Dr. Titilope Ademoroti, a family physician at King’s Care Hospital Limited, in Abuja, has advised women to be conscious of their blood group during pregnancy to avoid miscarriages.
Ademoroti explained that during pregnancy, problems can occur if a woman’s blood group is Rhesus Negative and her foetus is Rhesus Positive. She advised women to know their blood groups and find out their rhesus status or Rh factor, “which is an inherited protein found on the surface of red blood cells”.
She said while the presence or absence of rhesus factor would be indicated by plus (+) or minus (-) sign in a test, there were more than 500 blood group types featuring A, B, AB and O in the majority.
“If a blood cell has protein, it is said to be positive (+) but if the blood cell does not have the protein, it is negative (-)”. The problem may arise when a couple with different Rh factor gets married and start bearing kids. But once the woman gets pregnant again with an Rh (+) baby, the anti bodies already in the woman’s blood will begin to attack the baby’s red blood cell, thereby leading to anemia or more serious problems leading to miscarriage,” she told NAN.
Ademoroti noted that a woman with a different blood group Rh factor as her husband’s is usually given a Rhogam injection during the 28th week and 32nd week of pregnancy and also within 72 hours after giving birth.
She, however, advised intending couples to always get their blood screened before marriage so as to know how to handle such conditions.