RH Factor In Pregnancy
Blood type and factor screening is one of the tests performed once a lady is pregnant. She will be tested for blood group (A, B, O, AB) and the Rh factor. This will not affect your health in any way but may affect pregnancy if not taken proper care of.
The risk comes up if the woman has Rh -ve factor while her partner has Rh +ve factor. Since such a combination can produce a child who is Rh positive.
The circulatory system of the mother and baby blood systems is separate, but sometimes the blood from the baby can enter the mother's system. While this happens antibodies against the Rh factor is created by the mothers system and treats an Rh positive baby like an intruder in her body and causes it to breaking down the red blood cells of the baby and anemia will develop. In severe cases this hemolytic disease can cause illness, brain damage and even death.
Usually this problem occurs very rarely in first pregnancies.
• This can be prevented for many women, if they are not already sensitized. Rh immunoglobulin (RhIg) is a blood product given via injection to help the Rh negative mother; this suppresses her ability to react to the Rh positive red cells.
• This injection is given at 28 weeks gestation the dose of RhIg will last for about 12 weeks. The mother will also be given RhIg within 72 hours of birth if the child is Rh positive.