Pregnancy

Help, I’m pregnant with antibodies.
What do I do?

The number one thing that everyone asks is what do I do? Where do I start? Here are some first steps that will set you up for successfully keeping you and your baby safe.

First Steps
  1. Get a medical alert card or bracelet. Antibodies are the second leading cause of fatal reactions during blood transfusions. Always declare your antibodies to your health care providers for life. You can read more and get a free medical alert card in our printable care record or from the Allo Hope Foundation.
  2. Start a notebook or binder. Keep all of your questions, notes, and results in it so that you can discuss everything with your health team. There is a printable care record that you can download below.
  3. Find out what antibody you have and get your current blood levels. They will be called titers or quants. If your office/hospital has an electronic patient portal, sign up for one to view your results quickly and easily.
  4. Go back and read the Alloimmunization & HDFN page to understand about your disease. When you’re done with that, keep reading on this pregnancy section. It will walk you through everything you may encounter with your pregnancy.
  5. Join a peer-to-peer support group. They can connect you with multiple resources. Check this one out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/antibodiesinpregnancy/
  6. Read up on your country’s guidelines. You can ask your midwife or OB to print them out for you, or go to a hospital resource library (just call the hospital to ask if they have one), or a university.
    USA: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29470342
    UK and territories: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/gtg65 
  7. Get a referral to MFM for a treatment plan. When you arrive, ask questions that you’ve written down in your notebook.
  8. While you wait for your referral to go through, ask your midwife or doctor to run dad’s antigen phenotype test. This will determine what antigens dad can pass on to baby. Having this information will help your MFM build your care plan.
  9. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that are out there including the M281 trial. Print off the trial page and bring it in with you when you ask for that referral to the specialist. Ask if you meet the criteria. Even if you do not, give your doctor the information – you never know, it might save the next patient’s baby. It never hurts to make people aware of the new and developing treatment options that are out there. The Allo Hope Foundation maintains a page about clinical trials here

When you’re just diagnosed with antibodies, it can seem overwhelming. Take it one step at a time and you will be prepared. You are your baby’s best advocate. You can do this.

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