Blood tests and screenings for infection history are documented on pages 2 and 3 of your maternity record. This will include your blood type, your , antibody tests and infection history. You can find the information under the German heading that translates to ‘Laboratory tests and rubella protection’. It also tells you if you've been vaccinated against the flu.
The indication of your blood group in your maternity record and the determination of possible antibodies are important information if you need to be given blood during pregnancy or during birth. This can happen, for example, if you experience bleeding or if you have a premature birth. That's why your Rh factor is noted. About two-thirds of people have a positive Rh factor. That means they have the rhesus factor D antigen on their red blood cells. If they do not have these antigens, they are called ‘rhesus-negative’. This has no effect on your everyday life. But if there is a possibility of a blood transfusion, such as during childbirth, then measures may need to be taken in the form of passive immunisation. The immune systems of ‘rhesus-negative’ people produce antibodies against ‘rhesus-positive’ blood cells. Since the baby's blood group is unknown before birth, every pregnant person with a negative Rh factor is given a precautionary prophylaxis with what’s knowns asin the 28th week of pregnancy. Anti-D prevents the formation of antibodies if red blood cells from the fetus enter the mother's bloodstream. If after birth the baby is found to have a positive Rh factor, the mother will receive another dose of Anti-D within 72 hours of birth.
If you are ‘rhesus negative’ and not expecting a multiple birth, it is possible to determine the baby's Rh factor between the 12th and 26th week of pregnancy. A blood sample will be taken for this purpose. If the fetus's Rh factor is negative, the test will be repeated. If this confirms that your baby is also ‘rhesus-negative’, you won’t need the anti-D prophylaxis.
If you never had a vaccination against rubella, you will need a rubella antibody test during pregnancy. If immunity to rubella was established during a previous pregnancy, or if you have already been vaccinated twice against rubella, the test may not be necessary.
Rubella infection during pregnancy is dangerous for the fetus. It can cause damage to the eyes, ears, heart or, in rare cases, the brain, especially during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. From the 20th week of pregnancy onwards, damage to the fetus is rarely reported. Still, if you're not vaccinated, you should avoid infected people at all costs throughout your pregnancy. If you have had contact with someone who has rubella, please contact your gynaecologist immediately. An exact laboratory screenings will be arranged at your doctor’s office and any further procedures will be discussed with you in detail.
A syphilis test is used to determine if you are infected with syphilis. Syphilis is also know as ‘Lues’ in German. It is a sexually transmitted infection. It may need to be determined whether the infection has already subsided. In the case of an acute infection, medical treatment with antibiotics must begin quickly and be carried out for a long time. This is to protect the baby. Otherwise, there is a risk of miscarriage or premature birth. Even many months after birth, the baby may develop symptoms that can affect development. Treatment during pregnancy is also important for you so that you do not develop any secondary conditions of the heart or nerves. The result of the syphilis screening (often shortened to ‘LSR’ in German) is not entered into your maternity record (Mutterpass). Only the fact that you have been tested is recorded.
You will be tested for hepatitis B in the last trimester of pregnancy. If you are diagnosed with a hepatitis infection, the baby will be vaccinated shortly after delivery. This will protect the baby from infection. Newborns and babies infected with the virus often develop chronic liver inflammation. Discuss treatment options as well as the subject of breastfeeding with hepatitis with your midwife or gynaecologist.
Chlamydia infections can be detected with a urine test. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that often manifests in inflammation. If you test positive, you will be treated with antibiotics. Any sexual partners will also need to be treated. Chlamydia infections can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
All pregnant people are advised to get vaccinated against influenza starting in the fourth month of pregnancy. Any even earlier date is recommended in cases of high-risk pregnancy. The flu can seriously threaten the health of both pregnant people and fetuses. For example, the risk of severe influenza with complications such as pneumonia increases during pregnancy. In addition, catching the flu during pregnancy increases the risk of slowed development as well as of miscarriages and premature births.
You can get tested for HIV during pregnancy voluntarily and free of charge. In this case, it will be noted on page 4 in your maternity record (Mutterpass) that a test has been done. The result of the test is not recorded. If you have been infected with HIV, a quick medical response is necessary. This can greatly reduce the risk of transmission to the fetus.