Buck's County Prenatal Care, Rh Incompatibility

Buck's County Prenatal Care, Rh Incompatibility
Posted on 03/15/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Buck's County Prenatal Care, Rh Incompatibility

Doylestown Women's Health Center is your Bucks County OB GYN, and a comprehensive resource for topics in women's health. Our patients come from all walks of life, and everyone's journey is unique. If your journey includes pregnancy, our mission is to support you and your baby, even through difficulties such as Rh incompatibility. Pregnancy is an incredible journey, and it is normal to feel nervous about the health of your baby. Don’t miss our page of foundational advice for a healthy pregnancy. The expert staff at Doylestown Women's Health Center can prepare you for every step of the way, and give you the tools to prepare for any and all difficulties. Pregnant women with a negative blood type are sometimes at risk of Rh incompatibility, and while this used to be a serious issue, modern medicine has developed treatments for Rh incompatibility that protect you and your baby.

Doylestown Women’s Health Center Pregnancy & Negative Blood Type The RH Factor

What Is the Rh Factor?

Your blood type is based on the proteins on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs) – either A, B, AB, or O. In addition to the letter, everyone also has something called an Rh factor, based on the presence of a particular protein on the surface of RBCs. If the protein is present, you are Rh positive, and if the protein is not present, you are Rh negative. Thus, there are 8 possible blood types: A-, A+, B-, B+, AB-, AB+, O-, and O+.

What Is Rh Incompatibility?

If you have an Rh negative blood type and your partner has a positive blood type, you may be at risk for something called Rh incompatibility with your baby. This occurs if your body detects the presence of the Rh protein in your baby's red blood cells. Because you don't have this protein, your body may think it is something harmful and create antibodies to try to attack it.

Normally, during pregnancy, your blood and your baby's blood do not intermingle, however, your blood can intermingle during childbirth – and this can cause the production of antibodies, which will attack the baby's red blood cells. The risk is higher if this isn't your first pregnancy, as your body may recognize the Rh protein during the pregnancy and start producing antibodies even before childbirth, causing a condition in the baby called Rh disease. Left untreated, Rh disease poses a serious risk to the health of the baby.

Thankfully, we now have treatments to guard against Rh disease. If you and your baby have incompatible blood types, we can use something called a RhoGAM shot to protect your baby from any antibodies. Your doctor will work with you to decide if a RhoGAM shot is necessary in your case.

Contact Your Doylestown, PA Obstetricians

Our mission is to make every part of pregnancy easy for you, and we'll work closely with you throughout your unique experience. Feel free to call us if you have more questions about pregnancy or Rh incompatibility or if you'd like to schedule a visit to our center. We hope to hear from you soon, and we're excited to help you through your pregnancy journey!