by Sarah DJ (Illinois)
I read this (http://www.vegfamily.com/vegan-pregnancy/prenatal-rhogam.htm) article about your Rh- blood type and refusal of the shot for your first three children.
I am not at all comfortable accepting it, and my midwife has presented it as what we should do at 28 weeks and after the birth.
I am pregnant with my first, and planning to refuse the 28 week shot. We are planning a natural, home birth. However, a lot of sources scare you into thinking you're pretty much killing the offspring that may follow.
My thinking is that if my current baby is born and turns out to be Rh+, then perhaps I'll take the post-birth shot. However, I found one real-life story online from a woman that got it before and after the birth of her first, and it didn't work. Her body attacked each of her subsequent pregnancies anyway.
I see you made the decision to not take it at all, ever. What was your experience with this? Are all of your children your negative blood type? Have you ever developed any antibodies against the positive, or experienced any of their “other situations” in which they want you to get it (accident, miscarriage, etc).
I am so grateful for the article you wrote for VegFamily, and look forward to your reply. Any other resources you're aware of in being against the shot (I can find plenty that are for it) would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much!
I'm glad you found the VegFamily article helpful – out of all the guest articles I've written, that's the one I get the most feedback on!
I like knowing that other women are thinking and questioning things for themselves.
I have declined prenatal Rhogam with all of my pregnancies – however I did have the post-birth shot after my three babies. I didn't have it after my fourth baby because he's rh- (I was very surprised by that).
I opted to have the shot after birth because at that point there are not the same risks to my child that there were when he or she was in the womb.
Rhogam does occasionally fail but it's very, very rare for that to happen. All safety risks aside, the shot is very effective and has a proven record of working well. It's not like other vaccinations (such as pertussis) that have a low effectiveness rating. You may hear from a woman or two, such as the one whose story you read – that it did not work for, but it's going to work for almost all women.
That's why doctors are so eager to have women get it, and why it's one of those things that requires real thought and research on the part of us rh- women.
It's pretty unlikely that you'll become sensitized during pregnancy, but it can and does happen. It's also unlikely that you'll become sensitized after a gentle, natural birth – but again it can happen.
As I said above, for me the risks of using a human blood product during pregnancy were not acceptable, but postpartum that was acceptable because I knew my current baby was safe – and it could help protect future babies.
I have not been sensitized even while refusing the prenatal shot and haven't had any ill effects from getting the postpartum shot.
It really does come down to personal choice, and you're going to hear arguments on both sides of the debate.
Did you read the article I've written here on my site?
Rh Negative / Rhogam Info – I have a list of links for more info at the bottom of that post. That should give you more food for thought.
Please feel free to comment and add more questions if I haven't addressed something or if you want me to clarify something.
(NOTE: Trying to balance your pregnancy, life, and getting ready for baby? Use my checklist pack stay healthy (naturally), organized, and confident throughout your pregnancy! Get them here.)