Blood Test for Rh-

If you have an Rh negative blood type , the issue of Rh incompatibility must be discussed. If you do not know your blood type and you are planning a home birth, you can purchase a blood typing kit HERE.

Everyone has an Rh factor, either plus or minus. If you have Rh- blood, and you were to have a blood transfusion with blood that was Rh+ then your body would detect the foreign blood and make antibodies to destroy it. The same would happen if you become pregnant and had an abortion, or through live birth, but only if your baby’s blood type is Rh+ and only if your blood supplies mix. Reasons your blood supply might mix: placenta previa or placental abruption, injury or trauma or blood transfusion. In most cases, a mother won’t know the blood type of her baby. So as a precaution, an immunization is given of immuno-globulin to prevent the mother’s body from making these destructive antibodies.

This shot would not be necessary with the first pregnancy, and it might not be necessary with the second one if the baby from the first pregnancy also had a negative Rh factor. Testing the first baby’s blood to see if it is Rh- might prevent the need for the shot with the next pregnancy.if the baby has Rh+ blood, then you may need to get the shot. Now, the standard practice is to give every woman the shot. Bit if you, like me, are not crazy about taking immunizations, you could have your blood tested for antibodies to see if you have been sensitized. If you have been, you will need the shot. If you haven’t been, you won’t. The problem will be finding a doctor that wants to go through all that trouble. They’ll say, just take the shot. But that’s up to you.

The practice used to be to give the mother the shot within 72- hours of giving birth. Now they like to give one shot at 28 weeks and another after birth. There’s no proof I know of that shows there’s any advantage to getting a shot at 28 weeks in a normal pregnancy. So that’s up to you.

I’d like to include just one more thing. There are some women that believe they can change their Rh- status through diet and herbs. I have no experience with this myself, but there is a story related in Polly’s Birth Book about a woman who supposedly accomplished this. I’ll leave you to decide about that on your own.

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