Worried - antibodies in blood

Discussion in 'Pregnancy Chat' started by Ammdaz, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't sure where to post this but hopefully someone reading in here might be able to help/reassure me!

    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. Toria111

    Toria111 Well-Known Member

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    Have you had the anti-d shot? The mixing blood thing is to do with that. I'm rhesus negative too. It may just be that the blood test has just confirmed that you are rhesus negative?

    I would also ring mw or GP too, as that is all a bit confusing. Sorry, not much help. They really should have been able to explain it all to you huh.
     
  3. tinkerbell86

    tinkerbell86 Well-Known Member

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    I'd try and speak to someone too! Usually the antibodies only really affects the second or more pregnancies the first is usually fine. Also that is dependant on the babies blood group too. I'm o- and had 3 anti d injections I didn't need one after my youngest was born as he has a- blood! So if mine and my youngest blood had mixed it wouldn't matter as he's negative too!
     
  4. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies ladies.

    I had my anti d injection at 28 weeks. I also had it in my first pregnancy with my son but didn't need it after he was born as he's rh neg too.

    I don't think these antibodies are to do with the rh neg thing though as I think it's pretty easy for them to identify those antibodies. I seem to have somehow created some weird other antibodies since 12 weeks preg! I just don't like not knowing what they are, where they came from or if they are likely to cause my baby any problems :-(

    It's defo confusing, I wish I'd asked more questions at my appt but I was just a bit shocked that anything showed up and like I say she seemed a bit confused about it too, she even asked if I'd had it before and if I knew what it meant! I think I will contact her again tomorrow to see if she can find anything more out for me

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

    JJ Mum Well-Known Member

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    try not to worry hun.

    I have anti e antibodies in my blood. I got them from a placenta bleed at 9 weeks preg with my second pregnancy. There are lots of different ones, some more harmful than others, eg anti C. Mine is not so bad atall. My levels are never very high but do double by end of pregnancy. I did get another antibody when I had blood transfusions after my 12 week mmc in 2010, they were there in early preg, but they had gone by late pregnancy, which was odd but I was very pleased about.

    The docs unfortunately are always very vaugue and uninformed about antibodys, I seem to have a better clue!, which is annoying. I have had booking in bloods done at 8 weeks , and have had a letter telling me they want them checking at 28 weeks for a difference in level (titre, eg 1:4). 1:32 is bad as thats higher if that helps.

    This time round under a diff hosp they seem to be a bit more on the ball and gave me a leaflet about red cell antibodies and they tested oh's blood at 9 weeks and said there is a 50% risk of an issue based on our two bloods. They have booked a scan for 32 or 34 weeks I think to look at any signs of fetal anemia from this. My levels are always low so im not worried.

    Each baby has had a slight issue with them only at birth tho. They cause jaundice, not like normal newborn jaundice, (well the same jaundice) but they see it as a issue as is causes a sharp rise in jaundice levels as the antibodies cause the bilirubin levels to shoot up from birth, and this is the yellow you see. Weve always been stuck under the uv lights getting phototheraphy and they are always stabbing my babies feet to get blood every few hrs to see the levels rise or fall, which anoys me as their feet are always black and blue.

    I never know when I'm getting out of hosp, and they make me over feed them to get more fluids in them, so eg last time I breastfed, but they had me bottle feed afterwards, which was not what I wanted and I got quite upset about it.. Ive opted for another hosp this time, so hoping to have a fresh new way of thinking on this... After uv lights have finished you have to stay in for 24 hrs after to check how levels rise without treatment before going home, this hosp has something called billi blankets to give mild light treatment in the cot!, great for me as a section lady, who is forever getting out of bed to go over to uv light thingy over cot and putting little soft goggles back on babys eyes!!

    Also they always give me a private room because of lights keeping other ladies awake, which I hate, (some love but not me, I go mad! I need company).

    So sorry to rant on, hopefully they are looking to retest at 34 weeks to see if a known antibody is present and showing, or just see if an anomoly, either way, id ask for a dicussion with consultant over it, to help answer your questions..

    Oh it also affects blood thickness for a few weeks, so one of my babies was given folic acid drops for 6 weeks, (diff hosp before we moved to others).

    The good thing is any baby will only have the antibodies for upto 6 weeks, they leave their system. Your supposed to have them for life, only causes issues with pregnancy (levels can get higher each time), not something ive seen myself tho for me. Oh and if they can name the antibody then you should get a blood antibody card for your wallet from oxford to show you have these, just for sake of blood transfusions/ ops as they cross match for this.

    Hope I haven't confused you more by rambling, thats just been my take on it!
     
    #5 JJ Mum, Jul 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  6. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    Jj mum thank you so much for your reply! It really is good to hear from someone who, unlike the docs, knows what they are talking about!

    So in your opinion do you think it's ok that they aren't doing anything else until 34 weeks? Especially as it might take a while to get results back etc? I'm actually having a scan next week to check placenta position so I'm going to tell the sonographer about the antibodies and hopefully they will give baby a good check over to put my mind at rest for now. If I wasn't having that scan I think I'd be pushing harder for them to do something earlier.

    It's good to know what might happen once little one is here. I think I'm going to start preparing myself for a bit of a stay in hospital after she's born. Hopefully it won't come to that but at least if it does it won't be such a shock now. So did you get to keep baby in with you the whole time they were under the phototherapy lights? I hate the idea of being separated from my baby. I'm also planning on bf so would also be really upset if they make me give formula as well :-( but I guess I'll cross that bridge if we come to it xxx
     
  7. JJ Mum

    JJ Mum Well-Known Member

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    Longest antibody stay was a 7 days amanda , shortest was 4 days they were going to make me stay but i burst into tears at paedatrician! ( as you do!) i had to return for checks tho ( oh and mine were sections)

    Hoping this new fresh hosp with these bili blanket things will mean i get out sooner as they seem to offer you to leave the next day ( even sections) !! Fab....

    Number 3 baby went to special care for 3 days but she had no suck reflex , was much smaller and and had wet lungs so not related. But they had like a transitional care ward where you can have your babys even if they need a little more attention so that was good, we did have one night of phototheraphy not in scbu and again they gave me a private room as the lifhts keep other ladies up, like a sunlamp to break down billirubin, ill post piccy when on laptop as i know its on there.
    She was nose tube fed but same story, every feed they upped the mls i had to give her so shed be sick then id have to start again.. Silly!

    Devon was with me the whole time in side room and lights

    Yes i think fine till 28 weeks to repeat bloods , still odd they dont repeat your bloods to decide what antibody it is tho? Done are like mine and some are more nasty. Maybee ask them to check if they need to know what it is, unless as they cant tell yet that means its showing very low levels yet but they can see its there, that would make sense. .
     

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