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Why do I have to have the anti d injection at 28 and 34 weeks?

(22 Posts)
thedollshouse Wed 11-Nov-09 18:10:12

When I was pregnant with ds I had the anti d injections at 28 and 34 weeks as I am Rhesus Negative. I didn't require an injection after the birth as ds was tested and he was also Rhesus Negative. I'm not quite sure why the injections were required during pregnancy as I had not had any miscarriages previously.

I am pregnant again and expected to have the anti d injections at 28 and 34 weeks. Are they really necessary? Can they not wait until after the birth and give me one then if the baby turns out to be Rhesus Positive? We don't plan on having anymore children.

TIA

CristinaTheAstonishing Wed 11-Nov-09 18:12:17

There seems to be an explanation here

Carikube Wed 11-Nov-09 18:14:50

I was told that they were needed during pg in case of any bleeding before labour to prevent my body 'attacking' the baby . However they have now replaced the need for two during pg with just one (or at least in my area they have).

I was also told that regardless of whether DH was rhesus neg or whether it was our last child they would still suggest that I have them as 'you never know what happens in future' - I think they like to cover themselves. [When I suggested we find out what DH's blood group was to avoid the need if he was neg, I was told that 'most people don't know who the father is so it is a blanket policy to make all Rh neg women have the injections shock]

thedollshouse Wed 11-Nov-09 18:19:58

Thanks. Interesting reading, it would suggest that I don't require the injections at all as ds is also rhesus negative. There is a very slight possibility that I may have had a chemical pregnancy when I was less than 4 weeks pregnant (I had a period that was much heavier than normal) but 4 weeks would be too early for there to be a crossover of blood wouldn't it?

I didn't really give this a second thought first time round but with this pregnancy I feel a lot more paranoid about subjecting my unborn baby to anything that isn't absolutely necessary. I understand that the injection contains mercury which I would rather not have unless it is really necessary.

cpanda Wed 11-Nov-09 18:26:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thedollshouse Wed 11-Nov-09 18:28:01

Thanks all. I will get hold a copy of that that publication cpanda and make a decision.

cpanda Wed 11-Nov-09 18:28:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

The whole thing has changed since my first miscarried pg. I too am RhNeg and had to have an Anti D after the MMC. Then when I had my Ds in 1998, it was only given after the birth if he had been a RhPos baby, which he wasn't. I then had another MC in 2005 and had to fight(I think the Dr just wanted this emotional wreck out of his hospital)to be tested in case I needed an Anti D. I did and was given it on the edge of it being too late for it to be administeredangry. I went on to have Dd and like you now, I had to have the injections at 28 and 34 weeks. Dd must be RhNeg as they didn't give an Anti D after her birth.

In another 10 years, they'll probably make you have one every month from 20 weeks!(joke).

thedollshouse Wed 11-Nov-09 18:39:05

Dh is positive (we think) but ds is negative.

bigpreggybelly Thu 12-Nov-09 09:36:16

You will definitely need them, since they don't know at this stage what blood group the baby will be.

Why do you not want them?? They are routine if you are rhesus negative, even more so with second and subsequent pregnancies.

thedollshouse Thu 12-Nov-09 10:30:46

bigpreggybelly, I'm not keen on them because they contain mercury, if they are absolutely necessary I will have them but would prefer to avoid them. My understanding (and I may be wrong) is that the injections at 28 and 34 weeks are to protect you if you have had any bleeding (I haven't). Ds was also rhesus negative so there is no risk to this baby from my previous pregnancy.

tellnoone Thu 12-Nov-09 10:40:39

It is recommended by NICE.

You can read the patient information leaflet - click on either the pdf format or word format of 'understanding NICE guidance' on this page

bigpreggybelly Thu 12-Nov-09 10:59:24

How do you know you've not had any bleeding? It could have been microscopic. I've never heard of anyone having adverse reactions to anti - D, never mind what it contains.

Listen to what the medical staff are telling you - they are trying to help you, not put you at further risk.

I don't understand why so many pregnant women are determined to refuse everything that the medics offer to help them.

thedollshouse Thu 12-Nov-09 11:21:09

I'm not determined to refuse everything the medics offer. hmm I will read the book recommended by the cpanda and speak to my consultant when I meet with her in a couple of weeks.

The 28 and 34 week injections are NOT standard in every health authority. In some areas they only offer one injection and in a few areas they offer you an injection after the birth if the baby is a different blood type. This is why I want to find out if the injections are absolutely necessary, how can it differ depending on the health authority you come under?

FWIW my bil's mother is rhesus negative and her son is rhesus positive. Back in the 60's when he was born they didn't have anti d injections and in a subsequent pregnancy the baby ended up being stillborn when she was 6 months pregnant. sad I am grateful that medical terminology has moved on and we no longer have to risk our babies lives over this issue. If it is necessary for me to have the anti d injections I will have them but I think it is sensible to find out the facts first! Sometimes we are advised to have things when it isn't strictly necessary. A work colleague is rhesus negative as is her husband but she was told like a previous poster on this thread that she would have to have the injections because they couldn't be sure that she knew who the father is. hmm

bigpreggybelly Thu 12-Nov-09 11:21:12

Check out
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/complications/whyneedantidexpert/

It tells you what might happen if you don't have it.

thedollshouse Thu 12-Nov-09 11:46:00

Thanks for the link bigpreggybelly. I'm 99.9 % sure that I will have the injections but I don't see any harm in being armed with the facts before I make my decision.

FlightofFancy Thu 12-Nov-09 12:12:50

I've not had them as I'm 100% sure that my DH is Rh- (we are/were both blood donors) - but not because I'm bothered about injections/blood products etc (I'm practically queueing outside the Drs for my swine flu jab and generally pro-medicine).

Didn't have them for the simple reason that the midwife pointed out that I didn't need them and there was no point in having an extra stab with a needle when I'd probably get more than enough of those over the next few months! (if you're both Rh- there is no chance that you could have a + child: useful tutorial and calculator here: www.biology.arizona.edu/human_bio/problem_sets/blood_types/Intro.html)

We're also both O-, so know that baby will be as well as it's one of those things where you've got to inherit a double 'dose' (like blue eyes).

However, there are some areas that have found it easier to make anti d compulsory as it's quite a valid point that if people aren't sure of the father of the baby it could cause real problems - my midwife mentioned that there have been issues where the mother can't say she's not sure of parentage as the 'father' has been at all ante-natel appointments etc.

woodhj Thu 12-Nov-09 13:33:01

I too am RH Negative and when they explained the reasons for having the injections i asked why they could not just test my DH blood and see if both ours combined would be a problem.
She told us that something like 60% of woman lie or are not sure who the father is and so is not an option. My DH looked horrified at me and even i was quite shocked.
I have never had any bad reactions to it and would rather know that it was protecting baby against my blood cells trying to harm baby

littleomar Thu 12-Nov-09 13:53:19

It's my understanding that for the last 10 years or so the Anti-D jab given in the UK hasn't contained Thiomersal (the mercury derivative people worry about).

I had mine yesterday and my health authority are now giving just one jab at 28 weeks (second pregnancy and first baby is Rh+ so I had it without a second thought).

cpanda Thu 12-Nov-09 14:08:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thedollshouse Thu 12-Nov-09 15:09:36

woodhj I would love to know where your midwife got her statistics about 60% of women not knowing who the father is. hmm

It is shocking what they come out with. I remember when I visited my GP because I was concerned that my periods hadn't returned after the birth of my ds, the GP practically shoved a pregnancy test into my hand and said I would be surprised how many women have this concern and it usually turns out they are pregnant. That maybe the case for a lot of women but I had already told her that I had had zero sexual contact with my husband! She eventually relented when I agreed to take the test if she promised to have the pope on standby so she could inform him of the latest immaculate conception. Honestly some health professionals do not credit women with an ounce of intelligence or integrity!

ilovetochat Thu 12-Nov-09 15:18:56

im rhesus negative but dp was tested and same back rhesus negative so we chose for me not to have the injectionc in pregnancy. dd was born rheses positive. dp was retested and came back a very rare blood group with slight rhesus positive in (didnt understand it properly but lady from blood section came and explained) so i had the anti-d a day and a half after she was born.
just got to hope now that it hasnt affceted my ability to carry a 2nd child.
so from my experience its not worth the risk of not having anti-d

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