What is neonatal hemolysis?
Neonatal hemolytic disease refers to the incompatibility between the blood type of the mother and the baby. Since the blood types of husband and wife are different, the fetus inherits the father’s blood type, so it does not match with the mother’s blood type. The antibodies in the mother’s body are passed to the baby through the placenta, causing a series of diseases in the newborn baby.
Why does hemolysis occur?
Throughout the pregnancy, there is a placental isolation between the pregnant mother and the fetal baby, so there is basically no direct transfer of blood between the mother-to-be and the fetus. However, due to the structure of the placenta, a small amount of blood will still enter the fetal baby’s body, and if the two blood types of mother and child do not get along, it can lead to a hemolytic reaction in the baby.
What is ABO hemolysis?
There are two ways to classify people’s blood types, one is our common type A, B, O and AB; the other type RH, the latter is less common, mainly talking about the first one. If the mother’s blood type is O and the father’s blood type is not, then the fetus born is likely to have ABO hemolytic disorder.
Can’t a couple get pregnant if they don’t have the same blood type?
Although hemolytic disease in newborns is caused by the incompatibility of the blood types of both spouses, there is no rule that a couple with incompatible blood types cannot get married. It is normal for couples with incompatible blood types to have hemolytic disease of the newborn, but the disease can be cured quickly and will not endanger the health of the child.
The hemolytic reaction will slowly improve within a few days after the baby is born. Therefore, mothers with O blood type need to take better care of their babies after birth and observe their babies’ reactions in order to deal with abnormal situations.
So, what are the best ways to prevent hemolytic disease in newborns?
1，Do a good pre-conception checkup
When you are preparing for pregnancy, you should go to the hospital to check your blood type. In the case of ABO incompatible couples, the antibodies in the woman’s blood and their titers should be measured.
2，Get a good prenatal checkup
If you have a history of blood transfusion or miscarriage, or if you have given birth to a child with severe jaundice, you should undergo prenatal blood group and antibody tests before delivery. This way, when the newborn has abnormalities, they can be detected early and make a better response.
3，Get prenatal treatment
If the baby is diagnosed with hemolysis, then the mother can make timely treatment by means of plasma exchange and early delivery.
Women with O blood type should cherish their first child more
ABO hemolysis is more likely to occur in the second child, but it cannot be ruled out in the first child. If a pregnant mother with type O blood has a history of miscarriage before pregnancy, the birth canal may be broken and the blood from the aborted fetus may enter the mother’s body; or if the mother has had a blood transfusion with type A or B blood before pregnancy, both of these situations may cause the mother to produce A and B antibodies, increasing the probability of hemolysis in the newborn. Therefore, mothers with O blood type must cherish their first pregnancy.