Blood Types and Pregnancy

Blood Types and PregnancyMost people are already familiar with the different kinds of blood types and its importance during emergencies or in health issues. However, not everyone Windows 10 is aware of the important relationship between blood types and pregnancy. One of the most important tests that a pregnant woman needs to take is a blood type test which determines her blood type and RH factor.? Determining this information is crucial particularly if the mother?s blood contains antigens that may attack the red blood cells of the baby which may then lead to complications or worse, death.? Thus, once a woman gets pregnant, it is vital that she understands all about the different blood groups as well as the compatible blood types.

 

What are the different blood groups?

There are four major blood groups which are A, B, AB, and O. The blood groups are classified according to the type of antigens found on the surface of the red blood cells. Type A blood has A antigens, type B has B antigens, type AB has both antigens, and type O has neither. Each blood group is then further classified according to the Rh factor which is either negative or positive.? The Rh factor refers to presence or absence of certain proteins on the surface of the red blood cells.? If a person does not have an Rh factor protein, he or she is Rh negative. A person with the Rh factor protein present on his or her red blood cells is classified as Rh negative. Blood types are identified by the absence or presence of these antigens and proteins on the red blood cells. For example, a person who has A antigens and lacks the RH factor protein is classified as A-.

 

Why is blood typing important in pregnancy?

One of the most important steps that you will need to take after deciding to become pregnant is to determine you and your partner?s blood type.? Identifying the blood types can help prevent any future complications and problems that may arise due to incompatibilities between the mother and the baby.

One of the problems with blood type incompatibility is ABO incompatibility. This is generally a common and mild hemolytic disease in newborns. A hemolytic disease means that the red blood cells are ruptured possibly causing anemia, jaundice, or even death. This rupturing of red blood cells can occur if the baby?s blood mixes with the mother?s and their blood types are incompatible causing antibodies to develop. Direct contact between the mother?s blood and the baby?s blood can occur through birth or pass through the placenta. Significant ABO incompatibility cases occur when a mother has type O blood and the baby has either type A or B blood. This is because, once the two blood types mix, the mother?s blood will see the antigens A or B as foreign substances and form antibodies to kill them. This process is called sensitization. Once the antibodies are formed, they will pass through the placenta and begin to attack the red blood cells of the baby.

Another incompatibility problem is Rh incompatibility, usually occurring when an Rh negative mother has an Rh positive baby. When the Rh positive blood mixes with the blood of mother, the body will recognize the Rh protein as a foreign substance and develop antibodies against it.? Once the antibodies develop, they will attack the foreign substance which is the baby?s red blood cells which can cause the baby?s blood level to go dangerously low resulting in serious health complications and even death. Usually, Rh incompatibility is not a problem for first-time pregnancies as it takes quite a while for antibodies to develop. However, problems may occur during consequent pregnancies if the antibodies are already present. ABO incompatibility, unlike this one, does not become more severe in later pregnancies.

Thus, it is very important for a pregnant woman to undergo a blood test early in pregnancy to find out if such a problem can occur. Early prevention of Rh incompatibility is done through injection of a series of shots that prevent the mother?s body from producing Rh antibodies if sensitization has not occurred yet. If it has, the doctor will need to closely monitor the pregnancy and the baby?s health to ensure that everything is being done to keep the mother and her baby healthy.

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