Worried - antibodies in blood in pregnancy

Discussion in 'Baby & Toddler' started by Ammdaz, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    I hope you don't mind me intruding from tri 3, I've posted this in the pregnancy section too but just thought I'd post here in case any of you ladies experienced similar in your pregnancies

    So I had my 31 week mw appt today and got the results of my 28 weeks blood tests. My antibody screen has come back positive and there is a note on the blood type results slip that says:
    'Weak +/- to 1+ reactions with two panel cells - no specificity to any of the major blood group antigens could be identified. Likely non-specific reactions. Suggest repeating at 34 weeks'.

    Now this pretty much sounds like gobbledygook to me but from what I do understand I have somehow developed a weird antibody in my blood. I'm rhesus negative but this obviously isn't related to that because I'm guessing they would easily be able to identify that.

    My mw didn't seem to know much about it or seem to concerned but of course I'm panicking! I had a quick google (being good and sticking to nhs sites!) and found an nhs leaflet that says these antibodies can occur if mum's and baby's blood mixes but I haven't had any knocks to the tummy or any bleeding since 8 weeks so not sure how that could've happened (I didn't have any antibodies at 12 week bloods).

    It also says that most antibodies are harmless or won't cause baby any problems but that some can attack baby's blood and cause anaemia and jaundice so regular blood tests to check levels should be performed and possibly regular scans to check on baby.

    My main concerns are that they don't know what these antibodies are so how do I know if they are harmful to baby or not? Also if they aren't going to repeat my bloods until 34 weeks that's hardly regular blood testing, being 6 weeks from the last test! And by the time I get the results I could be 35+ weeks by which time if they are harmful my little girl could be getting poorly

    Has anyone had anything similar or know any better what this may mean? Should I contact my mw and say I'm a bit uncomfortable waiting so long for the next blood test?

    Xxx
     
    #1 Ammdaz, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  2. tweetyfoo

    tweetyfoo Well-Known Member

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    Sorry no experience myself him, but hopefully someone will come along with more knowledge :hug:


    Tapatalking!
     
  3. babybee

    babybee Well-Known Member

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    Hi hun. I'm not completely familiar with this but I had my check up with my obstetrician a few weeks ago and she spoke about this with me. This isn't a very helpful post to your questions but I'll just share the little bit I know on the topic.

    I wasnt in a similar position to you but to give a bit of background my baby was born by emergency c-section as she wasn't moving much, turned out she'd been bleeding into me via the placenta for weeks and became severely anaemic having lost a third of her blood volume. She had a blood transfusion and after that all was well and she's doing brilliantly now.

    After this all happened I was reading up on how/ why it happened, would it happen again, what could I do to prevent it. I saw lots of things on antibodies that freaked me out a lot. So I made an appointment with the consultant obstetrician who reassured me massively.
    She said that antibodies can occur if your blood mixes with your baby's and they have a different blood type to you. Blood seeping out through the placenta is very common, but if it's a lot over a short period of time is when it becomes dangerous.
    They measure the level of antibodies and have a 'high level' indicator - if it gets to that point they discuss things like elective c-sections earlier etc to make sure the baby remains safe. I think it takes a few weeks at a time for the levels to become high too.

    So I think it's great that they have seen this early on, it's great that its at a level they are not concerned about and waiting 3 weeks should be fine unless you really do need peace of mind then I would definitely recommend calling you're midwife to talk it through so you have all the facts. I would also from now on recommend monitoring baby's movement, not necessarily the number of movements but if its pattern of movements changes.

    I hope you don't worry too much chick and that the next bloods come back clear!
    Xxx
     
    #3 babybee, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  4. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both.

    Babybee that's really helpful thank you. I didn't realise it was common for blood to seep through the placenta, that must be how it happened then. Also good to know that it takes a while for the levels to increase, hopefully waiting until 34 weeks is ok then. I guess I should just trust that the professionals know what they are doing but I think I've just got myself into a bit of a panic and because it normally takes ages for me to get blood results back from my mw, when they said they wouldn't be testing until 34 weeks I got worried I wouldn't get the results until like 37 weeks but I'm sure they'll chase them up before then! My LO is very active, she was kicking the mw this morning when she was listening to the hb but I know I'm going to be extra alert now to any changes in her movement.

    Xxx
     
    #4 Ammdaz, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  5. babybee

    babybee Well-Known Member

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    No worries at all. I would have panicked too, I panicked about everything during my pregnancy!
    The only thing ill add is that if you're still concerned about the length of time for the blood test results then I would just see if you can get it done earlier, I'm sure they wouldn't object.

    Xxx
     
  6. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    I've been panicking about everything this pregnancy too! My pregnancy with my son was so straightforward, I didn't really have anything to worry about but this time round there just seems to have been lots of niggly little problems, I try to be reasonable and not over-react but I can't help worrying! I think I might just text my mw in the morning and see if she thinks its worth testing again earlier, although I don't think she had much more of a clue than me about what's going on! Xxx
     
  7. babybee

    babybee Well-Known Member

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    I loved my midwife but she was rubbish when it got to the more complicated things. She did offer to refer me to the consultant obstetrician a couple of times so maybe yours can do that?

    I hope it all goes well for you and you have no more small niggly worries - I hate those so much as they play on your mind constantly!!
    Lots of love.xxx
     
    #7 babybee, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  8. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. My mw is also lovely but I suppose they just don't know much about abnormal stuff, that's where the drs come in. I thought I could ask her if she could have a word with a doc and get some more info for me, I know it's going to play on my mind so much otherwise. Luckily my little lady has been wriggling like mad tonight which is reassuring, at least I know she seems to be ok at the moment! Xxx
     

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