14.7.16

Rhesus Negative In Pregnancy


If you're currently pregnant and have just found out you are rhesus negative or you just want to know more information about it, then this post is for you and will hopefully help you understand it better.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was told I was rhesus negative and I didn't really know what it meant and I was very concerned at first & worried about the effects this would have on my baby. Although, everything was fine and I had a healthy pregnancy and no complications at all. After birth, they checked to see which blood group my baby was and she was also rhesus negative. It really isn't something you need to worry about, so here is a bit of information about it...

RHESUS NEGATIVE - WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
At your first ante-natal appointment, you will offered to have blood tests done. One of which is to find out your blood group. There are four main groups (A, B AB or O) and your blood will also be either rhesus negative or rhesus positive. Your rhesus factor is determined by your genes but the majority of people are rhesus positive. This basically means that a D antigen is found on the surface of your red blood cells. However, rhesus negative people do not have the D antigen.

WILL MY RHESUS STATUS AFFECT MY BABY?
Well this depends on whether your baby is rhesus positive, which would have been inherited from the baby's father. This is because if some of your baby's blood enters your blood stream, your immune system may react to it by developing anti-bodies which basically fights against it. 

RISKS
It isn't usually harmful in the first pregnancy, however it can be a problem in subsequent pregnancies (if you are carrying another rhesus positive baby) as the anti-bodies can quickly multiply and attack the baby's red blood cells, during both pregnancy and birth. This may lead to a condition called rhesus disease. This can lead to anaemia and jaundice in the baby. 

ANTI-D
You will be offered routine injections of Anti-D at around 28-30 weeks as well as after the birth. This can prevent your system from producing the antibodies, as well as guarding against their harmful effects.

FURTHER INFORMATION
If you want to find out more information, you can read more about it on the NHS website, using the following links:
Antenatal checks and tests
Rhesus disease

Thank you for reading and I hope you found this post helpful. 

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2 comments

  1. I am pretty sure on my obstetrician sheet it says I am Rhesus Negative but they have never said anything else about it. There was nothing wrong in my first pregnancy but in my second they noticed I had Strep B. That was the only thing so I was injected antibiotics when going into labour.

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  2. I was one of the unlucky ones my first pregnancy was severely affected and we in fact lucky we did not loose our little girl. I am now pregnant with my second baby who is being monitored very closely. As if he is rhsus positive we will need in utrero transfusions to give him a chance of survival. Its an extremely terrifying experience for those affected. X

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