At your booking appointment we will have taken a blood test to find out what your rhesus antibody status is. If you are Rhesus positive you will require no further assessment of your rhesus status for the remainder of your pregnancy.
If you are found to be Rhesus negative and your baby is Rhesus positive (which can occur if the father is Rhesus positive) we know that this can cause a complication called Rhesus disease. This is when the mother makes antibodies that fight the baby’s cells.
If you are Rhesus negative on your booking blood test, at 16 weeks we can now offer you a further blood test for Fetal Rhesus D screening. This blood test looks at the Fetal DNA carried in the mothers plasma cells and predicts the rhesus status of your baby. Your Midwife will explain this to you in full detail at the 16-week appointment.
If your baby is Rhesus positive you will be offered an injection into a muscle in your arm at 28 weeks called Anti-D. This injection helps to prevent Rhesus disease in the new-born occurring.
If your baby is Rhesus negative this would mean you would not need the Anti-D injection at 28 weeks.
If you decline the blood test at 16 weeks, we would then offer you the Anti-d injection at 28 weeks. In the case of the blood test being inconclusive we would also offer you an Anti-D injection at 28 weeks.
Please note if you are Rhesus negative and your baby is known to be Rhesus positive and you have any events of bleeding, or an incident that could cause you to bump your abdomen, you would be offered Anti-D regardless if you had had this injection at 28 weeks. The above events can increase the risk of the mother and baby’s blood cells mixing which can also lead to Rhesus Disease.
If these events happen you should ring Triage Immediately on the numbers below:
Saint Mary’s Hospital Oxford Road Campus 0161 276 6567
Saint Mary’s Hospital at Wythenshawe 0161 291 2724