Your blood type is determined by your genes, and until you need a blood transfusion, your blood type doesn’t have any effect on your health. If you get a blood transfusion, it is essential to match the donor’s blood type with your blood type, so your body does not reject it. Having Rh-negative blood isn’t a concern until pregnancy. If you are Rh-negative, and your baby is Rh-positive, then you have an Rh incompatibility. This means that there is a mismatch between the blood of you and the blood of your baby. When your Rh-negative blood is exposed to your baby’s Rh-positive blood, your blood reacts by producing antibodies that can attack and destroy your baby’s Rh-positive blood cells. To avoid the complications that come with this rho(D) immune globulin, commonly referred to by the brand name RhoGAM, is given at various points during your pregnancy or after birth. This episode explores all of the risks, benefits, and considerations surrounding Rh compatibility with your baby and the rho(D) immune globulin or RhoGAM shot.
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