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Negative Blood Group and Pregnancy Rh Incompatibility

Written by
Dr. Jimesh H Mavani
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jan 03, 2017 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  2 min read


This article gives a brief knowledge about Rh negative blood group and pregnancy complications, and preventions in simple terms.

Negative Blood Group and Pregnancy Rh Incompatibility

What Is Rh Factor?

There are mainly four blood groups, namely A, B, O, and AB. There is a subtype of each as positive and negative blood groups, namely A +ve, A -ve, B +ve, B -ve, etc. The subtype gets decided by the Rh factor (rhesus), an antigen present on the red blood cells. When it is present, it is a positive blood group, whereas if it is absent, it is defined as a negative blood group.

In the general public, the absence of this antigen does not cause any issues. But, if an Rh-negative mother is carrying an Rh-positive baby, there is a need to take special care and treatment along with some precautions and preventive measures.

There is mixing of the mother's and baby's blood at some point in the pregnancy. So, when a mother is Rh negative, and the baby is Rh positive, then there is a chance of some complication if not in the same pregnancy, in the subsequent pregnancies.

Rh Incompatibility

When two different types of blood get mixed, out of which one is Rh positive, and the other one is Rh negative, then it is called as Rh incompatibility.

This is an important factor to consider during blood transfusion. In the context of pregnancy, when the mother’s blood group is Rh negative, and the fetus (baby growing in the womb) is Rh positive, then there is a chance of mixing of their blood during pregnancy or at the time of delivery which can lead to some serious complications. This is known as Rh incompatibility.

Pregnancy Complications Due to Rh Incompatibility

Most of the below complications happen during the second pregnancy, and the first pregnancy is spared from this.

  1. Abortion.
  2. Intrauterine death of the fetus.
  3. Anemia in the mother.
  4. Severe jaundice in baby on birth.
  5. Damaged liver and brain due to intrauterine anemia.
  6. Ascites.
  7. Generalized edema of the fetus.
  8. Low birth weight of the baby.

Precautions to Minimize Complications


Once sensitization (mixing) occurs in the mother or when one pregnancy is affected, then the prognosis will get worse as the number of pregnancy increases.

Prevention of Complications

To know more about this unique pregnancy and negative blood group consult an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist online -->


Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  2 min read




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