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<p>I'm 36 weeks along and had blood tests done at the beginning of October that showed three low numbers.  My doctor doesn't seem concerned, so I haven't been.  But now I'm curious.  The three that were flagged as "low" were RBC - 3.66, Hemoglobin - 10.8, and Hematocrit - 32.6.  I'm pretty sure one of those last two indicates that I'm slightly anemic because the one thing my OB said was that I could take an iron supplement if I wanted to based on these results.  I haven't, but am now reconsidering.  Also, my WBC was slightly elevated but just barely so I figured maybe I had been fighting off a cold or something at the time? </p>
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<p>My main question, however, is why do we check red blood cells?  I know that elevated white blood cells can indicate an infection, but I really don't understand what significance low red blood cells would have.  Does anyone have a second to explain that to me?  <span><img alt="redface.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="width:16px;height:16px;"></span></p>
 

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<p>Hemoglobin (HGB) is the amount of hemoglobin per red blood cell.  Hematocrit (HCT) is the % of red blood cells per total blood volume.  The preferred minimums are 11.5 and 33, respectively, so it looks like you're not too far off.  Red blood cells carry oxygen; low values leave you prone to infection (like you picked up on) and fatigue.  I believe these numbers can also indicate how likely you are to recover well in the event of hemorrhage.  True anemia causes its own set of problems during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum</p>
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<p>"Floradix Iron Plus Herbs" is an herbal solution you can look into, however red blood cells take some time to rebuild.</p>
 
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