Blood tests are an important part of the antenatal care you will receive from your obstetrics team in London. Several different kinds of blood test can be performed during pregnancy, but one of the most common is used to check your blood type.
Your Blood Group
Getting your blood type tested is a good idea during pregnancy as it will ensure you get the right type of blood if you need a transfusion during labour. You might not need to be given any blood and it is possible to have a transfusion safely even if your blood group isn’t known, but it is best to get the right type for you. You may have A, AB, B, or O blood.
When your blood type is tested, your obstetrics care team will also tell you if you are rhesus positive or rhesus negative. If you are rhesus negative and there is a chance your baby is rhesus positive, your body might start producing antibodies against the baby’s blood. However, if the baby’s father is also rhesus negative, the baby will be rhesus negative too so there won’t be a problem. The baby’s blood type and rhesus status can also be checked by testing cells that have made their way into your bloodstream from the baby.
Preventing Rhesus Disease
If you do start producing antibodies against the rhesus factor, they can cause problems such as anaemia for your baby. The baby will be carefully monitored by your obstetrics team in London for signs of rhesus disease so that action can be taken if necessary. Your blood can also be tested for antibodies if you are rhesus negative and your baby may be positive. If any antibodies are detected, you can be given an injection of immunoglobulin to stop them from harming the baby. This usually happens at about 28 weeks.