General Midwifery webchat with resident midwife Jenny Smith

Today we welcome Babyexpert's resident midwife, Jenny Smith.

Senior Midwife at Queen Charlotte's maternity hospital, London, Jenny, is here 12-1pm on Nov 30th to answer your questions about pregnancy, labour, birth and newborns.

Mum-of-four Jenny has won awards for her pioneering work with water births; her specialist fields include high-risk pregnancies and deliveries. Plus she's a working midwife who deals with pregnancy and birth on a daily basis so there's not much she isn't happy to give advice about!

[Modified by: webeditor on 30 November 2009 11:54:10 ]
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  • hi there jenny.

    im currently 12+3 pregnant with my second child(son is 11)im suffering from terrible backache and cant get comfortable at all,paracetamol doesnt help,wheat bags and hot water bottles offer minimal help......i work 12.5 hour shifts as a senior carer and dont get to sit down too much either,so im always on the go at work!......my bad back and all day sickness and extremly sore boobs had me in tears the other day as i felt i couldnt cope anymore!!
    im really hoping there is something you can suggest!

    many thanks

    Clare
  • Hello Jenny
    I was overjoyed last week to find that I was 5 weeks pregnant with our first child. I was having period type pains but they seem to have gone now and I have no pregnancy symptoms at all now. Is this something to be concerned about as everything I read seems to indicate that I should have symptoms by now.
    Many thanks
  • Hi Jenny,

    I am 30 weeks pregnant with my first child and i keep getting really sore leg cramps at night. I had one on Friday night and my leg still feels really bruised and sore. Is there anything i can do to try and prevent them? I have been stretching my calves before going to bed but it doesnt seem to have helped.

    Many thanks

    Lx
    30+5
  • Hi Jenny

    I am 14+3 pregnant with my first baby and have recently being off sick from work with severe morning sickness, during this time I provided a urine sample to the doctors. I am now back at work and feeling much better, however on Friday the doctor left me a voice message telling me that my test results had come back showing white cells present in my urine and I need to go back and repeat the test. Do you know what this means and is it anything to worry about

    Thanks

    Happywife
  • Hi Jenny,
    I'm currently 34+6 and i have very very painful ribs on the right hand side (baby's head is engaged so im assuming its maybe feet?)

    They are extremely painful to the touch and also when i breath in and out i get an extreme stinging and stabbing pain, the area looks really swollen compared to the other side but not sure if thats just because there is more of baby there?

    The pain is constant 24/7 it wakes me up when i roll in the night ive tried so many different things bouncing on gym ball, hot water bottle seem to make it worse, raising my arms above my head to create more room in the ribcage and nothing seems to work i do find that an ice compression helps but only for a little while can you suggest anything

    Thank you

    Clair
  • hi,

    i've had severe hyperemesis since i was about 6 weeks pregnant and still have it now at 35+3 weeks. i've been tried on several different tablets and combinations of tablets but none have done anything to help. i've also had several stays in hospital due to severe dehydration and sickness.

    my sickness did easy a littke bit for a few weeks but has came back to the worst its been in the past few weeks, to the point of i literally cant get out of bed.

    on top of the sickness i've started getting severe pains in my thighs and hips that often have me crippled in pain, and a very sore tender bump.

    i've mentioned all this to my doc earlier in the week and was basically told to get on with it.

    can you suggest anything to help me be more comfortable as i really dont think i can stand another five weeks of this?

    thanks

    jemma
  • Hi Jenny here so look forward to our chat today.
    Hope you are all well
    Jenny
  • Hello,

    I had a mmc at our 12 week scan. The baby stopped growing at around 8 weeks. I had an ERPC the next friday and that is now just over 3 weeks ago. There are so many different opinions about when you can start trying again. Most of them recommend to wait for the first period, but is that for dating purpose of the new pregnancy only? Is it common to be offered a reassurance scan with the next pregnancy? (just for information, I have a healthy 7 month old) Is there anything I can do for next time to prevent it?

    Many thanks in advance!
  • Hi Clarehare You must try to think of your self as as well as all those you care for. At12+ 3 my suggestions are
    Back- go to GP check you do not have a slipped disk, get a back corset which reminds you to lock your back when you bend. Ask for referrel to a physio therapist for advice in handling and lifting. Go to occupational health at work and ensure you have adequate breaks. They will advise about your work practice in terms of your pregnancy. Sickness wear accupressure bracelets on both wrists from chemist. Take them off at night. Ginger is good for sickness! Regular small amounts. Sore boobs- get a well fitted bra with thick straps. Get measured in maternity shop. Keep cold out with wooly jumpers and warm vests. Rest at home whenever you can.
  • Mommy, early weeks of pregnancy can be quite peculiar. lots of women have many symptoms such as sickness and sore breasts. Some women say they do not feel any symptoms. Period like pain is normal in the early weeks and often all is well as long as there is not a lot of bleeding. My suggestion is to do another pregnancy test in a weeks time and if you are still anxious see you midwife or GP.
  • Ladybird, cramps in the legs are very common around this stage as there is much increased blood flow in the legs. It is important to do leg exercises to keep the circulation flowing. Make sure your calcium intake is good as this can improve the cramping. It is important to look at your legs and check that one of the calves is not larger than the other and ensure that there is no redness as this can be indicative of a deep vein thrombosis or superficial phlebitis. If you note either of this things go directly to your obstitritian. If you have varicose veins or distended veins support tights will help.
  • Hi Jenny,
    I suffer from obessive compulsive disorder but I'm trying to manage without medication for this pregnancy which is my first, I'm currently 7+4. As much as I try to relax I still feel very anxious and I'm worried this will harm my baby. My doctor has said that the anxiety won't do any harm but isn't good for me but I'd like to know your opinion on this?
  • Happywife, when you see white blood cells in your urine it can occasionally be that you have a urine infection. This is why the doctor wants to re-test the urine. Often the white blood cells can be from the increased mucus from your vagina that gets in the urine and usually on retesting no infection is present but it is worth a further check to be sure, If you experience any pain passing urine or going more often report these symptoms now to your GP.
  • Hi Jenny

    I'm 18 weeks pregnant and for the past few days I have been very itchy, especially on my thighs. The other day it looked like an angry rash from where I must have scratched it.
    I moisturise twice a day and even though my skin usually gets very irritatated with shaving or waxing, but my last wax was about 3 weeks ago so I doubt these are all ingrown hairs that are only coming through now...

    Is there anything I can put on there to relieve the itching?
    Thank you. x
  • Clair, your painful rid and query swelling on the right side definitely needs to be checked by a doctor. You are correct in saying that it could just be that the baby is kicking a lot on that side and has made the ligaments around your rib cage painful however other causes need to be considered and as the pain has been constant with little relief from measures you have taken i suggest you see a obstetritian today.
  • Gemma, the brilliant news is you are very close to having your baby! All these symptoms will resolve afterwards. My suggestion for your difficult time just now is to eat small amounts of food often, particularly at night. Pile up your pillows in bed so you are sleeping upright or on your left tilted up. Discuss with your GP about having some tablets that reduce the acid in your tummy-you may have already tried these. Put the accupressure bracelets back on. You do get pains in your thighs when the babies head goes down but your tummy should not feel sore and tender. If this is still the case despite seeing your doctor this week, i would suggest that you re-visit the hospital and have a heart rate tracing done on the baby and an obstetrician to feel your tummy.
  • Breighlin, i'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage. it is the usual advice that when you have had a ERPC you wait for one period to give time for healing and again it is useful for dating the pregnancy. It is wonderful to hear you have a 7 month year old who is well and often advice is to wait a year before trying for another baby although many women are pregnant sooner than this. My suggestion is to take folic acid, eat a very healthy diet and following your first period to try again. In the early part of the next pregnancy you can ask to be referred for an early reassuring scan which can be done from about 6-7 weeks.
  • Tink, it is very common for some placentas to be anterior in the womb. If you think of the womb like a balloon some placentas will stick to the front of the womb inside and some will stick at the top and some will stick to the back, some will go much lower down. In your case the placenta is anterior and to the front of your baby which means that the baby will kick the placenta as opposed to the front of your tummy which is why you feel the kicks less at this stage of pregnancy. It is also sometimes a little more difficult to locate the heartbeat of your baby but it is always possible. There is no need to worry about the position your baby is in at this stage as the baby has much more water surrounding it like a swimming pool. As the baby gets bigger it is easier to hear the baby as there is much more baby in comparison to the size of the placenta. It does not mean that your baby at the end will be lying back to back. Of course this may happen as 20% of births are back to back.
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