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Low Blood Platelet Counts

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Got a call from my doctor's office yesterday to inform me that the blood tests results were in and that they were concerned that I had such a low platelet count.  I asked if this was something that I needed to worry about, and the nurse told me no.  But then a sentence or two later informed me that I needed to go again to have the blood drawn ASAP. 


Anyone else have this problem?  Or any idea what it may mean??


I am scared to death to start googling it...I know I will freak myself out!!

post #2 of 10

did you really not google it?  lol.gif


(i went ahead and did it for you.)


low platelet count in pregnancy isn't all that uncommon.  it's called gestational thrombocytopenia.  while we are pregnant, we experience such a rise in blood volume that it's easy for the platelet count to fall as it gets diluted in the overall increase in blood volume.  most of the time, if your platelet count is only moderately low, it doesn't pose a problem, but you'll need to keep monitoring it to make sure that it doesn't go too low.  because platelets are responsible for blood clotting, having too few of them might make you at risk of excessive bleeding at birth.  rapidly falling platelet counts paired with pregnancy- induced hypertension could be a sign of HELLP syndrome, but this is much less common.  most of the time (~75%), low platelet counts are not a dangerous situation in pregnancy, but your doctor/MW will want to keep an eye on things.


everything i read said that unless your numbers are scary-low, there is no risk to your baby. 


your platelet count is supposed to regulate back to normal a few weeks after delivery.


this is what one website recommended you could eat to help with your platelet levels:

beet root, tomatoes, dates, raisins, dried figs, soy, lentils, tofu, black strap molasses, prunes, beet greens, cashews, apricots, and peas. These foods help enhance the platelet count. Also, make sure your diet is absolutely free of refined foods – white flour, white sugar, processed foods – crisps, wafers, cookies, coffee, tea, and aerated beverages. They have a detrimental effect on the platelet level.


OF COURSE, i'm not recommending you substitute what i wrote for genuine medical/midwifery care.  i just wanted to give you peace of mind before you could talk to the nurse again, that it's probably no big deal.  The Google is a great tool, but i'm not suggesting it has all of the correct information all the time.





post #3 of 10

Here's another thought....first let me say that I am NOT a human doctor (I'm a vet).  We often see low platlets in vet medicine simply because they all clumped together in the blood tube.  The machine doesn't read them when they are all clumped together so the results show low platelets.  The platelet estimate can be done with a manual count (actually counting the platelets on a slide with a drop of blood on it) and determined to be adequate or actually low.  I'm not sure if they do this in human medicine.  Anyway, perhaps they just want to repeat the blood draw to truely determine if your platelets are low of if they clumped.  Again, I'm NOT a human doc, nor do I know if human platelets have a tendancy to clump....it's just a thought.  Good luck!

post #4 of 10

I was going to suggest getting a manual count, too.


Did you find out the actual platelet count (the number)??  Every lab has different numbers for what is considered "low", "high", or "normal".  Most midwives I know do not start worrying about platelets until they fall less than 100 but there are some who will risk a woman out of homebirth care if her platelets go under 140 (the magic number?  I have no idea where this number came from, as I cannot find any peer-reviewed journal studies indicating that your platelets must be above 140 for a healthy birth and postpartum).


The dietary recommendations above are good (go ahead and do them anyway!), but I've never seen anything raise platelet levels substantially in pregnancy.  Even Vitamin B12 injections, which many OB's and hemotologists recommend for low platelets, don't seem to do much.  It seems to be normal for some women to drop their platelets in pregnancy.  Obviously, if they go way too low, you may be at a greater risk of postpartum hemorrhage, but I've seen mamas homebirth without any substantial bleeding when their platelets were in the 70's-80's.


Mama, do your research before you let a lab number scare and worry you.  You deserve a stress-free pregnancy, and this is not something to worry about (your nurse's words!) until you have more concrete data and research.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've always dealt with low iron..wondering how that my affect the blood counts.  And I already know I have awful immunities...


I got shingles when i was 26 and my doctor was amazed that my immunity was low enough for me to get it...me too!!


i didn't have this problem with the last pregnancy.  I am going to take the advice and work on including some of those foods into my diet.  My brother in law is a vegan, I will have him make me up something yummy :o)


I have been drinking decaf iced tea ALL THE TIME- wonder if that effects it at all.


When i called the doctors office back to find out the actual amount of the blood count, I got the answering service in the testing department.  Of course, my office isn't open on Fridays...so that means waiting the whole weekend to put my mind at ease on that front.


The excessive bleeding at pregnancy does freak me out quite a bit though...and the thought that this may lead to preclampsyia. Still worried!!



Also still wondering if any of you mama's have experienced this now or in the past????

post #6 of 10

you'll have to give us a update tomorrow, after you get to talk to the doctor's office!  thinking of you.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry its been awhile- things have been very hectic around here and this is the first chance I got to check back in here.



Well, I talked to the doctors office and they informed me that my blood counts were not low, but high.  Both the white blood cells and the hemoglobin count.  I will be going Friday for another blood test.  The nurse informed me that they have yet to have a patient come back with the levels high in the second test, so fingers crossed that everything comes out all right.


When I questioned her on what the high counts might mean, she told me not to worry about it and that we will cross that bridge when and if we get there.  So....trying to keep myself busy until next weeks appointment and not to be overly paranoid until then!

post #8 of 10


Originally Posted by chilichiki View Post

she told me not to worry about it and that we will cross that bridge when and if we get there.

wise advice!    you will have answers soon enough- better to be peaceful in the now, if you can.  :)


post #9 of 10


I'm actually in the March DDC (going for DC2 now!), but thought I could respond since I meandered by..

I had this issue with my last pregnancy, but my doctor was great and very relaxed about it.  They told me my immune system was attacking the poor platelets.  So weird, right? 

I think another poster mentioned that they probably want to retest just to make sure it wasn't just a bad test.  Which is really easy to have happen and maybe even a more common outcome than actually having thrombocyt.  They have to be pretty good at getting the draw, and sealing it all up because platelets clump super easy.  So there is a good possibility it's nothing.

But, if it is something, you get the joy of getting lots of sticks from here on out, with greater frequency near the end just to watch the numbers.  If they get too low, you may not be allowed an epidural (which may or may not be important to you, I know I was pretty freaked out because I was planning on having one and didn't really practice any pain management techniques, etc - I just planned on the epidural!)  It all turned out well in the end though it definitely wasn't how I was expecting things to conclude (though I don't think anyone's birth is).

Anyway, let me know if you want more info etc don't want to overwhelm you with my story. Also, I wouldn't google it either, I did it last time and scared myself.

And after you have you're little one, you're body goes back to normal really quickly. 


post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

megame- thanks for the info.  This pregnancy is  a completely different experience from the firs for me.  Any and all info you want to send my way I will take.  I don't know why, but I have a feeling that this next set of tests will be coming back high as well.  I think the fact that I have been throwing up nearly every day since ten weeks doesn't help.


Went to the fair today with my son and my parents.  Was there for about four hours, walked out of the horse barn, and passed out cold.  Didn't even feel it coming!  Even though I was taking breaks from walking and drinking water the whole time, i am blaming it on lack of food in the stomach (from being sick) and just overall dehydration.  Plus, it was darn hot out! This is the second time this has happened during this pregnancy, so i think my body is just getting a little overwhelmed.

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