In the term infant, the haemoglobin concentration is high, between 16 and 18 g/dl. Of this 80% is fetal haemoglobin (HbF). HbF has a lower affinity for 2,3-diphosphoglycerite which shifts the haemoglobin-oxygen dissociation curve to the left, leading to maximum oxygen transfer at lower pO2 levels. The proportion of HbF falls gradually during the months after birth and by six months only 5% haemoglobin is HbF.
The relatively high total haemoglobin concentration also declines after birth. Haemoglobin is removed through the formation of bilirubin which is removed by the liver; hepatic immaturity frequently leads to jaundice in the normal newborn infant. Excessive haemolysis or liver impairment can lead to levels of unconjugated bilirubin sufficiently high to cause neurological damage.
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The first trimester is very important for the mother and the baby. For most women it is common to find out about their pregnancy after they have missed their menstrual cycle. Since, not all women note their menstrual cycle and dates of intercourse, it may cause slight confusion about the exact date of conception. That is why most women find out that they are pregnant only after one month of pregnancy.