Common terms during an isoimmunized pregnancy:
NST means non stress test- that’s when they put you on the monitors and watch baby’s heart rate and your contractions. Some countries call this a CTG.
BPP is biophysical profile. That’s an ultrasound where they check on baby’s heart rate, breathing, movement/muscle tone, and amniotic fluid
MCA stands for mid cerebral artery that’s in the brain and we talk about it being used in an ultrasound to get a baby’s PSV which is peak systolic velocity. The PSV of the MCA combined with gestational age gets us the MoM score.
MoM (multiples of the median) score tells us if baby may become anemic. If the doctors think baby is anemic while pregnant they will do an IUT. An IUT stands for intrauterine transfusion. During an IUT they will give baby blood through the umbilical cord similar to how they do an amniocentesis.
HGB is hemoglobin and it’s a measure of red blood cells and HCT is hematocrit and it’s a percentage or red blood cells.
Fetal monitors on mom monitor baby's movements, mom's contractions, and record how the baby's heart rate responds to both on a paper strip like the one here. In a sensitized pregnancy this is just another way that we ensure our babies are safe until delivery.
Above is a photo of an MCA. If you click on it you will be taken to a helpful calculator to use during your own MCA ultrasounds. You will need to ask your provider which PSV they chose. It's great to ask them why they chose this PSV- a skilled provider can tell you this! Below is another ultrasound photo and it links to a webMD explanation of a biophysical profile or BPP.
In severe cases of alloimmunization your baby may require an intrauterine transfusion (IUT) during pregnancy to treat the anemia caused by the antibodies. This can be a scary experience, but in the hands of a skilled provider the risks are very low. During this procedure your perinatologist (maternal fetal medicine doctor) will guide a needle through your belly and into the uterus (just like an amnio) with the help of ultrasound guidance and into the baby's umbilical vessel in order to provide donor blood to your baby. This will give your baby the blood it needs to keep growing and thrive while in the womb. Depending on your baby's gestational age this may need to be repeated every few weeks until delivery.
We highly recommend joining the Facebook support group ISO Moms. ISO Moms stands for Isoimmunized Moms; isoimmunization is another word for alloimmunization. You can reach them here. Please be sure to answer all of the questions that Facebook sends to the best of your knowledge so the administrators can add you. If you have a question you can email us or message our Facebook Page.