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Rhesus factor – Rhesus prophylaxis

Blood group intolerance

It is part of preventive care to determine your blood group as well as your rhesus factor (positive or negative). Less than 15% of people are rhesus negative.
Experience has shown, that blood group intolerances can occur, if the maternal Rhesus factor is negative and the child's Rhesus factor is positive. However, because the blood group of the child is not known during pregnancy and one cannot be sure that the child - like the mother and/or father - is Rhesus negative, it is usual to administer prophylaxis to all women with a negative Rhesus factor.
rhesus pixabay free 2Foto: Pixabay free
From a legal point of view, medication requires the consent of the mother.
If you have a negative rhesus factor, you will have to decide, whether you want to have rhesus prophylaxis. It shall be carried out either from your midwife or from your doctor. (You can obtain the prescription from your doctor and take the medicine to your midwife.)

Prophylaxis may be carried out prenatally in the 28th-30th week of pregnancy and postnatally 2-72 hours after the birth of a Rhesus positive child / a child whose blood group is unknown.
The precautionary medication of anti-D immunoglobulin is justified with the risk of an intolerance reaction. For that it is preconditioned the direct contact between the mother's rhesus-negative blood and the child's rhesus-positive blood. This could occur, for example, in the case of external force or an amniocentesis. As a result, antibodies would form in the mother's blood which would pass to the child in a subsequent pregnancy and would endanger it.
Rhesus prophylaxis is discussed controversially. It is questionable if it is as routine in other countries same as it is in Germany.
The rhesus factor was first discovered in rhesus monkeys

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