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What does a low platelet count during pregnancy mean?

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Quick Answer

According to BabyCentre, a low platelet count during pregnancy, or gestational thrombocytopenia, typically occurs in roughly 8 percent of women during the third trimester. This is not an uncommon occurrence, and platelet levels typically return to normal following the baby's birth, with insignificant risk to mother or baby.

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Full Answer

Platelets in one's blood are cells that help the blood to clot. BabyCentre states that the normal range of platelets in a non-pregnant woman is between 150 to 400 million per ml of blood. Platelet counts lower than 150 million per milliliter of blood during pregnancy often occur due to increased blood volume and platelet replacement. Medscape by WebMD indicates that platelet counts should be monitored by periodic blood tests during pregnancy, and that monitoring during labor, epidural placement and method of childbirth depend on the woman's platelet levels and medical history.

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