Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rh - I'm confused...

As I'm not stoked at the idea of shots, especially unnecessary ones, I've been doing some research on this Rh thing. I found a few sites with some interesting information.

One site,, the writer states, "There is a likelihood of baby blood, only 15 ml is needed, mixing with mom's blood during the birth process when the placental membrane breakdown. During pregnancy there is no mixing of mother's blood with baby blood. Giving mom rhogam after the baby's birth is sufficient to reduce the risk of HDN in her next child to about 1-2%."

She lists a couple problems with taking the shot during pregnancy:

1. The standard rhogam preparations contain the mercury compound, thimerosal. We commonly link this preservative with vaccines. Rhogam is a type of vaccine but not a vaccine directed against an infectious disease. The PDR cautions that the use of rhogam during pregnancy can have adverse effects on the fetus.
2. The high mercury content of the rhogam preparation can have serious neurological consequences on the developing fetus.

It also states: "Many moms report to me that their physicians blow them off when confronted with the request for mercury free rhogam or say that such a product is not yet available. The reality is that mercury-free rhogam is available in this country from Bayer Pharmaceuticals under their product name of BayRoh-D. This mercury free product has been available sine 1996. Their number is 800-468-0894."

I love that they give you the information for the mercury free shot instead of just stating that "it's out there."

This site, of course, if quite bias as they are against vaccines. But! There are reasons to it.

Another site, put on by the American Pregnancy Association, seems to contradict itself. First, the article states, "The treatment of RhIg is only good for the pregnancy in which it is given. Each pregnancy and delivery of an Rh-positive child requires repeat doses of RhIg." Then, a little while later, under a section on other reasons the shot is given, it states, "In case there is a need for a blood transfusion in the future, the treatment will prevent her from developing antibodies." This is under a point about why she would have the shot after birth and tying her tubes. So, this shot is only good for the one time, but in case, somewhere in the future, she needs a transfusion, the shot will last? says, "Without treatment, there's about a 15 percent chance that you'll produce antibodies; with treatment, the chance is close to 0 percent." In reading that, I'd like to know how many of the women who produced antibodies had medical interventions of some sort during their birth. The majority of the time, the doctors are probably causing the blood to mix.

Another site states, "Pregnancy suppresses a woman's immune system, otherwise the fetus might be rejected by her body as a 'foreign body'." you think that maybe God knew about this whole Rh thing and decided to suppress the system that would create these antibodies?

Logically, I don't see why a woman would need the shot during pregnancy. Why would you all of a sudden, after carrying the baby for 28 weeks, would the shot be required? I don't see how things are going to change in the next 12 weeks. If you start bleeding or something, ya, the shot may be needed, but if things are going the way they're supposed to, why put medication that's not going to be needed into your system.

It seems that the placenta is keeping the blood from the baby and mother separate during the entire pregnany. Why would Rh be a problem unless the baby is cut or the placenta breaks during the 3rd stage labor?

The only reason I would see of getting it is to have it AFTER birth. If the placenta is intact then there is not very little chance the baby's blood has mixed with yours. If it's broken, they can draw blood from the cord or placenta and test the baby's Rh. Then, if the baby is positive, get the shot BayRoh-D, to prevent and future complications.

As you can tell, even knowing the heartbreak the future may hold if my immune system creates antibodies, I'm still not scared into taking it THAT easily.


Gombojav Tribe said...

I know some women who don't take the shots even though they are Rh positive. I could ask them about that if you want.

I don't know enough about it myself to have any firm convictions about it.

Melanie said...

I am Rh negative married to a positive and I have to get my vaccines flown in from Thailand! I only took them after births, not at the 28 wk period. I had one after a miscarriage, too but not after my last birth. I had been reading up on it and just didn't feel right about it anymore. I know some women who didn't take it at all and had 5 kids!

I've heard that some diets can keep antibodies in check, too. There is so much out there and it's ahrd to know the best way to go. Good luck!

Melanie in Mongolia

Flo Oakes said...

My best friend who is having a home birth is Rh positive...(I think that's the one) and she is getting the shot after birth...
I am not sure where our midwife gets the shots from though...