In pregnancy, there can be some cases where a blood prick is regularly required. This is typically for monitoring glucose levels, or iron levels, and some now do it for gender reveal results!
We wanted to share that there are other places you can prick, besides your finger, because we know it can be a huge pain to have sore fingertips, constantly. Or perhaps you just don’t get good flow from your fingertips.
This study shows that people actually experience less pain when taking a blood sample from their earlobe, as opposed to their thumb!
You may also use the fleshy part of the palm of your hand directly under your thumb.
Some people prefer to use their big toes, but be warned, if you have calloused feet, this really won’t work well.
Tips for the most optimal samples:
Not all lancets are created equally! Obtaining Neonate lancets (used for PKU testing), or wider/thicker/deeper bladed lancets can be much more effective for those that are stubborn bleeders. Cheap lancets can lead to you having to use multiple.
Drink lots of fluids prior to taking the test! Using a heating pad to warm the fingers helps significantly, cold hands move blood less effectively. Shaking your hands vigorously before pricking, is also beneficial.
Contrary to belief, you do not have to use alcohol to clean prior. It is dehydrating to the skin and dehydrated skin does not bleed as well. Washing your hands with warm water and soap is just as effective in sterilizing the area.
If you are using your fingers to prick, prick on the side, rather than in the center, to reduce pain.
It is actually not ideal to SQUEEZE, this increases the amount of plasma in the sample and can invalidate results.
If you are testing for your gender reveal test, it is CRITICAL that you clean the area you are puncturing very well before testing, as any boy DNA can easily manipulate the sample.
Tea tree oil rubbed into the prick site afterwards can help alleviate pain from pricks.