If a woman is Rhesus negative (her blood group has a negative sign, eg O-) and she gets pregnant for a man who is Rh positive, she could get exposed to positive cells of the baby either during an abortion or delivery.
If a woman is Rh-negative and her baby is Rh-positive, the woman’s body will approach the Rh-positive protein as foreign
This means that if blood cells from your baby cross your bloodstream, which can happen during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, or during an abortion.
Your immune system will make antibodies against your baby’s blood cells, your antibodies protect you from foreign bodies including infections
Once you have made these antibodies we say you are “sensitized”
Your body might send these antibodies to attack your baby’s blood cells
When your antibodies attack your baby’s red blood cells, it destroys them, leading to hemolysis
When your baby’s healthy red blood cells are destroyed, bilirubin will build up in their bloodstream
Bilirubin in excess is harmful to the baby especially the brain
The baby who is affected by this, would usually have:
Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes,
May be limp: because of the low muscle tone
May not suckle well
Blood levels will be low
The baby could die shortly after birth, if the effects are massive
Who does this concern the most?
It concerns any woman who is Rh-negative and is having a child with someone who is Rh-positive or unknown
So she may have been pregnant in the past, but seeing these symptoms when she’s having children now
It takes time for your body to develop antibodies, so firstborn children usually aren’t affected.
However, if a mother became sensitized because of a miscarriage or abortion in the past, her first live birth may be affected by this Rhesus incompatibility.
This condition can be prevented. If you think you may be pregnant and have an Rh-negative blood type, you should Talk with your doctor to determine the best plan.
Or you have been pregnant before with someone’s whose blood group you’re not sure of, speak to your doctor
You’ll be given preventive immune globulins that will mop up your antibodies, this ensures that your unborn babies are not affected by this condition.
Always know your blood group!
Always know your partners blood group.
Author: Aproko Doctor