Third Trimester: Hemoglobin and Platelet Count
All women lose a small amount of blood during delivery. Although this is usually not a problem, even a small amount of blood loss can be harmful to women with anemia. A health care provider may want to know the level of hemoglobin in a pregnant woman's blood before delivery to assess the possible impact of the expected blood loss. (Refer to the first trimester section for additional information.)
Platelets are special cell fragments found in the blood that help form clots to stop bleeding. Women with low platelet counts, or who have platelets that don't function properly to form clots, are at risk of life-threatening bleeding during delivery. Follow-up testing may be needed to help determine treatment options if a platelet problem is detected.