What Is Rhesus Factor Incompatibility

Rhesus (Rh) factor is protein found on red blood cells. If the protein is found, mother is Rh+ (positive) and if not, mother is then Rh- (negative). The Rh factor incompatibility means a difference between mother’s Rh factor and her baby’s Rh factor. For example, if mother is Rh- and baby Rh+, there is a problem of incompatibility. During pregnancy, it can cause serious problem to mother and baby, since the incompatibility activate antibodies in the mother body.


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    Rhesus factor incompatibility is caused by activation of antibodies in the mother, if mother is Rh+ and baby Rh-. Although there is no risk during first pregnancy, the problem can cause some serious issues for mother during future pregnancies.

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    There are no apparent signs of the problem in the baby, but some indicators include pale body colour of baby at the time of birth. Other sings in the baby can include limp, sleepy, swelling on the face, having difficulty in breathing and jaundice.

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    The Rh factor incompatibility is diagnosed through blood tests, which can tell whether mother or baby has protein on red blood cells. The tests of fetal blood samples can also lead to finding these proteins and diagnosing problem. An ultrasound is another way to diagnose the problem.

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    Although prevention is the best solution for treatment of the Rh factors, phototherapy and blood transfusions are some of other common treatments of the condition. As said, there should not by any problem for mother found with Rh- factor during the first pregnancy, but she must get it treated in case of planning more pregnancies.

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    You can also prevent the problem through vaccination. Immune globulin are the most recommended shots that can prevent formation of Rh antibodies in the mother. These shots are generally administered in the 28th week of pregnancy or otherwise within 72 hours of baby birth. This is the best possible solution, especially in case of more pregnancy plans, as the level of risk or production of antibodies is reduced by a considerable level and in case of having administered these shots the treatment of the problem is rather helped and compensated.

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