What is sickle cell trait?
Anyone with sickle cell trait was born with one gene for sickle cell anemia inherited from one of their parents. If one of the biological parents has the gene, they pass it as sickle cell trait. If both parents have the gene, their child will inherit sickle cell anemia. As a carrier of this gene, your baby’s red blood cells contain a smaller amount of sickle hemoglobin, unlike that of a baby or someone with SCD. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells and circulates oxygen around the body. Sickle hemoglobin is hemoglobin in an abnormal form.
Most people with sickle cell trait live absolutely normal lives. Make sure you notify the doctor about your baby’s sickle cell trait status.
|FAQs about Sickle Cell Trait|
How did my baby have sickle cell trait?
Everyone with sickle cell trait got it by inheritance from one of their parents. So your baby was born with sickle cell trait. It’s genetics, pretty much like the color of eyes. One of you ( parents) passed the normal hemoglobin gene to your baby and the other passed on an “S” or sickle gene.
Will my baby have sickle cell anemia from sickle cell trait?
Not at all! Sickle cell trait cannot develop into sickle cell disease. Your baby can become anemic only from inheriting the abnormal genes from both parents.
Usually, babies with sickle cell trait don’t become anemic. They live healthy and normal lives.
How long will the trait remain in my baby?
Like the color of eyes or skin, sickle cell trait has come to stay. Your child will always have it.
Is sickle cell trait contagious?
Absolutely not! Sickle cell trait is not contagious. A person cannot catch it like we do measles or Covid-19. It’s only inherited from one of the parents.
Will I have a baby with sickle cell trait?
You can’t know until you get your baby tested. If the test reveals that your baby has the trait, then you or the other biological parent of your baby has the trait (either mother or father). However, note that if only one parent has the trait, their baby cannot have SCD. It takes sickle cell trait from both parents for their child to have sickle cell anemia.
Should parents be tested for sickle cell?
Yes of course! Once you become aware that your baby has sickle cell trait, test both parents and every other child.
Doctors recommend that every parent should repeat the blood test when the baby is about 4 months old for confirmation. This time, the doctor or clinic may send the baby’s blood and that of parents, brothers, and sisters to the Health Department laboratory.
What is the reason my baby was tested for sickle cell anemia?
One out of every ten black Americans has SICKLE CELL TRAIT. Mexican Americans and white Americans and particularly those with origins in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Spain, and certain Latin American countries have the trait as well.