Tools of the Trade - Urine Specimen
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Tools of the Trade – Urine Specimen

Tools of the Trade - Urine Strips

Have you ever been to the doctor or midwife and been asked for a urine specimen?  Do you know why they do that?

Why I check your urine

Would you believe that your urine tells quite a bit about how your body is functioning?  It tells me a lot about what kind of things you are eating and how much water you are getting.  If you have to pee in a cup at my office, these are the things that I am looking for:

  1. Blood – this can indicate an infection.  Blood can indicate other things like sex in the previous 24 hours or if you are losing mucus plug, it can be bloody show.
  2. Protein – Protein in your urine tells me that you are not eating enough protein and need to increase it.
  3. Sugar – Sugar in your urine on the other hand indicates that you are eating too much.  This causes me to inquire more into my clients’ diet and possibly recommend testing for gestational diabetes.
  4. Ketones – While putting the body into ketosis can be a good thing for those following a keto diet, during pregnancy it is not.  Ketosis during pregnancy can be a sign that your body is not getting enough nourishment to sustain you and your baby.
  5. Nitrates – nitrates can be another indication of a urinary tract infection (UTI).
  6. Leukocytes – leukocytes are white blood cells.  They can indicate UTI, but not necessarily.
  7. Specific gravity – Specific gravity refers to a scale on the strip.  The higher the number, the darker, thicker, cloudier your urine is.  A lower number means your urine is clearer and light.  Clear and light means that your body is well hydrated.  If we see dark, thick, cloudy, strong smelling urine, we will recommend drinking a lot more water.

These are the basic in office tests.  If we suspect an infection, it may be sent out to the lab where they can find out exactly what kind of infection it is and what type of bacteria is causing it.


Did you know any of this or have you been wondering why you have to pee in that cup?

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Mercy Eizenga LM, CPM

Mercy Eizenga LM, CPM is the head midwife and owner of Comforts of Home Midwifery. Mercy was first exposed to homebirth when she witnessed the birth of her little brother at the age of 7. Her interest in natural childbirth grew with the birth of her first child and then attending Bradley Natural Childbirth classes with a friend a year and a half later. Attending her first birth as a doula verified that she was called to be a midwife. Mercy attended the Association of Texas Midwives Training Program and completed an apprenticeship with what is now the Corpus Christi Birth Center. She holds Texas and Louisiana state licenses and holds her Certified Professional Midwife with the North American Registry of Midwives.

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