Why It Is Important To Know Your Partner's Blood Type Before Getting Married
It is important that couples get their Rh compound in the blood checked before getting married or having a child, as it can raise complications in the baby, say experts.
Rh refers to a compound which may or may not be present in one's RBCs.
- Mixing of Rh negative mother with Rh positive father can be problematic
- Rh positive baby born in this way leads to isoimmunisation
- Anti-D injection is given in this case to prevent formation of antibodies
There are many things that we plan and make adjustments for, before we get married. But hardly do we pay heed to the medical concerns which are essential and for us and our partner's future before consummating the marriage. Knowing your partner's blood type is an essential requirement before getting married, as it may determine the health of your child. You must be fully aware of your partner's ABO and Rh blood type. While ABO refers to the different types of blood groups: A, B, O and AB, Rh is referred to a compound which may or not be present in your red blood cells. People with Rh compound are termed as Rh positive and people without the Rh compound are known as Rh negative.
According to Dr Gita Prakash, it is very important that couples get their Rh checked before getting married or having a child, as it can raise complications in the baby.
"The situation is problematic especially if the mother is Rh negative and the father is Rh positive. In this case, the baby might be born Rh positive, and there are chances of excessive bleeding and lots of other complications. If both partners are negative or positive, then it is not problematic. But only the mother being negative and not the father, can be a serious situation," says Dr Gita.
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Possibilities of isoimmunisation
The process of Rh positive baby being born in this way leads to process called isoimmunisation. This process opens up the possibilities of baby's blood entering the mother's body while he/she is in the womb.
She goes on to add, "Even if the mother has an abortion, and the blood of Rh positive father is mixed, then the mother can have complications post pregnancy. An Rh positive baby from a Rh negative mother and Rh positive father must be avoided."
Ask her if there's any treatment for couples with a Rh negative mother and Rh positive father, she says, "An anti-D injection is given in this case."
This injection can help in preventing sensitisation, an immune response to an Rh negative mother being exposed to Rh positive blood.
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Prevention of antibodies
"This injection is given to stop the formation of antibodies in the mother's blood. After this injection, the couple can go ahead with their family planning conveniently," says Dr Gita while adding that doctors always suggest aspiring parents to be aware of each other's blood type.
In case these antibodies go on to form, the baby can be prone to diseases like jaundice and anaemia.
Getting a blood test done to check if your partner is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive or is suffering from any sexually transmitted disease (STD), can help in preventing you from catching these infections.
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Thalassemia is a condition of low haemoglobin and red blood cells (RBCs) which are small in size, and are decreasing in number. Getting a blood test done for thalassemia can prevent chances of babies born with any defects at birth.
Thalassemia is a condition of low haemoglobin and small-sized red blood cells (RBCs) which are decreasing in number. Thalassemia minor patients are those with low Hb and small-sized RBCs which are increasing in size.
Thalassemia patients have smaller RBCs (but more in number than people who are iron deficient). A child of two thalassemia minor patients results in a thalassemia major baby. Thalassemia major is a condition in which the child is dependent on blood transfusion for his entire life. Doctors say that a thalassemia major child has to get blood transfusions every month to survive.
One can avoid this situation by getting a complete blood count test during pregnancy. Experts suggest that two thalassemia minor parents should avoid child birth. This is because regular supply of blood for blood transfusion can be an extremely expensive task.
(Dr. Gita Prakash is a Family Physician at Max Multi Speciality Hospital, Panchsheel Park)
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