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Anti-cs in pregnancy - anyone got experience?

(11 Posts)
Caterpillar0 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:57:06

I'm 28 weeks and routine blood test has shown I have anti-cs. I don't know the exact level yet but they said it is low at the moment - I'll be having regular blood tests from now on.

Has anyone had anti-cs and how did it impact the pregnancy and birth? I've read a bit on the net but am not much clearer.

Interested in hearing from anyone with experience of this

MammaCici Thu 28-Feb-13 17:51:45

I didn't know what it was and had to google it. Is it malaria antibodies? I definitely think it's something you need to speak to a specialist about.

I know this is different but when I was pregnant with my first child I got the shingles (same virus as the chicken pox which is a well-known danger to fetuses). Speaking to an infectious diseases doctor at my local hospital put my mind at ease. Regular doctors and OB GYNs don't have the knowledge of specific bugs and viruses. I think you should find an expert. In my case having shingles didn't complicate the pregnancy. I hope your situation proves the same. Best of luck.

Caterpillar0 Fri 01-Mar-13 12:21:48

thanks mammacici. It's a kind of anti-body which, as I understand it, if its levels increase, can attack the baby's red blood cells and lead to anaemia and jaundice. What I can;t work out is how likely the levels are to increase and what to expect in general. How worried to be etc. I'll be having blood taken regularly from now I'm told so just have to wait, but keen to hear from anyone who has experienced similar - especially at this stage in pregnancy.

Merlini Fri 01-Mar-13 14:42:13

Hi Caterpillar. I have blood antibodies as well and have literally never,come across anyone else who did! I registered to post just to reply to this. I have anti-c and several others (C, e, E, K) as a result of blood transfusions when I was younger. This is my third baby. My first pg was unaffected, as it's usually that which sensitises you to the antibodies. In my second the antibodies were picked up about 20 weeks. I had fortnightly blood tests to check whether the levels were rising and a 36w scan with the foetal medicine consultant. The tests will see whether your baby is at risk of some potentially serious conditions but if they stay low you should be fine, and even if they start to rise there is plenty of treatment available. Are you under consultant care? You should be and if not ask your mw or GP to refer you.

If everything is ok during your pg your baby will be monitored after s/he is born for a while to check bilirubin and iron levels. There is a risk of the baby getting anaemia or something called haemolytic disease of the newborn, which is a type of jaundice. Treatment is either light therapy or blood transfusion depending on severity. My antibody levels were not high during my last pregnancy but DS1 did have haemolytic disease and mild anaemia. It was picked up within hours of his birth, I was reassured by how aware all the doctors were of the issue. We had a week in SCBU of intensive light therapy which wasn't a whole lot of fun but not that bad and he recovered quickly and completely. I'm expecting the same again, at the least, when his brother arrives.

When is your baby due? Sounds like you are at a similar stage to me. Mine is due 15 May. I hope this has helped a bit.

Caterpillar0 Fri 01-Mar-13 15:15:44

Hi Merlini. Thanks for replying. I'm due 22 May so, yes, v close to you. Did you go full term with your last child? I've read that babies are often delivered early in these situations.
I'm under a consultant already but have only spoken to him once on the phone since the results came through. He mentioned potential early delivery and extra blood tests (next one a week on Monday). I don't know if I have anti-c or anti-C as didn;t know there were two types when we spoke. I had a blood transfusion several years ago so I guess that's the source.
It's a bit concerning that even with low levels the baby can still have haemolytic disease and anaemia as I suppose that means it would go undetected until birth, though good to know that this is a possibility and be prepared for it. Your post is reassuring - esp that you went on to get pregnant again. I'm was worried this may mean no more children as read something about the levels rising earlier each pregnancy.

Merlini Fri 01-Mar-13 17:23:11

I did go full term with DS1, he was born at 41 weeks. I was quite surprised because DD was born at 36 weeks so was really expecting another early one. Wonder when this one will show up! When you have antibodies there is a chance you will be induced early if your levels rise past a certain amount. My 36 week notes from last time say I should be induced immediately if levels rise past 7.5 (I can't remember what the unit of measurement is). They never did.

You've probably got anti-c, it's more common and causes more trouble! It is so hard to find anything about it on the web, all the antibody stuff I can find is referring to rhesus disease. But I believe the ones most likely to cause trouble are anti-c, which is linked most to jaundice, and anti-K, which I think is most linked to anaemia.

When DS1 and I were in hospital there was never any suggestion from the doctors that we should avoid another pregnancy. They may have given different advice if my levels had been higher or DS1 had been more ill. Haemolytic disease can cause some really scary things. I was so worried in the early stages of this pg though, when I read up a bit more about HDN, because I thought if I lost the baby I wouldn't be able to try again. It isn't set in stone that it will get progressively worse though, according to my doctors, although that does usually happen. My consultant seems completely relaxed about everything this time around. Has your consultant asked for your DH to have a blood test? They usually do, you might want to check.

You'll probably have more blood tests before delivery to check your iron levels so that they can make sure they have blood available in case you lose too much during labour. If you need a transfusion your blood has to be cross-matched because of the antibodies. I was given a card to carry during my last pg by the blood service which shows my antibodies in case of accidents.

Caterpillar0 Fri 01-Mar-13 19:08:34

Yup they have asked for DH to have a blood test but he is abroad for the next month. They didn't seem bothered when I offered that he have one immediately where he is and send the results.
Is your consultant a specialist in antibodies and blood stuff or an obstetrician? I'm under the latter.

Probably unanswerable but do you think if your DS1 had been induced earlier you might have got away with needing the light therapy? I'm wondering if it is best to get the baby out as soon as it is safe to - say 38 weeks.

Thanks for your replies above and sorry for more questions. We can switch to PM.
Actually I;d really like it if I could PM you as things progress, as not much info out there and interested to hear from anyone with experience

Merlini Fri 01-Mar-13 19:17:34

Hi caterpillar, yes feel free to pm me with any questions. My consultant is an obstetrician, you may also see one who is a foetal medicine specialist as well. You could ask to see a haematologist, I guess, but the obstetrics people really do seem to know what they're doing. I don't think it is urgent for your DH to have a test, it is mostly just to give them more info.

Not sure about whether ds would have been better if he'd been born earlier, is worth raising with your consultant though, is good question. Think I will ask mine too! Would love to hear from you so do send a pm if you get a chance, I have literally never heard of anyone else who had this issue. Fingers crossed everything keeps going well for both of us and our babies!

Caterpillar0 Sat 02-Mar-13 10:12:43

Great, thanks. Will be in touch. Next blood test and consultant appointment in just over a week.

Caterpillar0 Sat 16-Mar-13 12:09:10

Merlini - pm-ed you

Needalifeagain Wed 17-Apr-13 20:10:25

Hi Merlini and Caterpillar0 and anyone else with any knowledge of this.
I have been diagnosed with anti C and anti K from 28 weeks blood and am seeing consultant on Tuesday.
I am already under consultant care due to a previous c- section.
I'm not sure what my levels are. Waiting for midwife to post results.
Have read what I can about it but would appreciate any advice on what to expect etc.
Thanks.

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