Q: Dr. Good evening, please I want to know if blood group can affect pregnancy or the baby, like husband 0- negative and wife in another group and if so what is the remedy? thanks.
A: Thanks for writing in.
The difference (O+ and O-) leads to a situation called Rhesus incompatibility. As a result of the difference in the Rhesus factors of the hubby and wifey, if the wife gives birth to a baby that is Rhesus Positive, her body will recognize the baby as a foreign body and thus mobilize antibodies to fight the baby. However, in a first pregnancy, this may not be a problem as this can only happen when there is mixing of mum’s and baby’s blood. This would usually happen at the time of separation of the placenta during birth. So, before the wife’s body can mount an effective response to the ‘threat’, the baby has been delivered. However, these antibodies are now ready to, more efficiently, deal with another threat as soon as it presents itself, perhaps through another pregnancy.
During a second pregnancy, these antibodies mount an attack on the cells of the baby leading to anaemia, jaundice, brain damage etc in a new baby.
However, this can be prevented by ensuring that you get an injection, Rhogam after 28 weeks of pregnancy and within 72 hours of birth. This injection deceives the woman’s body into thinking it has already produced antibodies against the baby and thus, the body technically understand, it doesn’t have to do same. The particles of Rhogam cannot cross the placenta and so baby is safe. Since you did not take this injection the first time, you need to see your doctor to advise on options.
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Have a good night, everyone