Blood type incompatibility and neonatal jaundice? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 07-07-2012, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure if this is the best place to post this, but I thought I'd give it a go.

 

I was under the impression that blood type incompatibility could be a factor in neonatal jaundice, but am still fuzzy on what sort of incompatibility is a factor. 

 

I ask because I had jaundice and in 1978 was put under some bili lights for a couple days (I think?  Off and on?) to clear it.  FWIW, I am A- and my mom is AB+.

 

Now I am pregnant (6 weeks), with a child that is almost certainly Rh+, and probably will be A+.  (My husband is A+, but further, is of Asian descent, so has a 90%+ chance of being homozygous for Rh+-- i.e., +/+.  The best hypothesis is that all of my children will be Rh+, and I guess that-- at least-- 75% will be A+.)

 

So... does it work "both" ways, or only one?  That is, is an Rh- child born to an Rh+ mother likely to have jaundice, but an Rh+ child born to an Rh- mother not likely to have the same issue.... or what?  Is it more a matter of A/B/O incompatibility?  Anyone have any info? Thanks!


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#2 of 3 Old 07-07-2012, 09:25 AM
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Lots of babies get jaundice.  There are a bunch of different things that can cause it. 

 

However, Rh+ children will not have any reaction to Rh- blood - Rh- means that rhesus factor is not present in the blood, and you can't have an immune reaction to something that isn't there.  Rh- kids can have a reaction to Rh+ blood, because it contains rhesus factor, which is foreign to their immune systems. 

 

Rh+ babies can get jaundice anyway, but not from Rh factor incompatibility issues. 

 

The bigger issue is that if you, as an Rh- woman, are exposed to your baby's Rh+ blood, you could develop an immune reaction that causes serious complications and hemolytic disease of the newborn in future pregnancies.  Rhogam prevents this. 
 

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#3 of 3 Old 07-07-2012, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

 

However, Rh+ children will not have any reaction to Rh- blood - Rh- means that rhesus factor is not present in the blood, and you can't have an immune reaction to something that isn't there.
 

 

Yes, thank you!  This is exactly what I was thinking, but found some stupid conflicting info online.  I know there are various causes of jaundice, just thinking about some of the factors, since I had it.  Interestingly, my brother (also A-), did not have it.  Who knows why?  We were both born within 2 days of our due dates-- though he was induced-- and were unmedicated vaginal births, etc., etc.

 

No argument from me re: the Rhogam-- I know some people like to avoid it, or at least wait until after the baby is born to make sure he/she is Rh+.  But in my case, it is a near certainty that my baby will be Rh+, so I have no problem getting it late in pregnancy and after birth.  I got a Rhogam shot during (but before the bulk of) my miscarriage in April as well, just in case.


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