Low Blood Platelets

Updated on November 06, 2010
L.U. asks from Kirkland, WA
10 answers

Hi moms. Yet another question!!
Just went to the dr. today and passed my second diabetes test! yeah. But then the Dr. said that I had low platelets count. He said that pregnant women are supposed to be over 100,000 and that I was only at 94,000. He said there is nothing I can do to change it, no diet, no taking things out of my diet. Anyone know differently?
Also, he said that most anestetiologist (good lord, I spelled that wrong!) will not give you an epidural if your blood platelet count is below 100,000. Most unfortunate since I am going to be trying for a VBAC with this delivery and if things don't work out then I will need a C-section...ummm...C-section without epidural is not going to happen! Does that mean that I can't have a spinal either? Will they have to knock me out for the delivery?
I am going back in this Thurday for another blood test, so we shall see if my platelet count is up, but if it's not then the Dr. said they would give me steroids to raise them. I went online and didn't see anything about that...anyone know differently? Also, don't they usually give steroids to the mother so that the babies lungs can be stronger if baby is being born prematurely (if mom is having complications)? Just a lot of questions that I have that I for some reason DIDN'T have when I was at the dr's earlier today! (dont ya hate that?)
Oh yeah, I am 30 weeks pregnant

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So What Happened?

I did trust what my dr. was saying, but I had pregnancy brain and didn't think of any of these questions until AFTER I left the office. I have an apptmnt in two weeks and was just wondering if anyone had been through the same thing or had suggestions to put my mind a bit at ease before the next apptmnt. or if anyone had ideas that I could run by my dr.
I did have the 2nd blood draw and they are up to 108,000 which is still low, but not "as" worrisome. Will probably have to go back every week until the baby is born just to make sure something wierd doesn't happen.
Thanks moms
Oh yeah! To the mom that said to try out a midwife. I had one for my first two pregnancies and LOVED them, but when I went back and tried to get them for the third they said that they wouldn't do one since I am going to try and VBAC. I had to find an OB that specialized in "high risk" deliveries. None of the midwives I talked to in the area were willing.

More Answers



answers from Portland on

You need to have your doctor run a full CBC blood panel and tell you exactly why you have low blood platelets. It could be something simple like anemia (very common with pregnancy) or an early sign of preclampsia among a dozen other things. Most likely it's not a serious issue like your thyroid or he would have ordered more tests and discussed this more thoroughly. But you need to be your own advocate! You can't deal with it until you know what is wrong. There may very well be a way to return your levels, your doctor just isn't used to trying. That is why I use midwives personally, they are proactive and focus on preventative care rather than treating issues after the fact. Just a different style that works better with my personal philosophy.

ANyway, you are also suffering from the all too common pregnancy brain! Keep a pen and paper in your purse and write down your questions as you think of them and then go over them with your doctor at your appointment. DO NOT let them make you feel rushed or like you are bothering them. You are paying them for their services, get the answers you need to have a safe and healthy pregnancy!

If you really want a chance to have a successful VBAC, I highly recommend Andaluz Waterbirth Center. You can go in for a free consultation, they will answer all of your questions and you'll never feel rushed or unwanted. You can take as long as you need for your appoinment, mine averaged about an hour each time! It's worth looking into.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Hi L.,
Congratulation on your pregnancy! There can be a number of causes for a lower platelet level. Have you been sick lately? Viruses can temporarily reduce your platelet levels.

I want to respond to your question about steroids. My son had an autoimmune disorder that attacked his platelets. One of the treatments he received was steroids. They work by reducing the immune attack on the platelets and allowing the body to rebuild platelets. Treatment is given when platelets are below 20,000 (his were 3,000). Above 50,000 is considered safe. The condition he had is called ITP. It is thought to be triggered by a virus. There is some opinions that high quality vitamin C can be helpful. After 11 months of the disease, we tried Natural Factors Vitamin C (Sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid) and he returned to normal counts that month. It may be coincidence, but I think the vitamins helped. ITP is low on the list of things that may be causing your low platelet levels, but if you want to look into the disorder you should visit the PDSA.org website. They address treatments (including steroids)and issues related to pregnancy. There are also links for other blood disorders.

I wish you good platelet counts and safe and worry free delivery! Please let us know what happens!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

When you go to your doctor take a friend with you so that they can write things down for you. As for the platelet thing have him check it or get an oncologist for you. No, not for cancer but for other blood disorders that might be cropping up. Do keep an eye on the platelet numbers. Above all ask all the questions you want and make him answer them for you that is his/her job. Be proactive with your health care.

Good luck with your VBAC and have a happy healthy baby.

The other S.



answers from Seattle on

I had low platelets through my entire second pregnancy never above 100K and as low as 80K and everything was fine. When I got to the hospital they checked them before I got an epi but they said as long as they were over 20K I could still get the epi. Your number really isn't that low - I wouldn't worry about it too much. If it keeps dropping then you might see a hemotologist.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Ask you doctor if there is a possibility that your platelets are clumping therefore giving a lower reading than what it is. It's very possible and they can request another test or send you to an oncologist (don't panic). My husband went through this with about 4 tests by his PCP and the oncologist took 5 seconds to say "clumping and you're fine." Good luck!



answers from Portland on

Hi L.,

These are questions for your PHYSICIAN, not other moms in a chat group type of forum. If you don't trust that your OB is giving you accurate information, then you need to change docs. It's dangerous to solicit health care advice from random people. Good luck.




answers from Seattle on

If I were you I would ask a home birth midwife. Home birthing midwives know so much more than doctors that they can put doctors to shame. I don't have the answer, but I bet you a midwife knows something your doctor never heard of.



answers from Seattle on

I can't answer to the platelets, but I can to the epidural. With my second C-section, they had difficulty trying to put in the epidural (everything is difficult with me--you should see what they had to do to take blood!)... and I was worried, but the anesthesiologist just put something in my IV, and 1/2 hour later Brandon was out and wrapped up. It was the most painless thing I think I've ever done, and I didn't have the aftershock like I did with my daughter (I shook and shook on the bed in the recovery room, and even though the nurse said it was normal, it was pretty scary). Unless it's a huge emergency, they shouldn't give you anything that would hurt your baby, yet they also have several ways to keep you out of pain.

Only ten weeks to go for you! Wishing you all the best!



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Dayton on

Ask the dr. They might give you a bag of platelets right before your c-section if you needed it. You still have time, so write down all of your questions and take them with you next time you go.

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