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"Negative blood group" is also known as Rhesus Negative blood group. It is a type of blood grouping system based on the presence or otherwise of a factor in blood known as RHESUS FACTOR. Those who have this factor present in their blood are said to be RHESUS POSITIVE while those people without it are said to be RHESUS NEGATIVE.
Another type of blood grouping system is the ABO system where someone could have blood group A, B, AB or O. (note that these are the common types). So if one has this factor in their blood then the blood group is A, B, AB or O rhesus postive and if absent it becomes A, B, AB or O negative.
Many people believe that having rhesus negative blood group signifies a bad omen especially when it comes to pregnancy and delivery... this is NOT true as it is as normal a blood group as other blood groups. People with rhesus negative blood, especially ladies are NOT advised to receive positive blood for transfusion. This is because the positive blood they received will cause their blood to produce what we call ANTIBODIES against the rhesus factor. These antibodies will not harm the receiver (receipient) at this first time but will cause a serious reaction when the person is exposed to a positive blood another time.
Similar thing happens in pregnancy. If a lady with a negative blood group marries a man with a positive blood group, the chances are that any of their children could have a positive blood group inherited from the father. If the first baby in the womb has a positive blood group, there could be some mixing of small amount of blood between the negative mother and the positive baby. This baby's blood(which contains the rhesus factor) which has crossed into the mother's blood will cause the mother's system to recognise these factors as foreign bodies and then produce antibodies to destroy them. But before these antibodies are fully active to work the baby would have been delivered without any problem. However, if the second baby happens to have positive blood again like the first one, the antibodies already produced and waiting in the mother will then cross through the placenta (the organ that connects the baby and mother) and start attacking the baby's blood destroying them leading to so many problems like: jaundice in the baby in the womb, blood shortage (anaemia) in the baby, heart failure in the baby, body swelling (known as hydrops fetalis) and even death.
DO NOT BE AFRAID as this is no longer the case as science has developed an antedote to this. To avoid this,
1. Know your husband's blood group (if he is negative no problem).
2.If he is positive then start antenatal clinic on time so that your doctor will do some tests looking for those antibodies.
3.Make plans with your husband to buy this antedote known as rhesus isoimmunogpobulin (Rhogam) because it is relatively expensive.
4.Your pregnancy does not carry any extra risk because you will be treated like every other pregnant mother unless if there is any problem detected along the line which may not be related to your blood group.
5.Also be informed that your baby's blood will be collected at delivery for some tests which will include the blood group, blood level, presence or otherwise of jaundice, and presence or otherwise of these antibodies.
By and large "negative blood group" is not a crime neither is it a punishment from any diety, it is just one of those types of blood group. Fear NOT for with RHOGAM you can conquer your fears...Shalom!
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