RhD Genotyping Follow-Up
I have not enjoyed knowing that I have an Rh- blood type! When it comes to pregnancy and having babies it brings a lot of choices and concerns that I would rather not deal with.
Many women, me included, feel uncomfortable that the “solution” to being RhD Negative is to have a human blood product injected into your body. Yes, this solution is mostly safe and has proven effective – but I'd rather not do that when I'm pregnant or even postpartum if I don't have to. The choice to have or not to have the injection (Rhogam, Bay-Rho, Win-Rho, etc.) can be a tough one.
So I was very excited to hear that accurate methods of discovering the baby's blood type while in utero have been developed. The test is a blood test on mom – completely non-invasive for your baby.
I did an interview with the founder of Lenetix who has helped develop this test in the United States – and when I got pregnant with Honor I decided I wanted to go ahead and have it done.
I shared my results of an Rh- baby after we got the test results in, but I didn't share the complete experience. I want to do that now.
The reason I didn't share everything is because the test also indicates the sex of the unborn baby, and we wanted to keep that a secret 🙂 In fact, if you don't want to know the sex of your baby you should request that your doctor or midwife NOT send you a copy of the lab report or mention it to you when they let you know if your baby is Rh+ or Rh-!
Having the test done was very straightforward. I went to our family doctor's office and my nurse had me stretch out on a table (I could have been sitting, but I don't like having blood taken so chose the table!). Then she drew the blood – about four vials. Not what I'd choose to do for fun, but it wasn't bad!
My family doctor's office prepared and sent the blood sample via overnight shipping to Lenetix.
We got the results of the test back in about four days – and they recommended that we repeat the test!
This is the standard recommendation when the test comes back indicating that there is an Rh- Female baby, which ours did. Usually a repeat of the test one week from the first will confirm the baby is female. An Rh- female has the same blood type/gender as mom, so they want to confirm that they didn't miss something and that the markers for an Rh+ and/or male baby are really missing.
So one week later I was back at the doctor's office having my blood drawn again. This draw happened to be just a few days before Christmas, so we didn't get the results back until after the holiday. I was on pins and needles waiting! The second test confirmed the first, and we were told it was around 99.7% that we were having an Rh- girl.
What Did That Mean?
The biggest thing the test did for us was give us peace of mind. We knew we had an Rh- baby and Rhogam would not need to be considered prenatally. We wouldn't need to plan for a trip to the hospital postpartum to have a Rhogam injection. Our midwife can't give Rhogam at home and I don't care for the thought of having to go to the hospital to have an injection within 72 hours postpartum!
We still chose to have Honor's blood typed after her birth (and she is indeed all girl!). She is O-, so for us the test has proved to be very accurate. Clinical trials using the method show extremely accurate results both in the United States and in Europe. But of course I wasn't 100% certain until I saw Honor's blood test results 😉
I highly recommend Lenetix's test if you are not sure if you want to get Rhogam or not. Our insurance covered the actual test, but we ended up paying the overnight shipping costs out of pocket (around $100 for both samples to be sent). I submitted a claim to our insurance company but thus far I haven't seen any money from it! But our experience was positive and the test was highly accurate. There was a lot of peace of mind from knowing she was Rh-. If we are blessed with another baby we will have the test done again so we can plan for postpartum knowing our baby's RhD genotype 🙂