Starting Life in a Special Care Baby Unit

by Rebecca Edwards, Bedford, UK and
Joy Mottram, East Surrey, UK

Breastfeeding Today, August 2016

When our son Joe was born, blood taken from me at delivery showed that I had developed anti-rhesus antibodies despite being given anti-D injections (see box below). Any future pregnancies would need careful monitoring. It was likely that a second baby would become anemic as a result of those antibodies and might need to be delivered early, as well as being at risk of severe jaundice.

Apart from finding pregnancy while mothering a toddler very tiring, my second pregnancy was straightforward. I was given blood tests every two weeks to check the level of antibodies in my blood and scanned when the levels increased to see if the baby was showing signs of anemia. Because we always knew that early delivery was likely, we were happy when I reached 37 weeks and “term.” A scan showed that the baby was starting to become anemic, so I was booked for an induction of labor the next day.

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