• Question: why is it that when a rhesus positive mother is pregnant with a rhesus negative child it is possible for the child to die prematurely in the womb an what can be done to prevent the child from dying???????????

    Asked by 753purple26 to Jelili, Noel, Robinson, Shilla, Simon on 15 May 2018.
    • Photo: Shillah Simiyu

      Shillah Simiyu answered on 15 May 2018:

      It is actually the other way round. When a rhesus negative mother gets pregnant with a rhesus positive fetus, the mother’s body will reject the fetus.

      Here is why:

      The Rh factor is a protein that can be found on the surface of red blood cells. If your blood cells have this protein, you are Rh positive. If your blood cells do not have this protein, you are Rh negative.
      The Rh factor is inherited, meaning it is passed from parent to child through genes. The fetus can inherit the Rh factor from the father or the mother.During pregnancy, problems can occur if you are Rh negative and your fetus is Rh positive. When a woman is Rh negative and her fetus is Rh positive, it is called Rh incompatibility.
      If the blood of an Rh-positive fetus gets into the bloodstream of an Rh-negative woman, her body will understand it is not her blood and will fight it by making anti-Rh antibodies. These antibodies can cross the placenta and try to destroy the fetus’s blood. This reaction can lead to serious health problems and even death in a fetus or newborn

    • Photo: Simon Masha

      Simon Masha answered on 15 May 2018:

      Question answered comprehensively by @Shillah, what I can add is harm to the unborn child can be prevented. When an Rh-negative woman has not already made antibodies, a medication called Rh immunoglobulin (RhIg) can be given. RhIg stops the body from making antibodies, which can prevent severe fetal anaemia in a future pregnancy.