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Rhesus Negative: How Dreadful is it?

I was at the post-natal some weeks ago and was fortunate to meet and discuss with some women. It was wonderful meeting with fellow mothers discussing the joy of motherhood as we all carried our babies with glaring smiles of achievement. You could see the excitement in each faces. But, as beautiful as some of these faces were, it was amazing that some of them had had unpleasant maternal health issues. My interaction with them suggested this. The first woman, shared with me how she had lost four babies most of which died as a result of miscarriages and during birth. I was stunned! The next woman also shared with me how she lost her twin babies some few hours after childbirth. I felt really hurt and sorry for those lovely little cutie angels that they never had. Certainly, these are some of the effects of Rhesus Blood Group (-ve).

As a mother who is Rhesus Negative, I already know the devastating effect of being negative, but rather amazingly, majority of these women knew nothing about Rhesus Blood Group. They were lost at it and as much as I tried to communicate the issue of Rhesus factor with them, I realized that it was pretty difficult due to communication barrier -they speak more of our local languages. But, eventually I succeeded.

Rhesus factor is a substance (blood product) found in blood. Approximately 85% of the population has the Rhesus factor and the remaining 15% percent do not. It is symbolized by the plus or minus after your blood group, for example, A- is rhesus negative and A+ is rhesus positive. If you are rhesus negative and your husband is rhesus positive, then your unborn child may inherit negative or positive blood – you won’t know until birth. However if the mother is negative and the foetus happens to be positive (positive being dominant, negative recessive), this may cause problems for the foetus as well as any future pregnancies the mother may have. Problems can occur if the foetus’ positive blood manages to find its way into the mother’s bloodstream, either during pregnancy or labour.

Although, this is one of the routine tests that is expected to be done by pregnant women, but due to negligence and probably forgetfulness in the part of doctors etc. these tests are not done. During early pregnancy I was hospitalized for weeks with threats of miscarriages. And, I wasn't diagnosed until the 32nd week of pregnancy when out of curiosity, I told the doctor that I needed to know my Rhesus status all because I was well informed and knew the consequences of being negative. How about those women who are less informed and needed to be saved from this maternal menance.

I hope that PulseWire will be an avenue for me to help voice out this concern. It's high time every woman knew their Rhesus status and put an end to these gory stories. It's time all mothers lived healthily.

Comments

everlyrose's picture

i agree to that

with world pulse we could disseminate more information about the rhesus gene and it could be done in any health center that will have the available capacity to help women before anything goes wrong with their pregnancy and their unborn child

you are right, negligence and forgetfulness is unacceptable when it comes to the well being and health of women and children

very nice piece

take care

everly

Solvitur ambulando
(it is solved by walking)

olowotee's picture

Thank You, EverlyRose

Thank you so much for your response.
It's so saddening that some vital issues such as this are sometimes handled with a pitch of salt.
The misconception is that there are only few women who are Rhesus Negative....but, this is fast becoming an old news. I'm meeting with more women and children who are Rhesus Negative just like me.

Only last week, a friend of ours decided to check out her daughter's Rhesus status and she felt devasted and cried when she was told that her first daughter tested Negative. {I just smiled}. I guess she must have been ill-informed about Rhesus negativity. lol

Thank you once again, EverlyRose.

Best Wishes, always.

Tosin

noreens's picture

With your story you have

With your story you have already begun telling women about Rhesus. For those women who plan to have children, it is important information. Thanks!

Noreen

Lisa T's picture

Comments

Tosin,
I enjoyed reading your journal entry. I found it to be informative and I think that you shared a very personal story. I also think that you have a catchy title that draws in your reader. I was wanting to know a little more about your personal journey and how you plan to educate others. I am also wondering, do you have specific goals for educating others on Rhesus Negative? How do you see yourself reaching those goals through your use of PulseWire?

I know little about Rhesus Negative and I look forward to reading and learning more from your journal entries. Thanks for sharing!

Sincerely,
Lisa

olowotee's picture

Dear Lisa

I was really running out of air time the last time i was online, that was why i did refer you to my newest blog. But, now....i have a lot of time to work online...I thought I should give answers to your incisive questions now...
thanks for your understanding....:)

Once more I appreciate your comments.... I didn't realise how personal I had gone, until i read your comment. Really, I think, life becomes more meaningful and worthy if we can share our stories to help others out of similar situations.

I have decided to talk more and enlighten other women on this issue because it seems to be so relegated to the background in health matters...It's well assumed that fewer percentage of women are negative. Maybe I could be the VOICE for these fewer percentage of women if at all we are really that few....

What i find amazing, is that my parents are both Rhesus positive...then, I wondered where i derived my negativity from...but, i know genetics and cell biology has good explanations for this...:)

It's okay if both partners are Rhesus Negative or Rhesus Positive....but there is a problem if either partner is negative...especially if they look forward to having babies....then, the Rhesus Factor becomes an important factor to work on. Due to some carelessness/forgetfulness on the part of medical attendance, I was diagnosed lately. I was sensitized, and given the anti-RhD immunoglobulin drugs within 72hours after the birth of my baby.

Now, my intention is to educate as many other young women as possible on the need to know their Rhesus Status and that of their partner....This should be discussed during marriage counselling, ante nata classes etc and emphasis shouldn't only be based on knowing people's HIV status. Really, there are some unpleasant experiences associated with unsensitized rhesus negative mothers such as: miscarriage, therapeutic abortion, amniocentesis, ectopic pregnancy, abdominal trauma, stillbirth etc.

Also, I was looking at the possibility of having educational wall charts, fliers on the relevants of Rhesus Factor. This, i wouldn't mind to distribute to fellow women in health centres and other gatherings....Already, I have discussed with a

Lastly, I see myself reaching these goals through the use of PulseWire by creating a group/forum where women could discuss health matters. Also, I hope to blog more on the importance of knowing our rhesus factor. But, most importantly, it will be greatly appreciated if we could have educational wall charts designed for women on Health Issues for this cause. This will be used judiciously used for a common goal -reaching out to women.

Thank you so very much for your patience, Lisa

Tosin.

olowotee's picture

Thank you.

Thank you Noreen and Lisa for your kind words.....i appreciate it. Thank you.
I wouldn't know if i answer all your questions, Lisa in my most recent Journal...."www.worldpulse.com/node/28937?"

Thank you for visiting my blog...

Warm regards

Tosin

tallybery's picture

Dear Olowotee, I am here as

Dear Olowotee, I am here as part of the listener group to congratulate you on this assignment. Thanks for sharing your story with us. What you are saying about health awareness is really important, but this assignment was about telling your personal story. I understand that this episode was an important part of it, but your text became so restrict about the Rhesus factor that we´ve missed some also important issues about yourself. It could have helped if you had conected this episode with more general ideas about health awareness, your environment and your dreams. The begining of a text it´s a very important issue to work on, because it´s were we conquer the reader to keep on reading, so it´s always a good idea to work on the introduction which is where you present a little resumen of what you will discuss. At the end you make a good point on how pulsewire can help objectively, raising awareness to this and other issues...I only missed the point where you say how you got in touch with us as part of this assignment. I belive it is wonderful to have such an objective issue to fight for, it is an amazing start. I wish you all the best on the battle of raising health awareness among women on your community and everything else :-)

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