Pregnancy is undoubtedly a period when a woman’s concern for her body increases a lot. Because it is a delicate period and where many diseases can appear, it is necessary to know each one and learn how to prevent it, since many do not know this type of disease, such as fetal erythroblastosis , for example.
What is Fetal Erythroblastosis?
Also known as Rhesus disease or hemolytic disease of the newborn, fetal erythroblastosis is a disease that affects the baby when a mother who has blood with a negative RH factor (-) gives birth to a child with a positive RH factor (+ ).
In summary, we can say that fetal erythroblastosis is the disease that causes the destruction of the baby’s red blood cells during pregnancy or at delivery. In the vast majority of cases, the disease manifests itself only from the second child generated by the mother and this has a very simple explanation.
How does Fetal Erythroblastosis Occur?
When the mother has her first child, her blood does not normally come into contact with his, making the differences between the HR factors unnoticed by her body.
This contact between the bloods occurs only at the time of delivery, which is when the mother’s body perceives a different blood type and identifies it as something harmful or a sign of danger.
From that moment, it is natural for the woman’s body to create antibodies to fight that unknown blood type . Therefore, when a second pregnancy occurs where the baby also has a positive RH factor, the mother’s organism will immediately fight that “invader” or “intruder” organism. And if that happens, several steps need to be taken so that there are no serious consequences.
A mother with a negative HR factor has a child with a positive HR factor when the father also has a positive RH factor, which is why it is very important to perform a blood typing test on the child’s father early in pregnancy, so that the doctor can evaluate the possibilities of a fetal erythroblastosis to happen during pregnancy.
Consequences of Fetal Erythroblastosis
Fetal erythroblastosis is a disease that can be treated, but it can also have several serious consequences if there is no treatment or if it is not done correctly. The main consequences that fetal erythroblastosis can bring are:
- Baby Death
One of the most worrying consequences of fetal erythroblastosis is the anemia that the baby can acquire after delivery. It occurs normally, because during birth and if there was no correct treatment for the mother and baby, there is a great destruction of red blood cells, which ends up causing anemia, often profound in the newborn, which is extremely dangerous. . In response to anemia, the baby’s body ends up producing immature red blood cells, called erythroblasts (hence the name of the disease).
The abortion caused by fetal erythroblastosis happens because the mother’s body ends up attacking some of the baby’s cells. These antibodies produced by the mother, already in the second pregnancy, cause the destruction of the baby’s red blood cells (red blood cells), making it impossible for him to survive inside her uterus.
The baby’s death can occur due to complications in the problems mentioned above, this when he can survive the antibodies produced by the mother, but is born with a lot of weakness or anemia, which can end up causing his death. It is important to remember that even if there are serious consequences like this, fetal erythroblastosis can be prevented.
Jaundice is a syndrome caused by the accumulation of bilirubin, a substance produced in the liver from the hemoglobin of the destroyed red blood cells. It is characterized by the yellowish color of the skin, since this is the color of bilirubin.
Despite all these consequences, there are some exceptions. These reactions are less aggressive when the baby has antigen A or B and the mother does not. In addition, there is also the possibility of the birth being performed before the birth is performed before these consequences reach the baby, which is possible, in most cases, when the mother’s awareness is small.
How to Avoid Fetal Erythroblastose?
The first and most important thing to do is the mother and father’s blood typing test. It is he who will point out if there are chances of fetal erythroblastosis to occur or not. If the chances are there, precautions against the consequences need to be taken immediately.
The injection of anti-D immunoglobulin is the most effective way to prevent the mother’s body from producing antibodies that attack the second child it generates. Usually, it is done during the first pregnancy, thus preventing contact with the baby’s blood at the time of delivery, causing the reaction in the woman’s body.
Despite this, there is also the possibility of the injection being applied 3 days after pregnancy or even on the second, to avoid major consequences for the baby after delivery.
There is also the possibility of performing intrauterine transfusion during pregnancy to treat anemia even before birth, although this option is less indicated by the risks that direct contact between the mother’s and baby’s blood may bring.
There is also, as we have already mentioned, the possibility of anticipating delivery so that attacks do not occur, but this is a delicate decision that the obstetrician makes only when there are many risks to the baby’s health.
Despite being a rare disease in some ways, fetal erythroblastosis can harm a pregnant woman and her baby in many ways. That is why it is so important to know all types of diseases that affect women at this stage, as we mentioned at the beginning of the article, and to understand how to prevent or prevent the consequences of these diseases from being the worst.
It is important to understand that this and other diseases of the type can be treated and their effects mitigated, but that for this to happen, some steps need to be taken. With an awareness of what to do in cases like this, it is easier to deal with diseases such as fetal erythroblastosis, even though it is something that frightens most women at first.
See Also: Pregnancy Pain – What is Normal?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.