Angie - posted on 12/09/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )
It is well known that mother and baby have two distinct blood systems. Mother and baby often have two different blood types depending upon genetic contributions made by both mother and father. These two blood systems do not mix. The placenta allows nutritional components and hormones to enter the blood stream of the fetus, and of course, any drugs introduced into the mother. But the two blood systems do not mix.
For thousands of years, mothers have given birth unassisted by medical technology. There was never a problem with blood incompatibility. Now, in this new age of medical intervention, including surgical abortion, prenatal testing such as amniocentesis and giving birth in hospitals where procedures such as cord traction and cesarean section practically insure there will be some kind of blood mixing, suddenly blood incompatibilities between mother and child have been discovered.
In 13% of the population, the mother happens to be Rh- and the father Rh+. This is not an emergency in and of itself. In the 1970's an inoculation was developed, made from the blood of Rh- mothers. This substance was to be injected into mothers to immunize them against the blood of their babies. When a mother gives birth naturally, without medical intervention, there is little risk of the mother and baby's blood supply mixing. They are two separate systems. But in a system of "managed" birth, where there are often interventions which can mix the blood supply, a case for this inoculation seems to have developed. You see, when you have amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, your womb is being invaded by a sharp tool which CAN cause bleeding. When a woman has abortions, the blood of the fetus can be mixed with her own. When a woman has a cesarean section, internal fetal monitoring, cord traction to remove the placenta, or scraping of the uterus to remove placenta pieces, this mixing can occur. These circumstances did not exist years ago. These kind of procedures were never performed. So the Rh- problem is a problem that has largely been created by modern medicine and its birth interventions.
According to the logic(?) of this, just as a person who is given blood that is the wrong type will have a reaction to that blood, the woman whose blood mixes with that of her child will have a reaction. Her body will sense the foreign blood and will make antibodies to destroy any blood cells like the ones detected. In other words, it makes antibodies to kill the blood of any future babies with that blood type.
The best way to avoid blood mixing is to have a home birth with no medical interference of any kind. If you allow your placenta to be expelled naturally, you will probably have a more heavy blood flow for a longer period of time in order to cleanse the uterus. At this time, any placenta pieces which may have been retained will be expelled. There is no need to invade and violate the inner sanctum of the uterus.
Reading the package insert on Rhogam is a very educational experience. There are many risks to taking the shot, including anaphalactic shock. Damage to the immune system can also be permanent. Rhogam is made from human blood products which can harbor viruses that cannot be screened out. With HIV and other harmful viruses out there, it is outrageous to think of exposing yourself to potential risk of getting it from a Rhogam shot. It also is preserved in a mercury derivative, an extremely dangerous substance even in small quantities. The package insert also says there are risks to the immune system of the mother or child if they have allergies. Who among us doesn't have an allergy to something?
There has been some research done which suggests that if one does NOT have amniocentesis or cesarean section, and births without cutting the cord until the placenta has delivered itself with no cord traction or pulling, this is the best way to prevent blood contamination.