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.