RhoGAM is one brand of Rh immunoglobulin (RhIg). RhIg is an injectable drug given to women with Rh-negative blood during pregnancy. The main purpose of RhIg is to prevent problems in case baby has Rh-positive blood.
RhIg usually is given to a pregnant woman with Rh-negative blood around 28 weeks and within 72 hours of baby’s birth (if baby is Rh-positive). The drug prevents your body from forming Rh antibodies, which aren’t likely to harm your first baby, but could actually harm any future babies you have if they’re Rh-positive. Rh antibodies could cause baby to be born with hemolytic disease of the newborn, which can cause anemia (in which case baby may need a blood transfusion).
RhIg may also be given to you if you have bleeding, abdominal injury, amniocentesis or version procedure, or under any other circumstance in which baby’s blood could mix with yours.
If a blood test shows your body is already making Rh antibodies, however, RhIg won’t help. In that case, your doc will keep a close eye on your baby to make sure he’s staying healthy. Know that baby may need to be delivered early to prevent problems and may even need to get a blood transfusion in utero.
Plus, more from The Bump: