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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 10:42
Subject: Rhogam question
I am pregnant with my fifth child and am RH-negative-. I have always had RhoGAM in the past, but this time am questioning it. I did not know until my last pregnancy that it was a blood product... so that made me think a lot more about it. I am having a homebirth and the midwife said that I did not really have to do the 28 week injection, but I am questioning the one after the birth as to whether I should get it. I have been researching this quite a bit so that I can find a lot of answers. I had read an article (by Jennifer Smit) my last pregnancy after I had already gotten the injection and it was enough to never make me want to get another RhoGAM shot. However, I am unable to get that article again. I am a vegetarian and do herbs and mineral supplements on a regular basis... I know that this article focused on the raw foods and how that could actually help with the whole thing.... so do you have any suggestions? I am looking for answers from persons who are more alternative and thought that you might have some insight. Thank You for any suggestions....... Nature
I found these articles regarding Jennifer Smit, Rh sensitization and Rhogam:
UPDATE: March 2012 - Note: Since writing this letter, some of these links have disappeared, however, there are other articles available via the internet. I will be adding some of these articles to my articles archives in the near future.
- http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/jen.htm Jennifer's Birth Story
- http://www.bestfed.com/childbirth/freebirthfaq/kim.htm Kim's Information About Rh- Mothers and Rhogam
- http://www.moondragon.org/obgyn/pregnancy/rhisoimmune.html MoonDragon Article about Rh Sensitization
- http://www.arhogamattorneyforyou.com/ Rhogam information for law suits: warnings about mercury content in Rhogam
- http://www.lacarte.org/health/rhogam/ Mandatory Rhogam shots: Question everything
- http://thebirthsource.homestead.com/rh.html Rh- Information and alternative methods of building your blood.
In the nearly 30 years of being a midwife, I have not given RhoGAM to any of my clients. However, some of my clients did choose to go to their health care provider or to a health clinic after the birth and receive a shot after the birth of their baby. You have up to 72 hours (actually much longer than this, but this is what the medical community has dictated) to have this done. It is simply too expensive for me to carry RhoGAM for the occasional Rh-negative mother and the shelf life for RhoGAM is so very short, besides being a prescription medication with many associated risks. For a mother to receive RhoGAM she has to sign a "release form".
From my perspective, this is your fifth baby. It will depend on if you are planning any more babies after this one and if your baby is Rh-positive. Unless you receive an invasive intervention during your pregnancy, such as amniocentesis, or had bleeding problems and a threatened miscarriage sometime during your pregnancy, then you should not have to worry about having a RhoGAM shot done during mid-pregnancy. Anytime you have an interventive procedure done like this or a threatened miscarriage with bleeding, you run a very small risk of introducing the baby's blood into your blood stream at the time of the procedure and thus beginning building antibodies. At the time of birth, you can test the baby's blood type using cord blood and an Eldon card determine whether your baby is Rh-positive or not. If it is Rh-negative then you have no need of a RhoGAM shot. If the baby is Rh-positive, the possibility of becoming sensitized is still very small and would only happen if you had your blood mixed with the baby's blood. Again it will then go back to how many more children you will plan on having after this one. With each subsequent pregnancy in which you carry a Rh-positive baby, your body, if sensitized and developing antibodies, will begin to attack the baby as a foreign object. You could still possibly have another baby or two without any recognizable signs of hemolytic disease appearing in the Rh-positive baby. Even if you do receive RhoGAM, there is still no guarantee that it will work and if you become sensitized, RhoGAM will not do anything at all to help in future births anyway. It all goes back to having the blood exchange between you and your Rh-positive baby during pregnancy. Most non-interventive births, such as we do at home, do not do any procedures that could increase the chances of this happening. No matter what you decide to do, I recommend questioning everything and becoming an informed consumer of health care for your safety and the safety of your children.
In Susun Weed's book for the Childbearing Year she mentions taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids during the last 30 weeks of your pregnancy to possibly prevent sensitization. In the last article I listed above, there are dietary and herbal suggestions including the Vitamin C that can help prevent sensitization. I plan on including these suggestions on my website.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Rh Isoimmunity
Hope all goes well and wishing you healthy babies.
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