Pregnancy

Healthy Mummy Q and A Summary With Midwife Ali Pickles

As part of the Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Support Group, we have a fortnightly live chat on our Facebook page with an expert to discuss relevant topics for a healthy pregnancy.

This week we had midwife, registered nurse and mum Ali Pickles to answer questions live for our members.

Ali Pickles Q & A

Here is a summary of the session from July 1st 2015.

Q. Regarding the post baby belly band. Would you recommend it? Any particular band/belt? How often should it be worn? Can it be worn straight after birth?

A. The band can be worn after birth when you feel comfortable wearing it. Our physio at work recommends some sort of support band whether it is a tubigrip or one of the bands you can buy. Many women like the SRC shorts which I used personally. It is designed to be worn for around 6 weeks after birth. Many women do not like to wear it to bed as it makes them hot. Be careful if you have had a caesarean as it can impact your scar.

Q. I suffered with preeclampsia in my last two pregnancies, the last was not as bad. Do you think I would get it again this time around?

A. There is a risk you will get it again, sorry to say. But there have been women who have had it like you then third is completely different.

Maintaining a healthy diet, adequate exercise and trying to relax as much as possible could help as well as taking a magnesium supplement.

Q. At 20 weeks is it normal to have days where bub is quite active and others where I don’t feel him at all??

A. Many women don’t feel bub well until 24 weeks so don’t be too worried. Also if your placenta is across the front bub has a cushion limiting the movements you feel.

Q. I unfortunately seem to be suffering from recurrent thrush with this pregnancy. My OB isn’t concerned, but is it something I should be worried about and is there anything I can do to prevent it??

A. Thrush is very common in pregnancy. Make sure you eat yoghurts with the bacterias in them and yes they are safe in pregnancy. You can even put it around your vaginal area. Avoid yeast containing foods if you are having reoccurring thrush. Drink cranberry juice if it stings when you pass urine.

Q. I am having my third baby in 3 years. I had midwife appointment today at 27+3 days and they said I am measuring bigger and are sending me for a scan as they suspect fluid around baby or just sitting very high. What does this mean? All blood tests came back fine and my other two babies have been 8 pounds each.

A. It’s more something they will monitor. It generally isn’t too much of a concern but may make you feel huge and uncomfortable. Some women need to be induced from it. Most the time it resolves during the pregnancy. As you have had reasonable sized babies in the past I wouldn’t worry.

Q. Is waxing or shaving preferable before birth?

A. It’s personal preference. If you choose to wax do it about 36 weeks so the hair follicles have time to heal. Shaving is good if you have fast growing hairs.

Q. I’m 32+5 weeks with 2nd baby, and all day today I’ve been having lower back pain and menstrual type cramping. They come and go, sometimes the back pain stays longer, anything I should worry about?

A. Unfortunately that can be just pregnancy. If it’s irregular I wouldn’t worry too much. If the pains become regular for sometime e.g. over an hour probably best to get it checked out.

Q. Is it normal to be getting lower ligament pain (like a slight pulled muscle) when coughing or occasional sudden movements as early as 7-8weeks. Not regular, very sporadic? ??

A. Yes ligament pains are one of the biggest complaints other than morning all day sickness. Blame the hormones!

Q. I’ve had a cold and cough tried everything possible natural which did nothing so resorted to cough mixture. I’ve been assured by pharmacist it’s safe but I still worry a little! Also will the cough have impacted my bub at all?
pregnancy book coverA. Coughs and colds are something we have to just tough out when pregnant. Babies are well cushioned so they are protected first hence why you have a lower immune system. Try taking foods that boost immunity, keep up your fluids and try and rest. There are some fab ideas in this article about how to fight a cold off with healthy food. Also check out the Healthy Pregnancy Eating & Exercise Plan for some quick and easy meals and snacks that you can prepare even when you’re not feeling well.

Q. Is apple cider vinegar safe to drink in pregnancy?

A. Yes it is safe.

Q. I’ve been burping all day today and have a constant feeling of air in my throat. I’m 39 weeks. Never had this before. Is it normal? It’s so annoying!

A. Yes this is completely normal. You could drink milk or have a peppermint tea. Isn’t pregnancy glorious?!

Q. Is it OK to relieve heartburn with a little bicarb soda in water? I found it very useful but just wondering if there are any side effects. I drink half a teaspoon in a glass a water a day.

A. The amount of bicarb you are drinking is safe. I only learnt about that one recently. Makes sense given it’s one of the main ingredients in Mylanta! Also here is an interesting article all about heartburn.

Q. All 3 of my pregnancies have been induced. My last pregnancy was only 2hr from start to finish and ended with a retained placenta needing surgical removal. I’ve read there is a higher chance of the same happening again. If that’s the case can I refuse manual removal? (That experience still haunts me).

A. You can possibly delay the manual removal. It doesn’t always end up happening again especially if it hasn’t happened with all your babies. There are many reasons why they are stuck and hopefully it doesn’t happen. Increased risk if you have had quick pregnancies back to back. Speak to your midwife about your wishes and your doctor they may talk to you about extra oxytocic for the placenta.

Q. I’m 36 weeks tomorrow and had an ultrasound today as I’ve had low fluid and small baby. She is now in the 60th percentile which is good but I’m worried because she is still in breech, her bum is down but her legs are towards my left hip. Should I be worried that they will turn my baby manually or need a C-section (which I really want to avoid)?

A. I know a lady who went and did daily flips and handstands in a pool to turn her baby. It worked! Other women swear by moxa sticks from the Chinese herbalist. It is safe to having a manual oration known as an ECV. They are actually quite successful. Don’t be too worried some babies still turn on their own.

Q. I am really having trouble sleeping. I’m only 9+3 with number two but I think I may have only slept on average 2-3 hours a night for the last week. I have found I’m having nightmares too. Is there anything you can recommend to help with the sleeping?

A. Sleep is a hard one in pregnancy. Try learning some relaxation technique and imagery where you shut of different parts of your body. Spray some lavender around your room. Try not to have a large nap during the day. Here is a great article about sleeping when pregnant.

Q. I’m 15 weeks pregnant with my third and it will be my third C-section, but I’m just wondering if it’s normal for my scar to be hurting a lot this early? With my second I had discomfort but nothing like this pain – it has me in bed a lot unable to walk.

A. Scars can hurt as your body stretches and the uterus grows. It will be intermittent during the pregnancy. Make sure you mention it at your next visit. Start rubbing vitamin E cream into your scar it will help with the elasticity.

Q. I’ve just got out of hospital after spending 2 nights in for premature labour which has now stopped. I’m 28 +3 and I’ve had 2 babies at 34 wks (others at 37 and 38 weeks). Is there a chance I could go early again this is pregnancy?

A. If you have had previous premature babies then you are likely to have another, however you have also had full termers so you are out of the box! You’re a little unpredictable especially if they do not know the reason why you went into premature labour.

Q. I’ve had what feels like bad Braxton hicks which I’m used to but they have been excruciating tonight. I had 4 of these cramps 1-2 minutes apart lasting about 10-15 seconds. I had to sit down the pain was so bad. I’ve had a hot shower and had some water and Panadol but the pain is in my pelvis and there is pressure when I stand. I’m 21 weeks. I’m sitting up relaxing now. Should I talk to my OB about it when I see him in 2 days?

A. Yes I would talk to your OB. It’s probably nothing to be worried about but that does sound like a lot of pain. Have you got a heat pack? Try lying with a pillow under one hip. Have you over done it at work today as that can trigger these sort of things.

Q. I am currently 31wks with di/di twin girls. Unfortunately my second twin is not growing as well as she should be. I have had the steroid injections in case we need to deliver early but is there anything I can do to encourage her growth? I have heard eating heaps of protein can help.? Also my first twin is currently sitting breech, any suggestions to encourage her to turn cephalic??

A. There is a theory about the protein but I’m not sure how researched it is. Unfortunately it is a bit of a wait and see and regular monitoring thing. Twins can be hard to try to turn due to the limited room.

Q. Can hand expressing or pumping bring on early labour? I want to try and get a build up of colostrum to take with me to the hospital but have only leaked a tiny bit, once. Thought pumping might encourage the process but I also don’t want to do anything to bring on labour.

A. Hand expressing is actually recommended. I would start from 33-34 weeks if you make it that far. If it causes any tightenings stop and try again at 36 weeks. Only hand express not use the breastpump. Label and freeze any colostrum.

Q. I’m 39+5 and saw the doctor today, I have sat at 41cm the last two weeks and this week jumped to 43cm. ??She is testing me for diabetes at this late stage. Is this common?? ?I have in the last week finally got my hydration back under control and not vomited like I was the weeks before. I also have Hashimotos and have already done the diabetes test twice so far.

A. That is a big jump. Is your baby engaged into the birth canal or still sort of floating around. This can impact measurements. It is not common to test this late in your pregnancy but worth it with the Hashimotos.

Q. I have a 7 week old Bub with reflux! He is supplement fed as he constantly needs to suck to settle and my nipples and self cannot handle it all day with two other children to spend time with also! I find after he’s breastfed he regurgitates yet when he’s on the AR formula he’s ok but constipated and uncomfortable. I’m not really sure what to do!? He’s not been a regular pooper since about a week after birth.  He is gassy, like 100 winds passed through his bottom a day gassy, and it smells. I mentioned it to the doctor who isn’t concerned as he’s still alert and has an appetite.

A. Reflux is a tricky one, you can try by eliminating stuff out of your diet (takes 10 days) and eat bland and start adding things in to see if anything triggers. Most people start with removing dairy. You could also speak to your doctor about getting him put on reflux medication. The AR formula has a thickener so it sits in their tummies heavier so helps with the regurgitation. You could also try 5mls of cooled boiled water just in case he is a little constipated. You might also get a second opinion on the reflux if you don’t feel it’s the right diagnosis. Poor little bub and mumma.

Q. Is there anything I can do to help varicose veins? I got a bruise on my inner upper thigh a couple of months back. As weeks went on got sorer and now for about a month had varicose veins coming out of it, all lumpy, itchy, sore. Just walking hurts it as it bumps other leg. Is there anything topical I can pop on it to relieve the itch or soreness? I try wear my sports compression wear but soon to invest in some pregnancy support compression. I don’t see my Doctor for 2 weeks to show him. It hurts to sit on a chair, toilet seat etc because of the spot of them. 27 wks and it’s hurting so much already. Help!

A. Definitely look into some good compressions. Speak to your pharmacist as sometimes there are creams you could use. Try to rest your legs, not cross them and don’t stand for too long at a time. There is some more information on Varicose veins here

Q. I’m 23 weeks pregnant & my partner lives interstate. I’m starting to really worry about making sure he is here for the birth. I was induced at 38+5 with my first cause my blood pressure was 160/95. My blood pressure is okay at the moment this time. I was wondering could I ask for an induction to make sure my partner is here for the birth?

A. Lots of people do that. Not all doctors are obliging. Each is individual in their opinion so you will have to talk to them.

Q. My first baby was born 35+6 via emergency C-section as was breech (which wasn’t picked up until I was in labour). I’m now 30 weeks with number 2 and worried they won’t pick up if this one’s breech as well. Is there anyway I could tell if it’s breech? Also what are the chances this one will come early too?

A. I’d be requesting an ultrasound in the next few weeks. I know they do that here if someone has had an undiagnosed breech previously.

Q. I had my baby on Saturday and tore above my vagina. I’ve had stitches and they are really sore and look to be bleeding a little just wondering if that was normal?

A. Yes those ones can be sore that’s not a nice place to tear. Not that the perineum is any better but it’s a bit softer and stretchier. Try putting ice down there in a pad. If the bleeding increases get it checked out.

Q. If the placenta is at the top (closest to your stomach) at what stage should you feel bub kick? I think I have felt two slight flutters, but nothing more than that & even then I wasn’t even sure it was bub. My OB said I should start feeling it by now. I’m 21 weeks +3.

A. Some people don’t feel bub until as late as 24 weeks so don’t worry yet.

Q. I had a C-section with number one, I was induced due to being overdue and high blood pressure. They told me they wouldn’t induce next time even if I decided to VBAC. Why is this?

A. You can’t really induce with a VBAC except break the waters. They need you to go into labour yourself so your chances of a successful VBAC happens. If your high blood pressure didn’t become pre eclampsia they would monitor you rather than induce.

Q. My GP has prescribed steroid eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis. I’m worried as it’s a stage 3 drug so they can’t guarantee it’s safe in pregnancy but I’ve had it for 2 weeks and it won’t clear. It’s only for 3 days, do you think it’s safe? (Prednefrin forte).

A. Have you leaked any colostrum? Try getting a couple of drops (a warm bath might help) and putting into your eye a couple of times a day. I wouldn’t worry too much about it crossing to the baby as steroids aren’t too harmful.

Q. I had my first baby almost 4 weeks ago and been breastfeeding since and noticed that my right breast is bigger than the other. Is this normal?

A. Completely normal!!! One the bub may favour too as the other may be a little more fibrous – it’s 100% normal.

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lee-price
written by:

Lee Price

Lee is a mother of two children who loves writing, the beach, cooking, and drinking coffee. She lives on the south coast of NSW and can usually be found pushing her kids on the swing at the local park.