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Rh Factor – The Truth About Rh & Pregnancy

June 24, 2009
(Rh Factor or Rhogam – click here for an updated post)  and for an explanation of what Rh means, click here

Disclaimer

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A friend of mine did alot of research regarding the RH Factor, being Rh positive and Rh negative and what that meant for her pregnancy, her baby and her next birth (s).  She was 28 weeks pregnant and preparing herself to tell the doctor that she was refusing the RhoGAM shot (and the 36 week shot).  She could feel herself being watched by the office staff as she waited for her name to be called, wondering if they were thinking she is a horrible mother by possibly putting her baby in danger or if they wished that they had the confidence to make their own medical decisions when it contradicts the doctors recommendation….

It is her choice to decline the prenatal injections of anti-D immunoglobulin (also named: BayRHo-D, Rhogam, Gamulin Rh, HypRho-D Mini-Dose, and others) and to wait for the baby to be born before deciding to take the RhoGAM shot.

She had thoroughly researched the subject of Rh Factor before making this choice and had the support of her husband. Even though it was a battle explaining it to the doctor and even to her friends, the evidence was well-grounded.

Okay, So What Is Rh- negative Blood?

Everyone is born with a specific blood type.

RH- negative blood is human blood with out the rh factor. You are either born with or without the ‘rh factor’.

If you DO have the rh factor, you are considered Rh+ positive and there is nothing to worry.  You have zero need for any RhoGAM or similar shot.

If  you are Rh- negative, read on so that you understand what other mothers are talking about when they say they are rh negative.

Here is a good article explaining more about the Rh Factor.

But if you do NOT have the Rh factor in your blood then you are Rh- and it could cause complications. For example, if your blood type is A+ or B+ you are Rh postitive. If you are A- or B- , you are Rh negative.  Your Rh- blood recognizes the Rh factor as an intruder to your bloodstream and begins to attack it (form antibodies against it). If your baby is Rh+ and IF your blood mixes with your baby’s blood, then your body could view your baby as a foreign invader and begin attacking the Rh factor in your babies blood.

What Is The Risk?

This all sounds scary, but reading this info will alleviate your fears.

There is only harm if you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive AND the baby’s blood mixes with your blood.  There are ways to prevent the bloods to mix.  You have 72 hours after your baby is born to find out it’s blood type.  If the baby has a positive type (and you are negative) only then will you need to make a decision of whether or not to get RhoGAM.

(If you are negative and the baby is negative – you are home free. Nothing to worry about, no need for the RhoGam shot, because your body has accepted the baby’s blood as ‘normal’)

But in reality, the chances your baby’s blood mixing with yours is very slim. During healthy, normal pregnancies, your blood and your baby’s blood do not mix.They flow side by side, separated by a membrane. No antibodies are made by your body as long as there has been no trauma.  Trama can be anything from a bad car accident, miscarriage, amniocentesis, direct fall on your belly late in your pregnancy, or chronionic villi sampling (CVS) OR premature umbilical cord clamping.  All interventions can cause the baby’s blood to mix with your, that is one of the reasons why natural and intervention free pregnancy and delivery is important.  Allow your plancenta to be delivered on it’s own, not torn away from your uterus.

The RhoGam Shot

The RhoGAM shot is very similar to a immunization or vaccination and it may contain thimerosal (same as mercury) which is toxic. RhoGAM puts a small amount of antibody into the mother’s body, attempting to “fool” her body into thinking that the problem has been taken care of. RhoGAM is blood plasma from a donor’s blood and has been cleaned but may still contain viruses and/or bacteria that could cause diseases, rare, but possible.  Personally, I think it’s a bit disturbing to have someone else’s blood injected into my body!

Remember, Rhogam must be given within 72 hours of the trauma, when your blood and the babies blood may have mixed. After 72 hours the body will have begun making its own antibodies and the RhoGAM won’t work.

What Are Drawbacks With RhoGAM?

Doctors must admit that the 28 and 36 week dose is simply given at a random.  Are they hoping that it may protect some babies even though there is no reason for trauma to have happened at 28 or 36 weeks?

RhoGAM is made from human blood plasma (as are all anti-D preparations.) It’s highly filtered, but it is still a human blood product. Some side effects besides it being someone else’s blood,  include swelling and inflammation. Hives and anaphylactic effects are among more severe side effects.

Two Rh- parents will have a Rh- baby and there is NO RISK.  Pregnant women who are Rh- and whose partners are Rh+ must weigh carefully the risks and the benefits of each RhoGAM injection. If a baby’s blood is attacked by Rh antibodies, the newborn will have Rh disease. This is most likely to happen with the baby coming after a mother is sensitized. According to the March of Dimes almost all babies born with Rh disease will be cured, but it is still a very serious condition requiring a lot of intensive care.

The routine, 28 week injection of RhoGAM  is NOT the best way to protect babies from Rh disease. There’s only a slim chance that any major “trauma” will have occurred during the 72 hours before the injection.

Do I Have The Freedom To Refuse RhoGAM?

A woman is free to reject or accept any combination of RhoGAM injections.  If a woman chooses not to have RhoGAM, there are steps she can take to make it more likely that her blood and her baby’s do not mix.

An excellent prenatal diet is very helpful for ensuring the placenta and baby are developing well and that all systems interact the way that they were meant to.  Drinking plenty of good water, drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea during your second and third trimester, avoiding refined sugar and eating 60-80 grams of protein daily will make help improve you and your babies health.  (there are several online resources for Red Raspberry leaf tea in bulk)

A natural, intervention free birth is the best birth for an Rh- mother wishing to avoid RhoGAM.  A completely natural birth gives the lowest risk of maternal and fetal blood mixing.

The third stage of labor is possibly the most vital part of labor to keep natural. Allow the placenta to separate naturally and be born gently. Contractions will help the placenta to shear cleanly off the surface of the uterus and continued contractions will seal off the blood vessels.  Allowing the baby to nurse immediately after birth helps your uterus contract and expel the placenta.  If the placenta has fully separated, very gentle cord traction may bring it out.

It’s very important to wait for the cord to stop pulsing before it is cut. This allows the blood to flow into the baby’s body.  Early clamping and cutting can cause the babies blood to mix with the mother’s blood.  If the placenta has been born, then there is no opportunity for the babies blood to get into the mother’s blood – and you are safe.

Check this site out about why it is harmful to save (bank) your babies umbilical cord blood.

In Rh neg women, many people believe that it is the clamping of a pulsing cord that causes the blood of the baby to mix with the mother’s blood, causing sensitization problems. Robert S Mendelsohn, M.D., in his book “How to Have a Healthy Child. . . In Spite of Your Doctor” blames the whole Rh neg problem on too quick clamping of the cord. Especially in Rh neg mothers it is importatnt to wait until the placenta is out before thinking about cord clamping.

Blood can be drawn from the umbilical cord to determine the baby’s blood type.

If the baby is also Rh negative, there is zero need for RhoGAM.

Postpartum RhoGAM decisions can be made after the baby’s blood type is discovered. Seek to have a healthy pregnancy and be fully informed before consenting to having any foreign substance (RhoGAM) injected into your body. Do this for you and your baby’s health.

There now is a new way to determine your baby’s blood type without any invavise procedures.  Find out if your baby is Rh positive here.  Lenetix® Medical Screening Laboratory, Inc.  174 Mineola Boulevard  Mineola, New York 11501  Ph: 516 320-6375

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155 Comments leave one →
  1. Hana Helms permalink
    July 1, 2014 2:39 pm

    I am Rh negative, I have two positive children too. I received Rhogam during my pregnancy and afterwards with my daughter but somehow I still formed antibodies to fight off my son. He was born with pathological jaundice and anemia. He was closely monitored throughout my pregnancy and my antibody levels were very high. My question is, should I become pregnant again?

    • Cassia permalink
      July 7, 2014 7:36 am

      That’s up to you. The hardest part of Rh sensitization is that no one can say what will happen during a pregnancy, and it’s really not possible to do anything to guide what happens (short of filtering out all antibodies – which has been done a few times in research, but it’s quite a risk to mom!) – all you can do is react to what happens (like intrauterine transfusions and/or early delivery).

      It’s common for next babies to be more affected. So if you had an anemic little one, you’d likely have at least that again. No guarantee though. That’s the tricky part. I know I was told that there was no way my antibody levels would ever go down, and they most definitely did. But I get the feeling that’s not what usually happens. Out of curiosity, what do you mean by very high?

      Do you know if your husband carries one or two positive genes? Either situation would mean he was Rh+ but if he is heterozygous (carries one Rh+ gene, one Rh-) then you would have a chance of having an Rh- baby. And if you felt comfortable with it, you could use medical means to ensure your next baby was Rh- and therefore unaffected. My own husband carries two genes so all our children will be Rh+, but I think heterozygous is more common.

      But in the end, you need to go with your gut. I was sensitized with my second. She wasn’t affected (it only got to an 8 that time), but I was counseled against another pregnancy because of how unpredictable it is. I felt strongly we should have another and we were grateful to have another uneventful pregnancy (though the levels did end up going up again at the end). But I had to face the fact that things might not work out well after all. That’s the risk. And in the end, only you can decide how much of a risk you can accept.

  2. Patty permalink
    March 25, 2014 2:49 pm

    I am rh-, a registered nurse and I thought I was pretty darn smart when I did the research and decided I really didn’t need rhogam. My certified midwife suggested it wasn’t necessary with my 6th child (and fourth home birth) and I found plenty of information supporting that. However, I looked at the wrong information. I should have read what could happen if I DID become sensitized. I decided to have rhogam after birth but not during the pregnancy. I was not sensitized at that time. I lost three babies after that over the next few years and received rhogam after each miscarriage. Then I became pregnant with my son. I was so smart, I declined the opportunity to see if I was sensitized at the beginning of that pregnancy and declined rhogam at 28 weeks. My beautiful son was born at home on the 4th of July 2013. Fortunately, this time I had a CNM attend the birth and she sent my and my son’s blood sent for sensitivity. Sometime during my pregnancy I became sensitized and my titers were critical. Then I started reading about what could happen to my son and I was devastated that I had not thoroughly educated myself or discovered how sensitization could affect my son. My antibodies were present in his body attacking his red blood cells. He became jaundiced and pale since his red blood cells were continuing to be destroyed. I was worried every day. We checked his hemoglobin a few days after birth and it was low but not scary 12.8. The ER doc said come back in a week. We brought him to his pediatrician and my stomach was in knots, I just knew there was something wrong. I insisted on having his hemoglobin checked before we saw the doctor. It was critically low and my 11 day old son was emergently life flighted to a bigger hospital where he required two blood transfusions and an infusion of IVIG to ‘distract’ my antibodies that were still present in his body. For almost three months afterwards we had to bring him to the lab to check his hemoglobin and retic count. Your point of view, while I’m sure is given with the best of intentions, is dangerous. Other ladies who are sensitized have had to have transfusions before birth to keep their babies alive. One of my friends had one just a few weeks ago. Other ladies have had babies born with hydrops, which can be fatal. DO NOT make the same mistake I did. My decision not only endangered my son’s life but will also endanger the lives of any future children we have. My antibodies will never go away, short of a miracle. You gave your opinion, kindly post mine as well since it is based on facts and a real child.

    • theCmom permalink
      May 23, 2014 8:16 am

      I am truly thankful that you took the time to post your story and experience.
      Do you feel that the rhogam shot during your pregnancy with your son would have protected your son from needing blood transfusions after birth? I think you said you had not checked your titers when you got pregnant with him? Is it possible that they were high prior to getting pregnant with him?

      This poses a question and I don’t have an answer: If a rh- mom has high titers before a pregnancy, then she becomes pregnant with a rh+ baby, would the rhogam shot given to the mother protect the baby?

      • Cassia permalink
        May 23, 2014 9:20 am

        Unfortunately, once titers are present, Rhogam is useless. Rhogam works by giving passive immunity, and because of that stops the body from developing its own immunity. But once the body has a reaction at all, Rhogam can’t help anymore. Personal experience with that one.

        That said, being aware of the titers in the beginning is still helpful because then the mom knows if she needs extra monitoring. And makes possible the miraculous interventions we now have, if needed (like blood transfusions in utero).

        Usually titers don’t go critically high during the pregnancy that sensitizes the mom. It’s usually in the second exposure that the body sends a large response and the mom’s titer levels may soar. Patty, in your experience, the issue probably came from too small a dose of Rhogam after the miscarriages, or possibly even after the delivery. (hug) A higher dose is sometimes needed. I don’t know how that is determined though – I have no personal experience there.

        I agree though that sensitization is nothing to play around with. We’ve been lucky to have 3 more children unaffected after t he pregnancy where I was sensitized, but each time we had to prepare ourselves for the idea that this pregnancy may not go as smoothly as the others had. I am so thankful for the technology we now have to monitor and even help (like the transfusions) but that still leaves us unable to do anything to *stop* the antibodies (short of a complete immune reset for the mom, which would be extremely dangerous), or ever be able to predict exactly how high the titer levels will go or what they will do.

  3. margo whiteley permalink
    February 11, 2014 2:33 pm

    my husband and i never want to take Rhogam. im O- and hes O+ and lets say babys blood doesnt mix through out the entire pregnancy, and lets say the baby is O+ what if i dont get the Rhogam shot after giving labor, what will happen for my next pregnancy?

    • theCmom permalink
      May 23, 2014 7:26 am

      What would happen for your next pregnancy is unsure. You would be able to carry a baby that has a negative blood type since it matches yours. If you get pregnant with a positive blood type, you may or may not be able to carry it to term – depending on your body.

  4. tessy permalink
    August 7, 2013 11:56 pm

    Very educative! I am O- and my husband is O+. I just had miscarriage. Could this be the cause?

    • theCmom permalink*
      August 14, 2013 1:55 pm

      This may be the cause if you have had miscarriages and/or births before this pregnancy. If not, the chances of your body being exposed to RH+ blood is very unlikely…

  5. Lilian permalink
    June 10, 2013 12:02 pm

    What if you have complications during labour and require a cesarian? Then you’d look pretty stupid for not taking the injection.

    You say the it contains mercury – how much of it? Fish contains mercury and entire cultures use it as a staple food.

    You feel grossed out accepting other people’s blood? That’s funny, you’d accept a vaccine, which is filled with dead viruses bred in people’s blood.

    Don’t play doctor. Take the vaccine, the risks are so minimal that you’d be an irresponsible mother for not taking when you had the chance.

    • theCmom permalink
      June 11, 2013 1:45 pm

      Good points.

      I personally feel the same about the rhogam shot as I do about vaccines… I wouldn’t receive either unless mandatory.
      A c-section doesn’t change the info or what I would do. You can simply get the rhogam shot after the c-section if your baby is a positive blood type and you are negative.

      • Renee permalink
        November 25, 2013 7:46 pm

        I had 3 children in 5 years and had the Rhogam shot 7 times during that period. I suffered a life threatening auto immune reaction from the last shot, 3 days after my third baby was born.

        I was told that I absolutely could not take the shot again.

        I consulted a research MD in Chicago who told me that it would be okay as long as in future births we did not clamp the cord until the placenta delivered.

        I have had 7 healthy children since then.

        I do believe that the cause of Rh sensitization is early cord clamping.

        And I wonder how common it was anyway. The initial case of sensitization was a mother in 1939 who was Rh neg and pregnant. She was given Rh positive blood in a transfusion and her baby suffered a hemolysis.

      • December 5, 2013 9:35 am

        Early cord clamping could definitely be increasing the risk, but it’s not the sole reason for Rh sensitization.

        Hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN) has been recorded much earlier than 1939, but the Rh blood type wasn’t discovered until 1937, and even then wasn’t yet well known. The case you mentioned is simply when they made the connection between HDN and the blood type. The mother had already been sensitized before the transfusion and her (second) child had already died of HDN. The transfusion after that birth (and her reaction against it, even though she and her husband were the same ABO blood type) simply gave a clue to the connection between the blood type and HDN.

        Statistically, without Rhogam, about 15% of pregnancies to RH- mothers would end in sensitization. The other ~85% includes cases where the babies are Rh- as well (no risk of sensitization) and cases where the mom and baby are ABO incompatible (mom is O and baby isn’t or mom is A and baby has B or the other way around). ABO incompatibility is extremely protective against Rh sensitization because the mom’s body reacts to the baby’s blood on the ABO scale rather than the Rh one. As far as I know, we don’t really know the statistical risk of it only in cases where it would be most likely (Rh+ baby with the same ABO blood type as mom).

        I haven’t seen studies that looked at the risk based on timing of cord clamping. The majority of sensitizations do occur at delivery and that risk could definitely affected a lot by early cord clamping. But if cord clamping were the only reason then there wouldn’t be any sensitizations that occur during pregnancy, and there are. There is about a 2% risk of being sensitized in pregnancy (without known risk factors – so we’re not talking about amniocentesis sensitizations here). Most of the time that occurs during the third trimester, but there is about a 0.2% risk of being sensitized before that.

        I’m actually one of those really rare cases. I was sensitized sometime during the second trimester of my second pregnancy, with no known reason. All we know is that I wasn’t sensitized when my first prenatal bloodwork was done at 11weeks but I was by the time they checked at 28 weeks, preparing to give the Rhogam (which I didn’t end up getting after all because I was already sensitized). My husband and I have the same ABO blood type and he only has Rh+ genes so I am the type of mom most likely to get sensitized.

        I’m not trying to say your experience is wrong or inaccurate at all. :) In your case, even if you did end up sensitized, your reaction to Rhogam definitely would be a reason to never get it again, no matter what! And I’m very glad that, in your case, the doctor was right and you were able to avoid becoming sensitized at all. But I did feel a need to correct the idea that cord clamping is *the* cause – I am living proof otherwise. And I did want to point out that the 1939 case was a more complex than you realized, and that HDN definitely did not start at that time.

      • rjbase permalink
        December 5, 2013 10:46 am

        curious as to where Renee is getting her info on the initial case in 1939?

  6. April 25, 2013 9:44 am

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth
    comment. There’s no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks don’t
    talk about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!
    !

  7. Francisca permalink
    April 18, 2013 9:55 am

    Good day, Please a friend of mine has rehsus factor O’Negative she is married to a man with A positive rehsus factor now . while they were dating she had abortions twice.now they are married for 3yrs and she has had 2miscarriages at the 4th month.and she is worried what could be the possible cause.and the dangers of someone with such rehsus factor going for abortion.thanks

    • Cassia permalink
      April 26, 2013 10:56 am

      It could be a cause, if the abortions sensitized her (caused her to make antibodies against Rh+ blood). But is she getting early prenatal blood work? At least in the United States the first prenatal bloodwork routinely includes an antibody screen. If she hasn’t had it done, then she can still request it even when not pregnant. If her antibody screen is negative then she hasn’t been sensitized and the Rh status isn’t the issue.

      I do have some friends who have issues with blood clotting factors and that can cause miscarriages too. One didn’t find out until she’d already had 2 children (without problems) and was having problems keeping a third. So if she hasn’t already, that may be something to encourage your friend to look into.

      • Renee permalink
        November 25, 2013 7:48 pm

        It is very unusual for the antibodies to form before the third trimester.

        She should have the test if for no other reason than to put her mind at ease

  8. bridgette permalink
    March 31, 2013 1:14 pm

    I’m RH neg!got my son wt c section!did they alllow blood to Flow on the cord b4 clamping?coz I wasn’t told anything not even his blood type!I also had to remind them wit d antiD!after days!wil I have a chance of being a mom again?just curious!

    • Cassia permalink
      April 2, 2013 10:59 am

      My guess is you’ll be OK, especially since you did get RhoGam. If you are concerned, you can have your doctor order blood work to check for antibodies. That’s always done on the first prenatal visit (along with rubella antibody checks, etc) but you can have it done when not pregnant as well if you want to know ahead of time. But even if you are sensitized, chances are it’s still very low and you’d probably be able to have at least one more little one without major issues. No promise of course, but highly likely even if you are.

      My first was a c-section too (and he is definitely Rh+). But the normal RhoGam was still sufficient to protect that time. I was sensitized in the pregnancy that I had a VBAC, ironically, though the birth wasn’t what did it. I think you’ll be OK. (hug)

      • bridgettemahlangu5@gmail.com permalink
        April 2, 2013 3:24 pm

        My pleasure!will do.n my boy is doing just fine no more panics like wen I was Pregnant!I also think people must be educated with it as its not known to the public!
        Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

  9. colette permalink
    March 12, 2013 5:36 am

    Tell me what women did years before vaccines where invented?power of prayer much more powerful than injections that get doled out for everything, what happened to all the rh- women those times?

    • Cassia permalink
      March 12, 2013 12:35 pm

      They lost their babies. It actually happened a lot, but it wasn’t until this century that anyone knew why. My husband’s grandmother was one. She had four children, as long as you count just the ones that survived. Not sure when she was sensitized because they didn’t check for that back then. Her youngest had a rough start though with hemolytic disease (it sounds like she needed a transfusion) and still remembers all the babies her mom miscarried after her, tiny but fully formed. My husband’s aunt is so scarred by remembering those tiny babies that when she found out her daughters are also Rh negative she freaked out.

    • lyndellmaree permalink
      March 12, 2013 2:53 pm

      What happened ‘back in the day’? Same as would happen now. Those ‘who got mad’ were trying to make that point. There are many antibodies for which there are no vaccines available. These ‘mad’ women know that this means they have a high risk pregnancy and therefor a higher risk of losing their baby. Thanks to the wonder of medical science we can now monitor bloods, check in on baby with special scans, perform inter uterine blood transfusions, and even keep babies born early alive in NICU. ‘Back in the day’ this wouldn’t have happened – so what about ‘all those Rh- women’ back then? Well more than likely (although not always) they would have gone through the heart ache of having miscarriages, stillbirths or neonatal death.
      This isn’t about God. It is about being properly informed. There was some anger in the comments because It was felt Rh- was being passed off as a minor problem, when it is in fact not for many women. It has severe consequences.
      Luckily CM is about informed consent and has allowed the discussion to continue. God gave me a brain – I for one intend to use it.

    • March 12, 2013 6:13 pm

      please refer to my response under vegg comment…or are you the same person?

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 21, 2013 1:33 pm

      Exactly my thoughts :)

    • bridgette permalink
      March 31, 2013 1:18 pm

      My Great granny and Granny are christians!so prayer is their life Bread!they had numerous miscarriages!I thank vaccines u knw!otherwise nwadays miscarriages are countless comparing wt ancient tyms!

  10. vegg permalink
    March 12, 2013 5:34 am

    Ok tell me this (people who got mad here) years before vaccines where even invented women gave birth, probably not knowing blood types so why so much about vaccines for everything nowdays, power of prayer much more powerful, whatever will be wil be…

    • sophia permalink
      March 12, 2013 12:15 pm

      Their babies died. That’s what happened. Without these medical advancements I wouldn’t be here nursing my son right now. He had 4 blood transfusions in utero and 1 post birth, was born early because of the anemia and because it caused his heart to be enlarged. These blood incompatabilites are nothing to mess with. I wish there was a vaccine for mine. I would gladly have taken the risks and allowed him to be healthy and full term. Prayer wasn’t going to help him.

    • March 12, 2013 12:51 pm

      In the times before these injections, the rates of miscarriage, still birth and infant loss were enormous, as were the deaths during childbirth of both mom and baby. Whether people like it or not, medical technology and advances have saved lives. While I don’t berate someone for their religious beliefs, I also think relying simply and only on the “power of prayer” to heal is naive.

    • Cassia permalink
      March 12, 2013 1:03 pm

      See my reply to colette above. We are lucky that late miscarriages/stillbirths are fairly uncommon now. It didn’t used to be that way. We can’t go back and blood type centuries of women, but there were quite a few that lost baby after baby. My husband’s grandmother was one and she was losing them right about the time that Rh issues became medical knowledge so we do know that her losses were due to Rh incompatibility.

      Also – being Rh- is probably becoming more common now than it was before. Because now those babies born to Rh- women who would have been hurt or died before we learned about the Rh issue (because they are Rh+ even though they carry and can pass on both Rh+ and Rh- genes) are able to be born healthy and have their own children, some of whom will continue to carry on the Rh- gene.

      Not to discount the power of prayer. I definitely relied on that a lot during my three sensitized pregnancies. But it is a fact that hemolytic disease of the newborn, which is thankfully fairly rare now days, was unfortunately much more common even at the beginning of the past century.

      Here are some links that discuss this being observed before we knew about Rh:

      http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Haemolytic-Disease-of-the-Newborn.htm

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2266/

    • March 12, 2013 6:11 pm

      I don’t know about “vaccines for everything nowdays”, but I do feel experienced to comment on rhogam. What happened to sensitized women in the past is their babies did not survive. I am unfortunately sensitized with an antibody called Kell which does not respond to rhogam.. If it wasn’t for modern medicine I would have lost all 3 of my children to fetal anemia. Believe me, if there was a vaccine for my antibody type I would gladly have taken it rather then having 6 amnios, 6 intrauterine blood transfusions, 3 premature babies and 3 nicu stays…not to mention the countless bloodtests, dr appts, and follow up care for months after they were born just for a healthy child that so many others take for granted. I also believe in the power of prayer, and all the wisdom God granted us including medical advancements.

  11. Cassia permalink
    February 12, 2013 11:06 pm

    Might you consider rephrasing and correcting a few things? I appreciate the message that women should do their own research and that there is a *choice*. But I also know how important it is to have correct information when you are making a choice (or else it isn’t a full choice), and I found a few issues in your blog that I wanted to bring to your attention. I’m listing them in order of appearance in your post.

    (1) You cannot “prevent” blood mixing. You can reduce the risk, most definitely. But not prevent. Not every instance of mixing happens with a trauma. There are such things as “silent bleeds” that have no known cause and are often not caught until after the damage is done. I unfortunately know this from experience as I was somehow sensitized between 11 and 28 weeks in my second pregnancy, with no known trauma (and that was ironically my healthiest pregnancy otherwise). So could you by chance change that wording so that it gives the more accurate impression?

    (2) While we’ve long believed that mom and baby’s systems are independent (blood flowing side by side but not interacting), there is evidence now that the true situation is much more complex. For reasons not fully known (at least last I checked – our understanding is changing so quickly that I may be wrong about that part), baby’s cells are commonly in the mom’s blood even in the first trimester. That’s why there is now a blood test on mom that can give a good idea of the baby’s DNA (though it could be confused if the mom has had more children as each child’s cells stay with mom long after the child was born). Fascinating stuff. But again, it calls into question the idea that the systems normally stay distinct.

    (And on the fascinating tangent – there are some “incomplete positives” too. So someone may test positive for the Rh protein but still be at risk for becoming sensitized because they don’t have the full protein. And there are actually a couple of different Rh proteins, not just– the one RhoGAM targets is the one mostly likely to cause issues, but there are others.)

    (3) Similar to #1 – It makes sense that gentle birthing of the placenta (rather than pulling it out prematurely) will decrease the risk of mixing. But it doesn’t make sense that it would completely nullify the risk. Think of it this way – one of the possible “traumas” that would carry the risk of mixing the blood is a miscarriage. But what is a miscarriage but a premature birth? And one that usually doesn’t involve cord clamping or manual removal of the placenta (at least outside of abortions and D&Cs). It is my understanding that a spontaneous miscarriage does carry a lower risk than an induced one, but that there is still a risk. It makes sense that the same would go for birth. Just something to consider.

    (4) Can you please mention that, at least in the United States, RhoGAM has been thimerosal-free since 2001 in production, and thimerosal-free in use since 2003/2004 (as it apparently has about a 2 year shelf life)? I can see mentioning the fact that, as with any medication, we don’t always know the potential issues with chemicals, just as there was a time when we didn’t realize thimerosal may be a problem. But I think women should be aware that (again, at least in the United States) thimerosal isn’t a current issue.

    (5) The mention that RhoGAM attempts to “fool” the mom’s body seems to give the wrong impression to me. Maybe because “fool” has negative connotations to it, I’m not sure. The thing is, RhoGAM doesn’t fake taking care of the problem, it actually does take care of it. It’s passive immunity – immunity that originated from a source outside of the body. The same kind of immunity is what babies use when they fight off a virus or bacteria using the antibodies that they received from mom before birth. And it’s the same kind of immunity used in the HepB immunoglobin injection given to babies born to HepB+ mothers (not the HepB shot – that’s different). So it’s not faking out/fooling the body, it is literally taking care of the issue.

    (6) I think the point that RhoGAM is a blood product is a very valid one. As is the point that there may be yet unknown/unscreened viruses. It did feel very odd though to compare the emphasis you put on the “ick” factor for RhoGAM with the fact that you didn’t mention that “curing” Rh disease for an affect babe will often require full transfusions, sometimes even done while in utero (which is a miracle!), which would expose at least baby and perhaps even mom to the same issue but at a much larger scale. Just something that felt like an inconsistency.

    Interesting side note – one extreme therapy that has been tried a few times on very sensitized mothers involved filtering out all of the mother’s antibodies (usually multiple times in pregnancy) and then giving a large infusion of donor antibodies so she isn’t completely immunocompromised. I read one study where the woman had been severely sensitized by a miscarriage and had many subsequent miscarriages due to the sensitization before she tried this as a last resort. The baby came through OK, her first live child. The irony is that this “last chance” cure for the mom includes a *lot* more expense and donor blood product than the RhoGAM would have.

    (7) There is a big problem with the statement that “Doctors must admit that the 28 and 36 week dose is simply given at a random. Are they hoping that it may protect some babies even though there is no reason for trauma to have happened at 28 or 36 weeks?” And then later, “There’s only a slim chance that any major ‘trauma’ will have occurred during the 72 hours before the injection.”

    I think the issue here stems from the fact that you may not realize there is such a thing as a small “silent” bleed. And perhaps don’t realize that RhoGAM tends to have protective properties for about 12 weeks – the antibodies don’t just last 72 hours, they stick around for a little while and can be there in case they are needed. Granted, if they are used up immediately because they were given after a trauma then they won’t. But if there is no trauma to treat, then they will be present for the near future. The concentration decreases over time though, as mom’s blood is naturally filtered and old antibodies (including mom’s!) removed, so there would be less protection the further from the shot you get. That’s probably why some areas have a recommended 36 week shot – because the 28 week one may be waning and it’s not uncommon for a pregnancy to go beyond 40 weeks anyway. I have not read about the 36 week shot before this post though so that’s just a guess.

    Here’s the thing – without RhoGAM, about 15% of Rh- women become sensitized after pregnancy/delivery. Now I don’t know if this number would be different if those studied were careful to let the placenta deliver naturally as you suggest, but that is what the research has shown thus far. But that is including women who would never become sensitized though (Rh- babies) as well as those who have a much lower risk (those with an ABO incompatibility – other antibodies tend to take care of the issue). So if you looked just at women who would be at risk of being sensitized, the % would be higher.

    With RhoGAM given after delivery, the rate of sensitized pregnancies drops down to about 2%. The 2% may include those who didn’t receive a large enough dose at delivery (for instance, in the case of a particularly traumatic birth), but is primarily made up of those who were sensitized during pregnancy. Excluding those with known trauma.

    The vast majority of the non-trauma related sensitizations occur in the 3rd trimester. Adding in the 28 week shot catches 90% of the prenatal sensitizations (again, the ones that weren’t associated with trauma), dropping the number of Rh- women affected to about 0.2%. Instituting shots in the 1st and 2nd trimesters would probably basically eliminate that risk, but it would mean two extra doses that 99.8% of women wouldn’t need. So the risk/benefit/cost weighing encourages the 28 week shot but not more for those with no other risk factors (traumas).

    So the 28 week dose is not random. It works in part because RhoGAM can play a preventative role for the future, not just for the near past. And it does have good reasons behind it. Could you please adjust those paragraphs in light of this? I’d be happy to provide sources on these numbers if you’d like. :)

    (8) I really feel like you need to give more information about Rh disease. I’m not talking gory here, or intentionally fear inducing, just truthful. Again, for someone to make a truly informed decision, they need to have all the information, balanced, unbiased. I feel that your one sentence saying that “almost all babies born with Rh disease will be cured” very much glosses over the issue, even with the mention of it still being serious and requiring a lot of intensive care.

    The reason that Rh sensitization is so feared by doctors is because there is no way for them to prevent or control what happens. Sometimes the titers (antibody concentration) stay low and/or the antibody affinity is low (the strength at which the antibody attaches to the blood cells) and the pregnancy is perfectly fine. Sometimes the titers skyrocket or they stay low but the antibody is really effective and the baby is severely damaged. There is no way for a doctor to predict what will happen from one pregnancy to the next, or even what will happen in a single pregnancy. All they can do is try to react.

    Most babies born are able to benefit from bili lights and/or transfusions. But that doesn’t take into account the fact that many women can’t get their pregnancies to the point where these things are possible. Many sensitized women experience miscarriages before viability, before anything can be done medically. And even once the pregnancy gets to viability, you are faced with the question of early delivery (which is not a small thing – preemies often carry life-long issues because of their early births), transfusions, or often both. As well as any long term effects from hydrops fetalis (water pockets forming in organs due to anemia) or the strain on the developing heart from needing to pump more blood to try to counteract the anemia. In utero transfusions are a wonderful medical miracle, giving the baby a little extra time to grow, but they are not always successful and if the baby is anemic enough may be too much for the baby to handle, just as any surgery can be for babies already born. My perinatologist told me about one transfusion he did that seemed successful only for the baby to die a few days later from an unforeseen complication. So not even these wonderful advances are complete “cures.”

    Also something to keep in mind – when the baby receives transfusions, the baby will likely end up with antibodies against other non-self blood proteins. We tend to think of blood as ABO and +/- but it is much more complex. And if the baby is a girl then this could set her up to have similar pregnancy problems when she’s an adult.

    I never considered this until I heard the experience of a friend of mine. She is Rh+, so the Rh factor isn’t an issue for her. She had a traumatic birth with her first child and required transfusions. These sensitized her to proteins that aren’t usually known (I don’t know which ones, but there are quite a few possibilities). She then had major issues with her second pregnancy because of this, and really feels it a miracle that that little girl survived. She has no more children because of that issue. So just something to keep in mind – that the very things needed to save the life of a little girl may also put her in the same position as her mother when she is grown.

    The good news is that some pregnancies don’t have to deal with any of these – it’s not hopeless! That’s a fact that I’ve been very grateful for in my own life. But at the same time, there are some serious risks that can’t be forgotten.

    So, with all that said – could you please add in a little more information about what kind of care may be needed? And that the “cure” may not mean that baby is as healthy as in a normal pregnancy? (For instance, a preemie that needed transfusions may recover from the anemia but may still suffer from organ issues, especially heart issues, from the strain put on them during the anemia and/or from development issues related to being a preemie.) Also, again, that the “cure” often includes blood products with the same concerns as RhoGAM may have, only at a much greater volume.

    As I mentioned before – I appreciate you bringing up important issues for women to consider about being Rh- and RhoGAM. And I very much appreciate your pointing out that women have a choice – that is such an important thing to realize, and often overlooked in maternity care: That doctors are to provide a service, and ideally information, but not have the final say over our bodies and choices. And while I may make a different choice (I, for one, wish I could go back and have a chance to choose RhoGAM in time!), I respect that others may weigh the risks and benefits differently for themselves, and may make a different choice. And that doesn’t make that different choice wrong. But I ask that you please review these issues mentioned above and hopefully adjust your post, so that women reading it can be more fully informed and able to make a truly informed choice in the matter.

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 11, 2013 6:33 pm

      Amen to this comment above. I also like the part where the author tells the reader to just go ahead and have a natural, trauma-free birth… ugh!

    • Doc4women permalink
      July 31, 2013 5:50 pm

      Ditto….this medically uneducated person is giving idiotic information that can potentially harm babies… There is so much bullshit on the Internet.. Please, cmom please stick with what you know… If that is possible

  12. Anonymous permalink
    February 7, 2013 12:37 pm

    If a mother is pregnant with twin, and father is RH+, should the mother have the shot at 28 or 36 weeks?

    • theCmom permalink*
      February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

      The mother only needs the shot if she is Rh- and if the babies are Rh+.
      Personally, I would wait until birth, have the baby’s blood typed and then receive the Rhogam shot if the one or both babies are Rh+.
      If they both are Rh-, like mother, then there doesn’t seem to be any need for the shot.

      If you feel you have no option and must receive the shot while pregnant, then I have no opinion as to when the shot should be received. Why not at 20wks?

      • Anonymous permalink
        February 7, 2013 6:13 pm

        Thank you! For some reason, I was thinking (and having trouble finding the correct information), that if there were a mix of blood with Baby A who might be RH+, would baby B be at risk in that few minutes? Would the shot help with that situation, or could it be a potential problem in itself? Thank you!!

      • theCmom permalink*
        February 8, 2013 6:57 pm

        I have no idea… do you know if they are identical or fraternal? Guessing if identical, they will have the same blood type. And it takes more than a few minutes for your body to create the antibodies that would then attack the Rh+ baby…

  13. January 21, 2013 11:40 am

    My blood type is O+. My husband and children all have A+. There is no shot for our incompatibility and our antibodies. ABO incompatibility is pretty common but rarely serious. The reason is that most of the time the size of the antibodies the mother carries is too large to readily cross the placenta. But in my situation, they are small and do cross and for no particular reason. No trauma, no amnio. They are just small–like MANY other antibodies out there– and cross over to baby and attack, causing fetal anemia. We didn’t discover that I had the severe version until my 3rd baby showed up anemic at 32 weeks. We had an intrauterine blood transfusion at 33 weeks and an induction at 35 weeks. He needed 7 days of intense photo therapy and 3 more transfusions his first 3 months because of the antibodies that take about 3 months to die away.
    My first birth *was* a typical induction with pitocin, epdidural, hours of pushing and probably an overzealous OB who tugged out my placenta. Could that have been where I was sensitized? I don’t know. It could have been during pregnancy as well. Maybe some kind of small trauma that I didn’t know about. But my main point is that antibody issues can be damn serious. I don’t know if my 3rd baby would have lived to term had we not discovered his anemia. It was a very big surprise and very serendipitous that we even discovered it. Long story.

    • January 21, 2013 11:47 am

      Oh i just wanted to add, I’m a huge natural birth advocate. My 2nd and 3rd births were natural, even my 35 week induction (after a cervical ripener and a smidge of pitocin). So i can relate to the motivation to connect natural healing and health management. But this antibody thing can kill babies, especially if you are not closely monitored for whatever reason. Like if you don’t know you need to be. I would rather get a shot in ME of someone else’s blood products if it would save my kids from the 6 total blood transfusions of irradiated donor blood that they have all received.

  14. berry permalink
    January 19, 2013 11:00 am

    Hi, I never got the rhogam shot during and after my first miscarriage cos I didn’t know about the shot and wasn’t even aware of my blood type being negative and now its 12th wk into my second pregnancy and I’ve not had the shot yet, my questions really: does my baby stand any chance of being affected/inffected, do I still need the shot and if yes when do I need it, I will be glad if anyone can put me thru cos am confused. Thanx

    • January 19, 2013 9:22 pm

      You can get a blood test to find out if you already have antibodies against baby and what level they are at. You can also get the genotype of your and the baby’s father’s blood to determine the chance of you having a baby that could be affected. This can help determine your risk and if you want a rhogam. Baby centre has a forum called ISO (isoimmunisation) that has a lot of information and support if you want to find out more :)

      • theCmom permalink*
        January 21, 2013 6:08 pm

        excellent info, thank you!

  15. Anonymous permalink
    January 17, 2013 6:51 am

    You don’t know what the hell your on about and your ‘blog’ angers me. I had the anti-d injections and STILL my second baby was severely effected by rh disease and required blood transfusions in utero and following birth. It was such a scary pregnancy. How dare you even put the thought of not getting rhogam into any rh- mothers mind. DO NOT listen to this person, you dont want to experience the hell me and my family went through. And for your information I did NOT have any ‘trauma’ that would indicate baby 1 and my blood mixing, there was no indication at all but somehow it happened. Waiting till an obvious bleed or obvious trauma to get rhogam is ludicrous how dare you give this misguided advice to mothers. I have lived it, be considerate to those who have experienced rh disease and those who have even lost babies due to this. And to stay it’s disturbing to have blood products, excuse me but 7 blood transfusions saved my sons life, you should be ashamed to make comments like that

    • theCmom permalink*
      January 18, 2013 9:36 pm

      I moderate all the comments that come through this site and I am approving your comment… I am incredibly sorry about your loss. I am only providing women with information and options. Only you can make the choices for your body and baby. No doctor, spouse, partner or blogger can make you do or think anything. Thank you for sharing with us your experience.

  16. Rebecca Dean permalink
    January 16, 2013 8:44 pm

    Sorry but can’t help but feel angry at the misinformation in this article. A mothers blood does mix with the babies via the placenta in utero , but hopefully not visa versa unless there has been trauma etc. This is why mothers who have antibodies and not just anti D, have what is deemed high risk pregnancies. The risk associated with antibody affected pregnancies is that as the mothers blood crosses the placenta the antibodies from her blood attack the red blood cells of the unborn infant. This results in anaemia In utero, and later as anaemia and jaundice when born. (as the mothers liver is no longer filtering the broken down red blood cells). These high risk pregnancies most often result in healthy babies if given the correct monitoring and treatment in and out of the womb. Some affected pregnancies require blood transfusions when still in the womb, and most require intensive phototherapy and blood transfusions post birth until the mothers antibodies are out of the baby’s system and they are producing their own (around 4months). I am a +ve blood type however became sensitised with anti c and anti E with a very small placental bleed that was picked up on routine ultrasound (I had no spotting). My baby is also O+ve however also has the c and E antigens on her blood (from her Dad) so hence was affected by my antibodies. Weekly scans when pregnant, 1week in the NICU and 2transfusions later, I have a very healthy and thriving baby. What I am trying to say is that antibody affected pregnancy most often does not result in a miscarriage in the first trimester as suggested. If an affected pregnancy was left un monitored and untreated then yes it quite possibly could in then2nd and third trimester depending on the severity of the anaemia. I’m a registered nurse and all for informed decision making, I too would not accept a blood product unless essential. However this is a complex issue and in some cases the benefits far outweigh the risks. I am a member of an resus antibody support group, and I am sure the women who are now sensitised with anti D and have had affected pregnancies would love to have reduced that risk with a Rhogram injection.

  17. Anna permalink
    January 16, 2013 3:52 pm

    Ladys can u tell me the cost of what u just talk about … intrauterine transfusions (IUTs) and transfusions ect…

  18. Anna permalink
    January 16, 2013 3:48 pm

    Hey thats’s Anna… And am going throw the same as u this is my email….springblanc10@hotmail.com…..I would love some more info about this because I don’t think I can go throw that again… So befor I try again I would love to get as much info as I can

  19. muriel permalink
    January 16, 2013 4:19 am

    Please, let me correct eon thing: even if you’re sensitized, you CAN carry a child with a different blood type to term. You will be monitored frequently, and your baby may require further care (transfusions) both during and shortly after birth, but most of these sensitized pregnancies do have a happy ending. Oh, and yes, if sensitization occurs early on in pregnancy, it CAN be problematic for that same pregnancy.

    However, if you have the option to avoid any sensitization (only possible for anti-D, i.e. the rhesusfactor that this article is about), please do so! It’s only a shot (or 3). Yes, it’s a blood product. But would you rather have your next baby have 6 transfusions before even being born? or have him in NICU, battling potential lethal jaundice and not being able to hold him for days on end? Or have a bunch of (thankfully, well-trained) doctors exchange her blood for new blood? Because those are potential life-saving procedures once you have been sensitized. If I could have, I would have taken more than 3 shots to avoid any of this for my little boy (now 2) and my little girl (to be born soon, hopefully), I can assure you!

    By all means, be informed, and make your own decisions. But make sure you are fully and well-informed, and consult more and sounder sources than the internet. This issue has become rare (thanks to Rhogam!), and even most “regular” ob’s don’t know much about it. If you have been sensitized with any antibody (as said before, there’s a whole alphabet out there), and you are (planning on becoming) pregnant, consult a maternal fetal medicine (mfm) specialist or a perinatologist to discuss your situation.

  20. January 16, 2013 12:34 am

    UGGGHHHHH!! Really!!!! Blood boiling. Ignorance. Then breath. Now, think about it. I am talking to mothers who would like to have more than one child. These Alloimmunizations are no little matter. It is not the babies that are born that are as much as concern, it is getting the babies to term that is the issue. What many mothers like me would have done to have the medical ability to prevent there sensitization and not have antibodies that attack their babies. Watching your babies with expensive sonograms for the hopes that you can get to a week to be able to at least try invasive procedures to then get your baby to a week that they would be viable. Reaching that point and hoping for 28, then 32, if your are extremely blessed 35 weeks sometimes more. Then like me at 31 weeks you must make a choice to deliver your baby to save its life so that your blood does not kill it in the next couple of days. Again I must say ignorance!!! What I would do to not have Kell Antibodies! To have the chance at another pregnancy and not worry about my 50/50 chance of another Kell Positive baby. I am blessed to have been able to stand here with a healthy four month old. The journey is long, tiring and extremely expensive. I became sensitized in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. Partial placenta previa. My first daughter almost died because we had no clue of the risk, Kell is not something that they check the fathers blood for at the beginning of the pregnancy like they do for the RH factor. We did not find out about it until my second pregnancy. Sometimes we should be thankful for medical knowledge and medicine.

  21. January 15, 2013 8:37 pm

    As a mother with antibodies (which I developed from a blood transfusion during surgery) and 3 sensitized children, I would like to clear up an major inaccuracy. If you develop the antibodies, you CAN have healthy children regardess of their blood type. There is extra monitoring and treatment available under the care of a perinatologist. Please stop telling women once they have antibodies they can not carry to term, it’s simply not true!! I just tucked in 3 beautiful healthy boys that prove it! I would also urge anyone to really do their research before deciding for or against rhogam. Look for actual statistics, see the success vs complication rate, % of women who develop the antibody without the shot vs side effects of those who got it. My type of antibody does not respond to rhogam, I wish I had the option available.

  22. Christine permalink
    January 15, 2013 6:37 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that woman who are Rh+ can also become sensitized. I am Rh+ and I have the E antibody. I am currently 20 weeks pregnant. Also, you can have a baby that is the opposite blood type as you, but the baby may have problems during the pregnancy and at birth requiring intrauterine transfusions (IUTs) and transfusions after birth as well as lots of time under the bili lights.

  23. Mary permalink
    January 15, 2013 5:25 pm

    Bear with me as I haven’t read all of your comments and other readers questions. First of all, this post is very informative about a subject that is not well known. There’s not much information out there on the web. However, some of the comments that I have read are misleading IMO. An Rh- mother can certainly carry an Rh+ baby to nearly full term (most perinatologists will suggest induction at 37 or 38 weeks just to be safe as babies become very anemic without intervention). Yes, the will likely need medical intervention (fetal transfusions, MCA dopplers, etc), but many babies are born successfully that with assistance. Although I do no carry the RhD antibody, I carry 2 others from the Rh family. I lost my first daughter after our blood mixed (there was no trauma and no previous pregnancies to cause this). Its likely I became sensitized after a life saving blood transfusions several years prior to that pregnancy. I carried my son to 36 weeks, after having 6 transfusions and countless doctor appointments. There is hope for those pregnant who have been diagnosed antibody isoimmunization and I think its important for women to know that.

  24. January 15, 2013 4:44 pm

    I would like to correct the information regarding some of the information you are giving out. Women can have a successful pregnancy even if the baby is a different blood type and even if they have antibodies against the baby. It is not an easy road, but it is possible with appropriate medical care, support and information. I am proof, sitting beside me is a healthy 4 month old, who survived even though my antibodies were ‘activated’ and she is a different blood type. Anti-D is not the only antibody issue, there is a whole alphabet of blood types that can cause problems and this is becoming increasingly more common.
    I am not debating whether or not to get the rhogram (but for me I would take it in a heartbeat if it meant that I didn’t have to go through such a highly observed and risky pregnancy the next time). If anyone reading this is currently going through or will be facing an antibody issue in their pregnancy, please feel free to contact me and I can direct you to group of over 100 women who are going through the same thing and can give you appropriate, accurate advice and support.

    • maria permalink
      February 23, 2013 10:40 pm

      Hi lyndell, Was wondering if you had that website on the women who are O negative blood type ?

  25. Anna permalink
    January 10, 2013 2:18 pm

    Thanks very much for the info…..That’s exactly how I understand it…it makes me so sad when I think of my condition sometimes, but god is good for all of us who has this condition ….. I wish us all god’s prays…..

    • January 15, 2013 5:34 pm

      Actually, you can still carry a baby even if they don’t have the same blood type. You will need close monitoring and might even need a fetal transfusion (IUT), but its possible.

  26. Anna permalink
    January 8, 2013 1:48 pm

    I already have the antiebodies so it’s to late for me to get the shot…. Can I still have a healthy baby??

    • theCmom permalink*
      January 9, 2013 4:29 pm

      From my understanding you will be able to carry a baby if it shares your blood type.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 15, 2013 6:07 pm

        You can carry a HEALTHY baby even I your blood types and RH factors were different. Even WITH the antibodies in your blood, you can have a healthy baby with little or no intervention. OTOH, you can need blood transfusions for your baby, extra ultrasound monitoring (mca scans) etc. In some (rare) cases you child can die, usually to lack of monitoring and/or treatment. The blogger is not fully informed. THIS affects me! I have antibodies. Please don’t feel that you cannot have a happy/healthy child. I encourage you to look into the BabyCenter isoimmunization forum board for more info and support from moms who have been there done that…. Not just a friend of theirs!

      • Sophia permalink
        January 15, 2013 6:33 pm

        You can carry a baby who has the antigen for which you have an antibody. It may require some medical intervention, but it’s possible. I just delivered my son who is has the kell antigen and I have the kell antibody. I wish there was a shot to prevent me from becoming sensitized. I would have gladly taken the blood product if it had meant that he wouldn’t have needed 4 blood transfusions before being born. He is now in the NICU because I had to be induced at 34 weeks because the anemia was affecting him too much, but he is doing well and I”m hoping he will be home soon. He just needs to eat better.

  27. Monique permalink
    January 7, 2013 6:01 pm

    Hello,

    My first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage because I had no idea of my or the father’s blood type. Really I didn’t know that something like this could happen. True, I was very early in the pregnancy, 5 weeks to be exact, but I was pregnant nonetheless and that was still hard for me. By the time I had my first sono, the baby had already been attacked and there was literally no baby in “sac”. So needless to say I swear by the RhoGam shot. I just don’t want to ever have to go through anything like that ever again.

    Thanks for reading :)

    • Anna permalink
      January 8, 2013 1:51 pm

      I know exactly how you feel…I went throw it and I don’t want to go throw it again…..but for what it’s worth we will get better…our god is God

  28. Olivia permalink
    January 4, 2013 1:23 pm

    So did your friend refuse the RhoGAM shot all together or take it after the birth?
    I’m at stressful battle with myself to take it or not to…I 100% disagree with blood products, since that was the cause of my grandmother getting sick when she passed..yet at the same I’ve done research, as far as I know without the shot you can be fine, if you don’t have any trauma or a natural birth..but who knows, I mean unforeseen occurrences be fall us all.. Im scared if I say yes to the shot, and something happens to my son or I, like contracting a disease, or considering I have horrible allergies it completely ruins our immune system..yet what if I don’t get the shot, my husband & child could come home without me, for getting a blood infection could kill me…or the worst part coming home without my son because I refused a shot..or him getting ill, or permanently sick, because of my choice…basically I’m asking is there any first time moms, who have denied the shot at 28 weeks & after birth, or haven’t taken it at all being rh- & having success with their child?

    • theCmom permalink*
      January 4, 2013 4:02 pm

      If you have no trauma during pregnancy, you have the option of getting tested immediately following your sons birth (same day) and get the shot if he has a positive blood type (opposite of yours). Right? The shot doesn’t protect you from your first pregnancy, it protects you from a second pregnancy if both 1st and 2nd baby is Positive…

      • Olivia permalink
        January 5, 2013 1:52 pm

        But if he’s opposite of mine, I’ve read he could be sick if our blood mixes at any time… your friend, did she take it or just refuse it all together!

      • theCmom permalink*
        January 6, 2013 11:50 am

        One of my friends is RH- and has 6 kids. Only some of her babies were born with a positive blood type. With the positive blood type, she received the shot immediately after birth (so her body would not create antibodies, preventing her to carry a positive baby if she were to get pregnant again).
        From what I understand the umbilical cord has one way valves – not allowing blood mother and baby’s blood to be mixed. (that is why you must do delayed cord clamping, making sure placenta is delivered before clamping so as to not force blood back again natural flow).

        If at anytime your blood could mix with baby’s blood then you would need the shot at conception… not at 28 wks and after birth, right? What is magical about the 28 week of pregnancy?

        From the information I have read, rhogam shot is to protect a future pregnancy/baby. Not to protect the current pregnancy/baby.

      • Anna permalink
        January 7, 2013 4:35 pm

        I had my baby at 32weeks .. But he passed away a few weeks later the DRs told it’s because of my RH blood but I don’t believe them….. But can I still have a healthy baby because of my RH blood type???

      • theCmom permalink*
        January 7, 2013 5:04 pm

        From my understanding, if you are RH-, then you will be able to carry a baby that also has a negative blood type. If your body has already created antibodies against a positive blood type (you can test for it), then it’s very likely you will not be able to carry a positive blood type baby. Hugs!

    • bridgettemahlangu5@gmail.com permalink
      January 4, 2013 11:45 pm

      I would like to consider my self Blessed!!I also didn’t think I can accept taking Blood too as complications may occur!!but I had no choice,I did it for me and my LO!!and now I’m a Happy Mom to a 3months healthy baby Boy!!panicing and Fear is just tests you have to go through obvious!!but the choice is yours!!I descovered while pregnant that I’m RH-,many things came to my mind as I thought I was gonna lose my baby!!I salute public services from now on!!except bad staff!!any one who can tell me why they refused to tell me my son’s Bloodtype!!bcz realy I dnt knw y I don’t have to know!!I will be the one taking care of him!!thanks in advance!!
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    • Monique permalink
      January 7, 2013 6:07 pm

      Hi
      I know that a lot of people have a hard time wrapping the heads around the fact that the shot is a human blood product. In my opinion the benefits out weigh the negatives. I have had the Rhogam somewhere around 7 times and I’m fine.
      I hope this helps…

  29. Dezi permalink
    December 10, 2012 9:20 pm

    Hi I have a cocktail of known antibodies and have had them through my last 2 pregnancies (apparently I missed a miscarriage once) my son was a rh+ but was not affected and my daughter was rh- so of course was fine also but with my daughters pregnancy my antibody titters were really elevated. I would love another baby, but my husband thinks its too risky. If the bloods rarely cross would that mean my antibodies wouldn’t hurt my baby unless they did cross for some reason or can the antibodies (already created) cross the membrane?

    • theCmom permalink*
      December 11, 2012 10:52 pm

      From what I understand, if your body has created the titers, you will only be able to carry a baby that is also negative. (like you).

      I have heard of blood types changing… I know, doesn’t make sense, but it would be interesting to find get your blood typed again and see if it comes back neg or positive.

      Did you carry your son before or after the miscarriage, do you know? I’m glad you have had two babies, yay!

      • Dezi permalink
        December 12, 2012 9:51 pm

        I carried my son after the miscarriage, he had very slight jaundice and was put in phototherapy for 24 hours but the pediatrician told me it was a normal amount of jaundice and if I had no antibodies they wouldn’t have bothered with putting him under lights, they just wanted to be cautious. I have anti d, anti c and anti fya plus about 10 others that don’t effect babies. I recently had my bloods done, I’m still the same, I didn’t realize they could change. I’ve been trying to talk my husband into letting me have another baby with a negative sperm donor but he says no. I mean I could get lucky and have another negative baby but I currently have 3 kids (one which was born rh negative before I had my miscarriage), 2 negs and 1 positive, I don’t like my chances of having another negative with my husband.

      • theCmom permalink*
        December 13, 2012 12:41 pm

        From my understanding, you will only be able to carry a neg blood type baby (donor or your husband). Otherwise the antibodies will want to “attack” the baby… My grandmother was RH- and and had 6 successful pregnancies.

      • Dezi permalink
        December 13, 2012 3:34 pm

        Yeah that’s why I was afraid of, I was just lucky my titres were so low with my son and he was unaffected but they were almost 3 times as high with my daughter. If I were to have a positive baby I would need to be prepared for that baby to be quite ill and be prepared for my baby to have blood transfusions pre and after birth. Thanks for your feedback :-)

  30. Leslie permalink
    November 15, 2012 10:34 am

    You should be ashamed of yourself for giving women this inaccurate advice.
    It’s sad that any uneducated person can post online and potentially endanger lives.
    If I had to guess, you likely don’t vaccinate your children either, endangering society yet again.

    • Cori P. permalink
      January 10, 2013 6:42 am

      This is not inaccurate advice. And as for your comment about vaccinations, my oldest was vaccinated and is now considered high functioning autistic. My daughter only had one shot and then we quit. She is not a danger to society, in fact she is healthier than most kids! When children who are vaccinated are getting the whooping cough, I have to ask, what happened? Vaccines are not as safe and wonderful as people think. they are filled with all sorts of dangerous chemicals, and they are not even really effective. If vaccines are not harmful, why do the companies that make them have huge amounts of money set aside to pay off families of vaccine injured kids? Had I known that the RhoGam was a blood product, I would have refused. my two older kids are rh- like me, my youngest is positive like his Dad. I never had any negative reactions to the shots, but who knows what the long term affects are. ????

      • lyndellmaree permalink
        January 15, 2013 4:29 pm

        It is inaccurate advice. I am not getting into the vaccination debate, that is another story. What I am concerned about is the advice that women can not have a pregnancy unless the baby is the same blood type as Mum. THIS IS INACCURATE. I have sitting beside me a four month old, healthy baby girl who I had antibodies against. Anti-D is not the only antibody issue, there is a whole alphabet of blood types that cause problems and I know many women who have had successful pregnancies with these. The key is to get the right information, support and medical advice. For anyone with an RH- or any other antibody issue, please feel free to contact me and I will introduce you to our support group that is full of information from people who are actually living through this and not just passing comment.

      • theCmom permalink*
        January 15, 2013 4:47 pm

        I totally agree with you. You don’t have to have the same blood type as your baby to carry your baby to term.
        You don’t have to have the rhogam shot to protect the baby in your current pregnancy.
        That is what this post is about.

      • January 15, 2013 10:54 pm

        I do understand what your post is about, but the comments have taken another turn. There are women who are sensitised to their baby’s blood looking for answers (which I understand is not what your post is about) and I am concerned about inaccurate information being given them.
        . Blood can mix at any stage during the pregnancy, without trauma. So a woman can become sensitised at any stage.
        . Once a woman is sensitised, she can still go onto have successful pregnancies, even if she has antibodies against her child.
        . During a sensitised pregnancy a woman’s antibodies will not just ‘attack’ the baby, they will attack any blood cells from the baby that cross into Mum’s blood or they may cross to baby. The risk of this happening is the same as the blood mixing to cause the initial sensitivity.
        . A sensitised pregnancy is higher risk, but with appropriate monitoring and care the risk can be minimised.
        . Sensitised women should have their titres (level of antibodies) checked before becoming pregnant.
        . Rhogam does not protect any other pregnancy except anti-D sensitised, there are many other Rh factors to consider.
        . Rhogam CAN protect current pregnancies IF it is a sensitised pregnancy by suppressing the mothers immune system and therefore stopping it from ‘attacking’ baby.
        . It is possible not be sensitised but then become sensitised during a pregnancy.
        . The magic 28 week? It has less to do with when blood mixes and probably more to with the medical viability of the baby at that stage. I know it is awful, but there is really very little (in most cases) that can be done at certain gestations.

        The choice to either have the shot or not is up to the individual. But it should not be passed off as an easy choice, there are consequences for the mother, child and family.
        If the title of this post is ‘Rh Factor – The Truth About Rh & Pregnancy’ – then you need the whole truth, not just another vaccination debate. The discussions happening here are more than that.

  31. November 1, 2012 1:21 pm

    Iv just been referred to a third doc because of my refusal of the shot. The doc I saw was so rude to me and when I made my new appointment the nurse kept calling docs names and she kept saying back “oh this one wont waste time on her!” Omg it’s like I got the plague ! This doc is the chief of the obg dept and I’m sure he will only try an convince me to take it! It’s getting harder every time to stand my ground I’d stop going all together but I need to be sure baby is not breech so I can have her at home . And my trust for these docs has been lost I feel like they are going to lie to me an say something is wrong just to make sure I come to the hospital. Isn’t it their jobs to help me anyway they can? Yes I don’t want to take that shot so they should be helping me prepare to have her without the shot !

    • theCmom permalink*
      November 1, 2012 5:35 pm

      If you are having your baby at home, your midwife will be able to help you have a safe delivery, right?

  32. Ashley Morris permalink
    September 20, 2012 8:29 pm

    I went to the er tonight, I was spotting pink… I docter did mulitiple test and told me I was rh- and told me my best chance was to get the rhogam. I got the shot. Was in a car accident and got rearended the night before I visited the hospital…. My first pregnancy I’m fliping out not sure what to do

    • theCmom permalink*
      September 23, 2012 9:12 am

      I’m so sorry, I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly. This baby shouldn’t be affected by your rh- status. It’s the next pregnancy. You don’t want your body creating antibodies. If your body does create antibodies, then you will only be able to carry a baby that also has rh- blood like you do. You won’t create antibodies with this pregnancy if the baby you are carrying is rh- (same blood as you).
      hugs!

    • January 15, 2013 11:01 pm

      Ashley – you need to ask to get your titres (antibody level) checked. You also need to get a blood test to determine your blood type and the baby’s father’s blood type so your Dr can tell you the chance of your baby being the same blood type as you or not.
      Work out the risk of baby being affected.

  33. Staci permalink
    August 23, 2012 7:01 pm

    I had a miscarriage over a yr ago and I never got to find out the blood type cuz it was still to early and I had the rhogam shot with my first child and my second and I’m 28 weeks pregnant now would I need to get the rhogam shot with this one or will I be ok and I still haven’t gotten my antibodies test yet cuz with both my kids I was Rh- and they were Rh+ so I assume I need the shot with this one?

    • theCmom permalink*
      August 24, 2012 11:41 am

      Maybe get an antibody test to see if what’s going on?
      If the baby is rh+, you can always just get the rhogam shot right after baby is born, right?
      Why do you need the rhogam shot now?

      • bridgettemahlangu5@gmail.com permalink
        August 24, 2012 12:11 pm

        Please consult with your midwife. My case I was told its also risky at 28wks esp if u did not bleed in the womb!after birth before 72hrs that’s when u can be given the shot!
        Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

  34. Anna blanc-james permalink
    May 31, 2012 9:15 am

    Hi am Anna , what I just read was very helpful to me a i have better understanding of my rh negative blood, my husband is AB positive so i know i have very little chance of having another baby, but it gave me a little hope of having a baby , had my baby at 32 weeks he died 19 days after he was born, the doctors disn’t do much were am from so my baby died, can someone help me

    • theCmom permalink*
      June 20, 2012 1:36 pm

      I am very sorry to hear of your loss. From my understanding, you will be able to carry a baby that has your blood type… Please do more research, ask many questions.

    • January 15, 2013 4:47 pm

      Anna I would like to help, if you would like to contact me. There is a lot of information available if you know where to look :)

  35. shivs permalink
    May 27, 2012 4:13 am

    i am am rh- and my husband is rh+. I experienced miscarriage 3 consecutive times dats y we still dont hve kids. I was never gven rhogam shot.wud dat affect my future pregnancy?

    • theCmom permalink*
      May 28, 2012 7:22 pm

      it may affect things, yes…

      • shivs permalink
        May 28, 2012 10:31 pm

        what shall we do then?we’re still planning and hoping to hve a kid. Is it necessary for me to take rhogam shot?what f m already sensitized?

  36. Abby permalink
    May 18, 2012 10:29 am

    I have a question… Last year, I gave birth to a stillborn who was Rh+ and I was Rh-. I was told to take RhoGam after giving birth in case mine and the baby’s blood mixed, because it could have made me sick. I accepted it because I hadn’t done any research on it beforehand. Now I’m pregnant again, and I’m not sure if my baby is Rh+ or Rh-. I may be “sensitized” to Rh+ blood, but according to this article, it doesn’t matter unless mine and the baby’s blood mixes, right? Because blood doesn’t mix when the pregnancy and the birth are gone through naturally? If I don’t allow the umbilical cord to be cut early/before I give birth to the placenta, and no harm comes to my stomach, the pregnancy should go smoothly and I should not need RhoGam, correct? Because I don’t want to accept RhoGam now that I know what it is unless I have to.

    • theCmom permalink*
      May 18, 2012 7:25 pm

      Sounds right. You took Rhogam after the last birth. This pregnancy should be fine. When the baby is born, test the baby at birth to find out the blood type. If baby is positive, simply take the Rhogam shot. If baby is negative, there won’t be any need for Rhogam.

      You won’t need Rhogam until you have another positive blood type baby.

      Hugs!

  37. February 22, 2012 4:13 pm

    I have rhesus anti c. I have no choice about getting a shot and I wish I did. For all the stories about women having rhesus and having healthy babies, there are stories about csections/jaundice/brain damage/foetal demise. I was preparing for a natural/low intervention pregnancy and birth and now I am struggling with the reality that this MAY not happen. I say may because I know nature is unpredictable and I may go through with no rise in antibodies, or signs of distress and get to have my natural birth. But after losing my first child at 29 weeks (the reason I became sensitised) I know shit happens, for no reason. My antibodies may rise, my baby may suffer, I may have to get a csection and my baby may be taken from me and put in NCIU for damage caused. So far in my research and mothers I have talked to with various rhesus conditions (not anti D) at the very least babies are born jaundice, most have had c sections between 30-35 weeks because baby was being harmed, many babies need blood transfusions and weeks in hospital.
    If I could get a shot (believe me giving birth to a child who is dead or holding your child as it takes it last breath is far more disturbing than having someone’s blood injected in you) I would.
    I agree with being informed so you can make the right choices for yourself and standing up to OB’s to get the care you want (I will be talking to mine next time about delayed umbilical clamping). I see your point about not being sensitised yet and getting the shot after birth, if necessary. But for those who have a sensitised pregnancy make sure you know what happens when things go wrong and there is nothing wrong with being monitored correctly and being prepared for that.
    I understand the avoidance of immunisation but for me I would rather a couple of shots than money and monitoring and high chance of a birth that is so removed from what I wanted and the suffering of my child.

    • Joy permalink
      January 11, 2013 3:33 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story. By sharing you are making a difference in the lives of others. No words could lessen your loss but know that our hearts go out to you.

      • January 15, 2013 4:52 pm

        Thank you Joy.
        I now have a healthy 4 month old. Even though I was sensitised during my pregnancy, and bub was not the same blood type as me, I sought appropriate medical care, took care of myself and delivered naturally my gorgeous daughter, who amazingly was unaffected by the antibodies. We will be trying for our third (second sensitised pregnancy) at the end of the year.

  38. January 26, 2012 7:32 am

    My first birth was with an OB and CNMs and I had the 28 week RhoGam. My birth was caesarean and I had the postpartum shot.

    For my second birth, I chose to birth at home with a midwife and decided not to worry about RhoGam unless there was reason to think there was blood mixing, as in the case of a car accident or certain birth interventions. I had a lovely, natural, straightforward birth and did not do the postpartum shot. The baby was RH+. Additionally, I asked my doctor to check my antibodies when the baby was 6 months just to be sure nothing had changed, which I thought would be nice information to have in regard to making future child bearing decisions. Nothing had changed in my blood.

    My third, fourth, and fifth babies were also born at home, peacefully and without any interference, not done RhoGam during or after the pregnancies, and I have never looked back.

    I know that mysterious and unintended things can happen in pregnancy and birth but my opinion is that most of this “blood mixing” business is caused by interventions during pregnancy and birth.
    Also, when I was researching RH factors, I discovered there are additional blood factors that are somewhat more rare but can cause the very same problems. Why aren’t we testing and treating and worrying everyone about those as well?

    • May 19, 2012 1:23 am

      Because they are rare and it would be an expensive exercise to do on every woman. There are so many things that can go wrong during a pregnancy and it is just not feasible to test for them all. I also think anti- D being common it is ‘economical’ to produce the injection. I was told (I have anti-c) that it would not be cost effective to produce an injection.
      I have now joined a group with women who have various forms of these antibodies and believe me we are all worried. This ‘blood mixing’ business does not only occur with interventions (though it does increase the risk). I had a placental abruption – I wasn’t in a car crash, I didn’t get hit in the stomach, it wasn’t after a amnio – it just happened – very rare, but still happened.
      It is great to hear you pregnancies, births and children have never been effected :) but we should always keep in mind that our own experiences are just that our own. I have heard many stories now from no effect to babies having long term issues. I’m hoping for the no effect :) but I am also making sure I understand the issue, know the dangers and have correct monitoring.
      I don’t think we should be scared into interventions, hospital births and all the rest if it is a choice we don’t want, but having an anti body issue should be taken seriously.

      • theCmom permalink*
        May 28, 2012 8:06 pm

        Thank for stopping by and commenting. If you had placental abruption, you have 48 hrs to take the medication you need to prevent the antibodies from forming. Just like you have that time after a birth and to test the baby’s blood to see if the baby matches your blood type or not.
        If you ever have bleeding while pregnant and are Rh incompatible with the father… you have time to respond.

      • May 28, 2012 10:54 pm

        There are other forms of Rh than just anti D as in my case with anti c. I was under the impression that there is only medication for D or am I wrong? Because I know a whole lot of women who would be interested in this medication.

  39. June 18, 2011 1:28 pm

    Hi, thanks for the info. I stupidly didn’t search further than ‘Anti-D’ is save. >_< and I had two doses (one at about 30 weeks and the other after birth, a c-section for breech). If I get pregnant again, will I have to have it? Any help would be great, thanks.

    Nev

  40. June 18, 2011 6:13 am

    In Australia we only recently started giving Rh at 28 and 26 weeks due to its low supply. You are right it is given as a precaution incase the blood mixes usually due to trauma or unexplained bleeding which we would always give to Rh- women, should they present with such symptoms, but then, there is the unconcealed bleeds behind the placentas, which i guess the medical profession are trying to prevent, which are rare but do happen. The incidence of Isoimmunised baies are not as common as 20 years ago, thanks to anti D. (so as much as i hate medicalisation of birth etc i think this one thing we can thank science for). Having looked after these women and babies they are very sick requiring complete blood transfusions inutero and after birth, which then interferes with bonding, feeding etc, not to mention mobidity and mortality. I definitley agree its not a one fits all as medical births tries to conform everyone to, (ive seen women bullied into anti D even after husbands are known to also be negative with the line just incase his not the real father, which im sure most women are intelligent enough to know who the father is), but can i add in Australia as well as giving the Rh anti D at 28 and 36 weeks we also do blood tests checking for antibodies which may help women make informed choices, pending these results of whether to take the anti D at these gestations. Also for Nancy i would suggest considering the Anti D, as repeat LUSC increases the risks of abnormal placental implantations (previas, etc), more scarring and difficult LUSC increasing the risk of bleeding,(if the baby turns out to be positive), and if you experience any bleeding in pregnancy without knowing the bloodgroup and Jaci you definitley should not of recieved anti D as a positive blood group.

  41. Indigo permalink
    June 14, 2011 1:31 pm

    Hi, I am RH- and so is hubby, so this means baby will definitely be RH- also, is that right? Which should mean no complications?
    I lost a baby years ago to man I don’t whether was negative or positive – could I be sensitised, and would this have any impact?
    Thanks so much for your help!

    • theCmom permalink
      June 20, 2011 8:25 pm

      Correct, if both parents are RH- (negative), everyone is good and no need to medicate.

  42. Carina permalink
    March 11, 2011 8:34 am

    I am Rh neg and my husband is Rh pos. With my 1st child I had 1 shot during pregnancy and none after because my son is also neg (so it was not needed). With my 2nd I refused during pregnancy (easy w/ midwives) and she was also neg. With my 3rd (back at the Dr.’s this time) I refused, and the nurse said I couldn’t refuse… no one ever had. I said yes I can, your just not going to put that needle in me. So she went and talked to the Dr.’s who said I had to sign that I was refusing it. Fine with me!

    • theCmom permalink
      March 15, 2011 11:17 am

      Carina – awesome! Thanks for sharing your story. :-) Was your third also negative?

  • Naomi permalink
    February 3, 2011 8:58 am

    Thank you a lot this answer will help me a lot in the future.

  • Naomi permalink
    February 3, 2011 12:20 am

    Hi i just find out i,m Rh – and i,m thinking having babys soon,so can i have Rhogam shot before being pregnant?

    • theCmom permalink*
      February 3, 2011 7:40 am

      That’s a good question… I’m guessing they will still want you to have one or two Rhogam shots while you are pregnant, even if you get one now.

      Remember, that the shot is not for this pregnancy, it for the antibodies that ‘may’ be creatimg during this pregnancy that ‘may’ affect future pregnancies. If it were me, I’d just wait until after the baby is born, test the cord blood immediately and if the baby is rh+, then you can get the shot so that your second pregnancy goes well.

      • Hayley permalink
        March 12, 2011 4:35 am

        So far as I understand the shot only stays effective in your body for 6 weeks (hence 28 and 34 weeks…then presuming baby is born at 40 weeks). So having it before pregnancy is pointless. Having it if you’ve had a bleed in pregnancy is probably far more important than the prophylactic dose.

        Something else the article doesn’t mention – and as far as I understand it now preg with my 3rd – is that even if your blood does mix with a + baby’s blood, that baby isn’t at risk at all. Its your next pregnancy that your baby could be at risk, but only if the baby is + blood group.

      • theCmom permalink*
        March 15, 2011 11:11 am

        Hayley – yes, exactly! Thanks for your comment!

  • Ashwin permalink
    January 5, 2011 9:32 am

    I’m a -ve mother and my hubby is +ve. I had a rhogam shot after my 1st delivery, and was told this will protect my next pregnancy. I later had a miscarriage whiles in my 4th week but did not visit the clinic for an advice. I am currently 25 weeks pregant and not quiet sure if my baby is safe or not. I have been told i will be given a shot in 28weeks and also at 34 weeks. I am a bit confused after reading this article and not sure what to do. How safe will my baby and I be after the rhogam shots? Please advice

    • theCmom permalink
      January 6, 2011 10:20 pm

      The rhogam shot they give you at 28 and 34 weeks is for a future pregnancy, not the current pregnancy. It sounds like this baby is fine, your body has accepted the pregnancy. If you do not want the Rhogam shot, then simply refuse it while pregnant. Have a blood type test for the baby done at birth and if the baby is positive (because you are negative) – then at that time you can get the rhogam shot to protect the next pregnancy.

      Does that help?

      • Ashwin permalink
        January 7, 2011 11:33 am

        Yes very helpful. Thank You

  • Mary permalink
    September 25, 2010 2:26 pm

    This is the best explanation of this that I have found on the web so far – thank you. I am going to have to go “head-to-head” with my OB on this in a few weeks as I am due for my Rhogam on October 15th but don’t want it. I terminated 3 pregnancies several years ago and recieved the shot at the time of the terminations because I am Rh-. My husband is Rh+. I simply do not want the shot – would I have built up the anitbodies from the previous shots? It is my intention to stand my ground and only get this shot after the birth is the baby is indeed Rh+. This is most likely the only child I will be able to have – miracle baby at age 42. My OB is quite a forceful person and I am concerned that he will refuse care if I don’t want the shot so I want to have my facts straight when I discuss this with him.
    Is this a good plan in your opinion?
    Thank You!

    • theCmom permalink
      September 26, 2010 8:28 pm

      Correct – if this was my pregnancy, I would wait to get the shot after birth. If I knew that I wasn’t going to have anymore children, then there essentially isn’t a need to get the shot at all. Rhogam protects you against the next potential rh negative pregnancy. From what I understand, it doesn’t have anything to do with the present pregnancy.

      Thanks for commenting! Keep us informed with updates :-)

      And there is NOTHING wrong with changing doctors during pregnancy. You can terminate him just as easy :-)

      Congrats on being pregnant in your forties! My mother had 4 healthy pregnancies and deliveries in her 40′s.

      • Mary permalink
        September 27, 2010 5:34 am

        Thanks so much for the quick response – the only thing I worry about is the instance of our baby being Rh+ and the blood somehow mixing the birth process, right? In this instance it could be troublesome but from what my research tells me, the chances of this are very, very slim (less than 1% chance). I am going to have to be adamant that the cord is not clamped too early and that they allow proper time for the placenta to do it’s job…I wish I went with a midwife :(. Here in Canada it’s one or the other – you can’t have both but you can have a doula and an OB so I am going to go that route, too. Thanks again for your help, if you heard the story of how I got pregnant you would understand why it’s so important to take matters into you own hands. 4 specialists told me I was in early menopause and had absolutely no hope of concieving…story is long but took charge of myself and concieved naturally quite by surpise after doing alot of digging and research and using Traditional Chinese Medicine…but that’s for another day, don’t want to take this too off track.
        Thanks again, will let you know how this all shakes down.

        Mary

  • Nancy permalink
    July 22, 2010 1:16 pm

    My blood is (-) and my husband’s is (+). I have 2 children and first was (+) and 2nd was (-). I had a c-sect. with the first b/c he wouldn’t clear my pelvis and it was a LONG labor. I tried v-bac for my 2nd but he also was born via c-section b/c my water was broken and labor was not starting (4 days later). So, more than likely, we’ll have another c-section for the rest of our children. Will this increase or decrease the risk of the blood mixing? Would you recommend the shot if the baby is (+) even if the baby is born via c-section?

    Thanks for your response!

    • theCmom permalink*
      July 23, 2010 2:34 pm

      I’m guessing that yes, c-section would increase your chances of the blood mixing. (A friend’s baby was just born via c-section and the doctors accidentally, nicked with the knife, the baby’s forehead – that would cause mixing…) If it were me, I’d wait if possible for the placenta to be ‘born’ (out) before cutting the cord. That would help in preventing mixing. Blood type the baby at birth to see if you need the rhogam shot. Remember you only need rhogam if the baby is rh positive and you are rh negative. Blessings!

  • Ellen Mary permalink
    June 12, 2010 5:51 am

    There is also a new test that can determine the baby’s blood type via a maternal blood draw. It is not covered by insurance but is not terribly expensive. I opted for Rhogham prenatally even tho I am the least interventiony person out there. Amazingly I did turn out to be carrying a negative baby from my positive husband!

    I do think it was a crime that Rhogham used to contain Mercury, but today, I would rather avoid a future high risk pregnancy & possible cesarean delivery than Rhogham were I to be carrying a positive baby.

    • theCmom permalink
      June 12, 2010 7:47 am

      I love that we can be informed before making a decision. Seems like so many decision are made out of fear in the doctor’s office…without all the information.

      If it was my baby, I would wait ’till baby is born and then get the rhogam shot within 72 hours of delivery if I had a rh positive baby. That way I am not getting a shot containing human blood while pregnant. That just disturbs me…

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Debra permalink
    June 6, 2010 11:48 am

    Hi – I am a young woman in my very late 20s and I have started to contemplate the idea of becoming a mother one day. I am RH negative and I was sensitized during a failed pregnancy in my very early 20s. At the time, I refused the Rho-Gram shot although it was heavily pushed and it seemed to the nurses and medical staff that I was making an unsound emotional decision, which would come back to haunt me if in the future I would become pregnant again. Based on your experience, how will being RH-sensitized effect any future pregnancies? I understand best case scenario being negative blood type father, but if the father has a positive blood type? Thanks.

    • theCmom permalink
      June 10, 2010 2:44 pm

      Yes, a Rh negative father would be ideal. From my experience…one of three things will happen. 1. You will get pregnant, have a normal pregnancy, and a healthy baby and never know that there was any ‘problem or doubt’ haunting you. 2. You will miscarry until you conceive with an rh negative baby that is compatible with you. 3. You will have a rh positive baby, carry it to term or almost to term and then it can be treated after it’s born just like other babies are treated within hours of birth that are rh positive with negative moms.

      question: is it confirmed with tests that you have been sensitized? also, I have read some crazy testimonies where the mother’s blood type went from negative to positive. It sounds crazy, but crazy (miraculous) things still happen. Babies in of themselves are a miracle. :-) Blessings!

      • January 25, 2013 9:32 pm

        Just a story for those of you interested. The RhoGam shot was not available until the early 60′s. My Mother was 0 rh negative and dad 0 rh positive. I was the first child and born 0rh negative, then my sister after me was born with 0 rh negative also. My next sister was born positive but the first positive was ok. The Dr. told my mother to NOT have any more babies as it was too risky but did not say why.Then my third sister was born rh+ and my mother was bedridden the whole time and the baby had to have several transfusions and has been sick all her life off and on, she almost died. Then my brother was born RH- and all was well. Now that I have researched everything I know why my 3rd sister almost died and had to have transfusions. She was the second + baby. My mother died never knowing why so much trouble with the 2nd positive baby. Thank God my first child was born – and my second baby born positive and they gave me the Rogam shot a day after his birth. Then I had an ectopic pregnancy

      • theCmom permalink*
        January 28, 2013 6:49 pm

        Thank you, you have summed up my point precisely and with a true life story. Very impressed your the second positive sister made it through to birth and survived! My grandmother has a similar story, but I am not sure exactly how it went. She is no longer living, so I can’t ask her :(

    • melissa permalink
      June 12, 2010 8:12 am

      I am Rh- and found out during my third pregnancy that i was sensitized. We proceeded to have my blood tested every week and then closer to the end of my pregnancy, every few days. My antibody levels began to rise and I got a call from my doctor on Thanksgiving morning that she wanted me to come in and be induced because the antibody level had reached the point where problems can start. I was planning a homebirth so my midwife came and induced me at home by breaking my water. My labor came on fast and was FAR from the gentle births i was used to. I retained placenta which had to be manually removed – but my baby was perfectly healthy. I never could accept that I was “done” – it just didn’t feel right, despite the risks. three years later i was pregnant again. This time, my midwife agreed with me that we needed to keep this pregnancy as stress free as possible for me, and so we decided to do independant lab testing – no doctors involved. My antibody titer count never even got high enough to count! Genetic science already determined that all our babies would be rh+ but we figured there was some mistake somewhere and this baby must be rh- …but she turned out to be Rh+! The risk is “supposed” to be higher with each subsequent sensitized pregnancy, the antibody count rising faster. But we proved that theory wrong in this case. I can only attribute this to my strong faith and my non-fear based care. I don’t want to be arrogant or ignorant – i did a LOT of research. The March of Dimes information really helped me understand what i was dealing with, though i was left with a lot of questions still. Anyway, my advice to other sensitized rh- mothers-to-be is to not be afraid. focus on nutrition and avoid all iterventions. Also, always delay cord clamping so baby has all her rightful blood. We already know that cord blood has stem cells – who knows what else may be in there designed just for baby’s individual needs?

      • theCmom permalink*
        June 12, 2010 8:28 am

        Amazing story! Thank you SO much for sharing. Blessing to you and yours!

  • Jaci permalink
    May 17, 2010 1:32 pm

    I went to the doctor at 6 wks pregnant because I was having light bleeding with no cramping. The nurse gave me the RhoGam shot but I am not Rh-. They did the ultrasound and the baby was the right size as well as the sack. A couple of hours later I had a miscarriage. Could the shot have caused that because I am not Rh-?

    • theCmom permalink
      May 17, 2010 6:57 pm

      Rhogam for ‘light bleeding’? I wonder why she gave Rhogam? or why the doctor okayed it? From what I understand, Rhogam is ONLY for rh negative people. I am sorry to hear of your loss. Let us know if you find any info from your doctor as to why they gave you that shot. Did they do anything else besides give you the shot while you were at the office? Blessings.

      • Jaci permalink
        May 18, 2010 1:00 pm

        The nurse gave the rhogam shot to me without the doctor’s okay. When I asked the doctor why she gave rhogam to me, the doctor said that she shouldn’t have given it to me and the nurse said that she gave it to me because she assumed that I needed it. Basically the nurse was not doing her job correctly. I almost think that the nurse thought I was a different patient.

  • Karen permalink
    May 1, 2010 4:19 pm

    I have a question… I never really looked up on the RhoGam shot untill the past few weeks… I had my daughter 11-24-09 and she was stillborn… I was 37 1/2 weeks I had a clot in my umbilical cord… I have a clotting disorder… My fiance is rh+ and Im rh- and I chose to get the shot not knowing how much risk is involved… Well now its 5 mths later and Im pregnant with my 2nd child and the rhogam from my daughter is still in my system… Dr’s dont know why and cant explain what it could do to the baby… And I cant find nething online about it can you please help…

    • theCmom permalink*
      May 2, 2010 1:02 pm

      Thanks for reading my post and commenting. I’d love to help if possible. What is your specific question reqarding the Rhogam shot or the baby? Is there a specific name for the clotting disorder you have?

  • Stephanie permalink
    September 5, 2009 7:59 pm

    Hi there – I just found out my Grandmother was Rh- and my husband & I have been trying to get pregnant for the last 2 years… I have no idea what I am – could this be a factor in fertility? Do you know how the Rh- is inherited?
    thanks!

    • theCmom permalink*
      September 11, 2009 8:40 pm

      I doubt the Rh factor is preventing you from being able to get pregnant…especially if you haven’t had any children. (It’s simple to get your blood type – just do the ‘eldoncard’ blood type at home.) 2 yrs is quite awhile to go without getting pregnant. Have you read the book, “Taking Charge Of Your Fertility”? It’s on my recommended reading list. It’s a MUST read. You might want to look into using some natural progesterone cream (find it at a health food store or online). There is quite abit of info on the women’s need for progesterone… google the phrase ‘progesterone fertility’ or ‘progesterone luteal phase’ or ‘progesterone pregnancy’ etc.

  • August 17, 2009 10:01 pm

    I had a client who became sensitized during her first pregnancy before she could get Rhogam, despite not having any trauma that you describe. She birthed that baby preterm, and he spent 2 weeks in the NICU. Her next pregnancy was with twins, and it was a very high risk pregnancy since she was sensitized. She ended up having a cesarean birth at 28 weeks, and obviously those babies spent a lot of time in the NICU.

    I’m all for avoiding unnecessary interventions…but sometimes interventions are necessary.

    • theCmom permalink*
      August 18, 2009 10:24 am

      Is there a chance she could have been sensitized before even becoming pregnant? Amazing she was able to get pregnant again without miscarrying! And with twins. So, I’m assuming the single birth and the twins were both rh positive?

  • erica permalink
    August 12, 2009 4:35 am

    thank you for posting. i’m very relieved. i’m pregnant and have ab- blood and was worried about the shot. but i just found out that the father has 0-, so i’m extremely relieved. thanks.

    • theCmom permalink*
      August 18, 2009 10:25 am

      Thanks for commenting. I am glad you found out that your husband is also rh negative. Blessings to you and this new little one.

  • Rachel permalink
    June 25, 2009 5:40 pm

    A very interesting article. I had never really understood the whole Rh factor before. Thanks for posting!

    • theCmom permalink*
      June 26, 2009 8:14 am

      I’m glad we both have positive blood types so we don’t have to worry about whether our babies have the Rh Factor. Are you A+?

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