Does the prick of the vaccination needle burst your bubble of motherhood’s bliss? Are you tired of the endless ultrasounds and blood tests during your pregnancy? Have you undergone a test to know your rhesus status? Do you know how it can affect you and your newborn?
While you are pregnant, you may need to take a host of vaccinations. Some of these are very common, and you may already be aware of their significance. However, some rare vaccinations may be vital to safeguard yourself and your little one from health complications.
We are talking about the Anti-D (RHO) vaccination. Read on to know more about this vaccination, who needs it and why it is important.
What Is The Anti-D (RHO) Injection?
Your doctor may administer the Anti-D (RHO) vaccination to you if you are rhesus negative (RhD –negative). The medication called anti-D immunoglobulin is an injection to prevent the Rhesus disease. Exposure of RhD negative blood to blood that is RhD positive leads to sensitization. It also causes an immune response in the blood. The Anti-D (RHO) vaccination helps to prevent this sensitization.
[ Read: Is Tetanus Safe During Pregnancy ]
Why Do I Need The Anti D Injection During Pregnancy?
If you are RhD negative, your doctor may suggest you to get an anti-D injection in the event that your unborn baby may be RhD positive. It implies that your rhesus status and your baby’s rhesus status do not match.
While you are pregnant, your baby’s blood can mix with yours. It can happen due to a small bleed from your placenta or at the time of childbirth. As your baby’s rhesus status is different from yours, your body will detect and treat your baby’s blood as a foreign body in your circulation stream. It will trigger your immune system to produce antibodies to destroy the blood from your baby in your body. Every time the Rh-D positive blood enters your circulation system, it will be a sensitizing event.
The antibodies your body produces pose a potential threat to your baby’s blood cells not only during your current pregnancy but also in any future pregnancies . It can lead to Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn (HDN) that can in turn cause anemia and jaundice in your newborn. It can also cause permanent damage to the brain and the nervous system of your newborn.
Taking an anti D injection in pregnancy can help you prevent HDN in your newborn. The anti-D vaccination will destroy any blood from your Rh-D positive baby before your body produces any antibodies.
[ Read: What Is The Rh Factor Test ]
Does Anti-D Vaccination Cause Any Side Effects?
In some cases, an anti-D vaccination causes discomfort at the injection spot. You may also develop an allergic reaction to the vaccination, which is quite rare though. Your doctor may ask you to stay at the medical facility for about half an hour after the vaccination to treat any reaction immediately. Seek immediate medical help if you are feeling unwell after the vaccination.
Your doctor may ask your partner to undergo a blood test to check his rhesus status. There could be a possibility that both you and your baby’s father are Rh-D negative. Your doctor may still advise you to go for the anti-D injection.
[ Read: Why Tdap Vaccine For Pregnant Women ]
There are situations where you may not need the anti-D injection at all. If you opt for sterilization or family planning, you may not need the vaccination at all. In case you are not entirely sure of this and may end up having more children, it is always advisable to go for the injection.
Your doctor will be the best guide to tell you when to give Anti D injection. Make sure you speak to your doctor about it when you are pregnant.
If you have taken the Anti-D (RHO) vaccination during your pregnancy, please share your experience with us.
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