CBC (Complete Blood Count) Test in Pregnancy

COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT TEST

Pregnancy is a time of tests- literally and figuratively. The mother may be stretched, tired, confused and frustrated in the early stages and later stages of pregnancy and tackling these emotional tests are important to the health of the baby. However, the other type of tests which are also important for the welfare of the growing foetus are medical tests.

Several tests are used to evaluate if the foetus is healthy during pregnancy. Out of these blood tests are common as they can give a great insight into the health of the mother and child. While there are many types of blood tests, here we discuss Complete Blood Count test and its implications.

What is CBC Test?

Complete Blood Count Test or CBC test is done early in the pregnancy, to determine any problems in the mother. The test monitors the levels of haemoglobin and haematocrit, which determines your iron levels and checks whether you are affected by anaemia. If the levels of iron in the blood are low, you may be prescribed iron supplements to get them up to the desired mark. The CBC also determines the count of the three types of blood cells- red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. This is beneficial in checking for other types of illnesses and infections in the mother.

Why is Complete Blood Count Test Needed in Pregnancy?

The significance of CBC test during pregnancy cannot be undermined, as they help find out any lurking illnesses or infections in the expecting mother. As the test consists of measuring the count of the three types of blood cells, a general idea about the health of the mother is also obtained. The levels of red blood cells and haemoglobin are important in measuring the capability of the mother to carry oxygen via blood to the fetus. Low haemoglobin levels mean that the mother is anaemic, and she might be prone to fatigue and sickness in the future. Iron supplements are prescribed to correct this situation.

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.

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.

Is CBC during Pregnancy Really Required?

A CBC Blood Test during pregnancy is extremely important, as it gives your doctor an idea about any illnesses you may be suffering from, including fatigue, infections, weakness and other deficiencies. In most cases, doctors recommend the CBC test first for an overall idea. It gives a measure of the type of blood cells, all of which play an important role in the body of the mother and the growth of the child. Even though the test is very simple, the significance of CBC test during pregnancy must not be undermined. The test can help the doctor detect any illnesses that may be harmful to the baby at an early stage, so it really is an essential test for mothers.

What Do CBC Test Results Mean?

The test results help detect the onset of any illnesses in the mother and any diseases that may be caused due to deficiencies, like anaemia. If your red blood cells are low in count, it means that you have an iron deficiency. Similarly, the doctor will prescribe various remedies for any low numbers, to ensure the health of your child.

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

Complete Blood Counts Tests are extremely important to gauge the overall health of the mother and detect any early illnesses in her body. This can help eliminate several harmful infections and illnesses that may affect the growing fetus, so a CBC test is highly recommended for mothers.

Also Read: 

Blood Tests during Pregnancy
Rh Factor and Antibody Screening