You will receive information about the blood test during your first appointment with the midwife or gynaecologist. This blood test will be used to check if your baby could become ill because you have an infectious disease or because your blood contains antibodies against foreign blood groups. It is important that you have the blood test carried out early in the pregnancy. That way, treatment can start early if necessary, significantly reducing the chance that the baby will also become ill.

This information is available in multiple languages

Infectious diseases

The laboratory will test your blood for the infectious diseases HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B (HBV). If you have any of these, they may be passed on to your baby. If you have HIV or syphilis, you will be given medication. If you have the hepatitis B virus, your baby will receive two vaccines immediately after birth, one of which will contain antibodies ready to fight the hepatitis B virus. The other will be the first in a series. Thanks to this treatment, the chance that your baby will also get the infectious disease will be very small.

Blood groups

The laboratory will use the same blood sample to test your blood group and whether your blood contains antibodies against foreign blood groups. In some cases, a mother’s blood can contain antibodies to her baby’s blood. In that case, the mother will undergo further examination. She will not be affected by these antibodies herself, but they can cause anaemia in her baby, or jaundice after the baby is born. The baby will receive treatment if necessary.

Rhesus D or Rhesus-c negative

Is your blood group Rhesus D-negative or Rhesus c-negative? This is perfectly normal. However, it does mean there is a greater chance that your body is creating antibodies to your baby’s blood. That is why you will undergo an additional examination when you are 27 weeks pregnant. If you are Rhesus D-negative, the laboratory will also use your blood to determine whether your baby is Rhesus D positive or negative. If necessary, you will receive injections to ensure you do not create any antibodies. For more information, watch the films about the Rhesus D-negative and Rhesus c-negative blood groups. 

For more information, read the Pregnant! leaflet | Prenatal and newborn screening ( (Available in English). If you still have questions, please contact your midwife or gynaecologist.

Participating in the blood test

The blood test is offered free of charge, and participation is not compulsory. Even so, participating is important. If the laboratory finds an anomalous result, treatment can begin as soon as possible. This will reduce the chance of the baby getting ill as much as possible. In the Netherlands, practically all pregnant women choose to undergo the blood test.

If you object to screening for a specific disease, please inform your midwife or gynaecologist.