A hemoglobin test is a must before planning conception as it will determine the general health condition of would be mother. A shortage of hemoglobin would affect the health of the pregnant woman and also the developing baby. Read on to know more.
A hemoglobin test is very important when you are planning a baby. This will reveal the amount of power or the potential of your red blood cells to carry oxygen. The vitality of the test lies in the fact that the same blood will be passing on to meet the requirements of the baby. This is because he will be deriving the oxygen for survival from the blood that flows into him through the placenta.
It is thus necessary that the mother has sufficient hemoglobin in her blood stream to meet that demand. Generally, the expected levels are between 12-14 grams. When the levels fall below 10 grams, doctors consider the condition to be anemic and prescribe appropriate medication so that the woman is in perfect condition to bear a baby.
Why is Hemoglobin Important?
The blood derives its red colour due to the presence of protein and this is called hemoglobin. It forms a bonding with the oxygen present in the lungs and it gets transported to the entire body. After this it gets released to the cells and tissues according to thier requirements. A healthy hemoglobin level is required especially when you are planning a pregnancy as you need to meet the requirements of both your body and your baby. It becomes all the more important to maintain a proper level as most women tend to become anemic during pregnancy due to various reasons. This is usually caused as the red blood cell production suddenly plummets, or the RBC gets destroyed thereby resulting in the total count of RBC in blood.
The Effects of Low Hemoglobin
Even if the anemic condition is not very acute, the individual tends to feel weak and fatigued throughout the entire day. It is highly essential to maintain and check your hemoglobin levels as in extreme low RBC count; the woman can suddenly lose consciousness and even die. The simple reason is the lack of enough oxygen in the blood stream. Further if the woman is pregnant, the situation becomes tough for the fetus as well. The sole source of oxygen for the fetus is through the blood it receives from the mother. If it receives too little oxygen, the normal development of the fetus is sure to get affected. This can give rise to a whole lot of complications and negatively impact the well being of the fetus.
Thus when the hemoglobin levels are checked before conception, the doctor gets a chance to prescribe medicines and suggest appropriate diet that will help the RBC count to rise to at least the normal level. The baseline concentrations are very important. The testing is done well before conception, after conception and during the various stages of the pregnancy. The doctors compare them with the later readings or levels and study the changes to determine whether it is a condition of progressive anemia.
How is the Hemoglobin Test Done?
A sample of blood is drawn out with an injection from the vein of the arm. Hemoglobin is often a part of a complete blood count test. Here, not only the number of RBCs is counted, but the number of white blood cells or WBCs are counted as well along with the platelet count. The hematocrit levels are also checked that is the exact solid versus liquid constitution of the blood.
The doctor not only gets to know about the hemoglobin levels but also the immunity levels and blood clot potential of the woman. Accordingly he can prescribe medications so as to ensure a delivery of the baby after a successful pregnancy term where the mother and baby are both in sound health.