I get a few emails weekly from women asking if they should refuse the Rhogam shot because they have read a lot of material that states that the side-effect may harm their children.
Thankfully I have a few physicians in my network also rh negative always ready to advise me how to lead them into the right direction while limiting my replies appropriately.
When asking about the side-effects of vaccines, the two main replies I receive are as follows:
1) “Do not worry about the vaccines, they serve a purpose”.
2) There are plenty of reasons for concerns, yet refusing a vaccine like Rhogam could be fatal to the fetus.
The most important factor to every pregnant rh negative woman is and should be the well-being of the child.
You should if pregnant and rh negative immediately talk to your physicians about all concerns that you have.
If the doctor refuses to take appropriate time and expresses no interest, you should seek council from another physician and switch to a medical professional who wants to make sure that you receive the best care possible.
Be also aware that in different countries there are different procedures when it comes to protecting the rh negative fetus from the antibodies of an rh negative mother if she has them.
In the U.S. for example, rh negative women who are pregnant receive the Rhogam shot at around 6 weeks into the pregnancy. This is being done regardless of surrounding factors which may or may not determine whether or not you actually need it.
It is standard procedure.
In many European nations, you do not get the shot administered during your first pregnancy. After your first pregnancy, the blood type of the baby is being determined and if the child is rh positive, you receive the vaccine to protect the potential rh positive next fetus.
Yoe Bing from Rhesus Negatif Indonesia (RNI) states:
The problem came during my 2nd pregnacy. I got bleeding during the 2nd months of the pregnancy … so I took the Rhogam shot after the bleeding. The doctor just said that there was no hope for my 2nd baby … but my baby survived and was born healthy. It was a miracle to me.
This was the alternative in a nation with around 0.5% rh negatives where the issue has been overlooked for the longest and a lot of fetuses died simply because the pregnant rh negative woman either received no care, received it too late or the “wrong care” out of ignorance and/or disinterest of the doctor.
Neither the American or European system are perfect and reasons for concerns include:
a) The importance of an antibody screening has not to be overlooked in rh negative women before even their first pregnancies. It is possible that a woman who is rh negative and has never had a blood transfusion or any type of contact with rh positive blood after birth has already antibodies built if for example her own mother is rh positive and during pregnancy with her the fetus’ blood and hers had contact causing the rh negative fetus to build antibodies due to some of the mother’s rh positive blood penetrating her system during the time in the womb via placenta.
b) There are concerns that if a woman receives the vaccination containing potentially harmful material is being administered during the pregnancy (as in the American system), particles of those can penetrate the fetus via placenta and have a stronger effect considering size and sensitivity of the fetus.
More research has to be done in these two areas but it has been confirmed to me that at the least both are “potential matters for concern”.
If you already have antibodies in your system, a chemical pregnancy can also occur which is quite common amongst rh negative women. 6 weeks may not be early enough to administer the shot. Unfortunately this concern has fallen on many deaf ears due to doctors simply following procedure without a second thought unless forced to listen and research on their own.
And the same way it might be wrong to assume that just because a woman has not been pregnant or had any contact with rh positive blood after birth, that she has no antibodies and an rh positive fetus “should be safe”.
It is YOUR pregnancy, so treat it as such!
So what can we do now?
Let’s first look at some other possibilities to determine whether or not you do or don’t need the Anti-D shot:
1) Can the blood type of the fetus be determined while in the womb?
The answer is “Yes”, but it is considered too risky. Even though scientists have developed a genetic test which can help diagnose a potentially fatal blood disorder in babies while they are still in the womb, so we might see this happening soon.
2) Should having an rh negative husband immediately guarantee that the fetus is rh positive?
Unfortunately no. Well, of course “Yes”, but not in the eyes of the board of directors of a hospital. You may know that you are faithful to your husband, but the medical industry will be afraid that even if you answer a questionnaire guaranteeing this, they may still be held accountable should you not be honest and for example “the real father decides to sue them for not doing their job correctly”, as they “should know better”, so this is not going to happen either.
Looking at what the people of Rhesus Negatif Indonesia have done can serve as a great example. In Indonesia, the medical industry was not as concerned with the well-being of its only 0.5% rh negative population, so Yoe Bing, Lici Murniati and others came together after Mr. Irwandhany Semenguk, the founder of the group, passed away just recently.
And they made it happen and now are working on making sure the avoidable complications are a thing of the past.
Have you been under the care of a great physician who done well getting you through your pregnancy successfully?
Let this be an opportunity to thank him or her on a new forum we have installed and leave his name and address for others who search.
Share your experiences and tips.
There are many women looking for answers and it’s time to give the business to the physicians who truly are dedicated enough to find the best way to help.
So go ahead and continue here:
We cannot wait for the medical industry to care, so its time to step things up on our own!