHC g/dl 33-37
RETICS % of RBCs 0.2-2.0
PLT *10^3/ul 150-400
WBC *10^3/ul 5000-13000
Differential leucocytic count: Absolute values/ul Percentage %
BASO less than 110 0-1
EOSINO less than 500 1-6
NEUTR 1800-7500 40-70
STAFF 0-5
SEGM 40-70
LYMPH 1000-3500 20-45
MONO 80-880 2-8

Second Trimester:

Unit Count
HB g/dl 10.0-13.7
RBC 10^6/ul 3.2-4.41
HCT % 30-38
MCV fl 82-97
MCH pg 27-32
MCHC g/dl 33-37
RETICS % of RBCs 0.2-2.0
PLT *10^3/ul 150-400
WBC *10^3/ul 6200-14800
Differential leucocytic count: Absolute values/ul Percentage %
BASO less than 110 0-1
EOSINO less than 600 1-6
NEUTR 2000-8000 40-70
STAFF 0-5
SEGM 40-70
LYMPH 1500-4000 20-45
MONO 80-880 2-8

Third Trimester:

Unit Count
HB g/dl 9.8-13.7
RBC 10^6/ul 3.1-4.44
HCT % 28-39
MCV fl 91-99
MCH pg 27-32
MCHC g/dl 33-37
RETICS % of RBCs 0.2-2.0
PLT *10^3/ul 150-450
WBC *10^3/ul 5000-13000
Differential leucocytic count: Absolute values/ul Percentage %
BASO less than 110 0-1
EOSINO less than 600 1-6
NEUTR 2000-8000 40-70
STAFF 0-5
SEGM 40-70
LYMPH 1500-4000 20-45
MONO 80-880 2-8

 

As we mentioned above, the CBC test is extremely important to gauge the overall health of the mother and detect the presence of viruses in her body. Thus, it becomes possible to safeguard the health of both the mother and the baby.

Also Read: 

Blood Tests during Pregnancy
Rh Factor and Antibody Screening