What is Rh disease?
By Craig L. Bissinger
Patrice Olympia
Each of us has a blood group—A, B, AB, or O—and a blood type: Rh positive or Rh negative. If a pregnant woman has Rh positive blood, there is no incompatibility issue.

A Rh negative woman who has a Rh positive partner requires careful testing to make sure their unborn child does not suffer the consequences of Rh disease. Testing can detect couples at risk for this disease and the mom can receive an injection of Rhogam at various times during her pregnancy. Rhogam is an immunoglobulin that helps reduce the risk that the baby will be affected.

After delivery, the baby's Rh status can be determined. When the baby is Rh positive, the mom will receive another shot of Rhogam. No treatment is required for Rh negative babies.