When my doctor told me I would have to go to the hospital at 7 months pregnant and bare my backside for a shot I was curious and not too thrilled. He called the shot RhoGam and he explained that I needed the shot to possibly save my life and the life of my baby at birth. I instantly panicked. Was there something wrong that could cause death to me or my baby? With fear in my eyes I asked the doctor if I was going to lose the baby. He smiled and explained that RhoGam saves lives, but it does not mean my life is in danger.
What does Rh Negative Mean?
Rh Negative simply means your red blood cells do not have a protein on the outside. That missing protein is not harmful to you in everyday life, but during pregnancy the missing protein can cause serious medical problems. Any blood in your body that is not negative will cause an attack of the immune system as the body sees that blood as a foreign substance.
What is RhoGam?
RhoGam is a brand name for an immune globulin designed to suppress the production of antibodies that feel they need to attack the foreign blood cells – your baby’s blood.
When Do I Need the Shot?
If you are Rh Negative and your partner is Rh Positive, you will receive one RhoGam (or other brand) shot at seven months and one after birth.
Is RhoGam the Only Brand?
No, there are other brands of immune globulin. RhoGam is just the brand name that’s been around the longest in the United States.
Where Can You Learn More about Being Rh Negative?
If you need to find out if you are Rh Negative, ask your obstetrician about your blood type. A blood test is done during prenatal care; your blood type is noted during the test. If you know you are Rh Negative and your doctor has not mentioned an immune globulin shot, ask about the shot and whether or not you’ll need to be treated.