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Blood type and rhesus test

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Knowing your blood type and Rhesus (Rh) factor is an important part of your prenatal care. During pregnancy, problems can occur if you're Rh negative and the baby you're carrying in your womb is Rh positive, usually inherited from the baby's father. These problems usually won't affect your first pregnancy, but they can affect later pregnancies.

Why does your blood type and Rh factor matter?

If you're Rh-negative, you may be at risk of Rh incompatibility. This condition usually happens when an Rh-negative mother carries an Rh-positive baby. If Rh-positive blood comes into contact with an Rh-negative mother's blood, it can cause her to produce antibodies against the Rh factor, leading to Rhesus disease.

But don't worry, if you're identified as Rh-negative, doctors are prepared. You'll likely receive Rh immune globulin. This medication can prevent Rh incompatibility and protect future pregnancies. A single dose is typically given at weeks 26 to 28 of pregnancy and again within 72 hours of delivery if your baby is Rh-positive.

Understanding your blood type and Rh factor is also useful if you need a blood transfusion or if problems arise that require an intervention, such as neonatal jaundice. Medical professionals can use this information to ensure that safe and compatible blood products are used.

Finally, consider the fact that knowing your Rh status can give you peace of mind. After all, forewarned is forearmed. If you are Rh-negative, take some time to talk to your healthcare provider about the implications and the measures to be taken to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

While understanding your blood type and Rh factor is one piece of the puzzle, there are other factors to consider when preparing for a baby. Our health experts are always here to provide advice and guide you through your pregnancy journey.

Find out more about rhesus disease from NHS.

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by Lola&Lykke Team