ZocdocAnswersCan blood types be incompatible?

Question

Can blood types be incompatible?

My parter and I are both in our 30s and still planning to have a child together. But I am concerned because I am AB-positive and he is AB-negative, and I heard that can make it very hard to have a healthy baby. Is there any truth to that?

Answer

Blood types are important to consider. There are certainly compatible and incompatible blood types. That being said, any combination can go on to have a normal and healthy baby. I would encourage you to talk to your OB/GYN to further discuss this issue. There is truth to incompatible blood--but not in your case. In general, all blood cells have different "stickers" (really sugars) on them that mark them. The A,B,AB,O is one set of "stickers." If your body if used to seeing a specific "sticker" and then sees a foreign one--it will try and kill those cells. The fact that you and your partner are both AB is good (although this type of "sticker" doesn't really cause problems). The other category of sticker is the Rh type--which can be positive or negative. A problem can result if the mother is Rh Negative. That means her body is not used to seeing the Rh positive sticker. If the father is Rh positive then the baby may also be as well. If the mother has seen the Rh positive sticker before (from a previous pregnancy or abortion) then she may recognize it as foreign and destroy the cells--which can result in problems with the baby. However, this can be prevented by medicines given by your OB/GYN. If the mother is Rh positive (as you are) this is not a problem as the mom will not destroy her own Rh positive cells. Talk to your OB/GYN--this should not limit your ability to have a child--however could require some attention. Good luck!

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