If I could ever be of any help...

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by midwife_online, May 17, 2005.

  1. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone. My name is Kieren, and I'm one of the country's few male Midwives. I realise this site is predominantly for pregnant women, but I like to keep in touch with how you all feel about your pregnancies - your personal miracles. Many of you probably feel at worst frightened, at best on top of the world at the prospect of having a new baby. Everyone has a different outlook on their situation and I think it is brilliant that all the women in this forum are able to exchange advice and support for one another.

    I want to make myself accessible on this forum for anyone with questions or opinions that they might want to direct at me. I can't promise that I will always know the answers, but I shall do my best to point you in the right direction.

    If you want to discuss something personal you don't want everybody to see then feel free to pm me.

    Any advice I do give is my opinion. I would like to point out that although I am a practicing midwife I cannot diagnose or treat any problems as I do not have access you your case files. My intention is to give a sence of direction and explain in more detail anything you do not understand. If you have anything troubling you in your pregnancy...no matter how small or stupid it seems...I urge you to discuss this with your medical practitioner/midwife.
     
  2. kelly_chunn

    kelly_chunn Well-Known Member

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    hi i have sent you an email, but will ask you here .

    I went to doc last week, telling him i had pain in my vagina, he said it sounds like thrush, so gave me some cream. But the pain i have, is like after you have given birth, or like some1 has kicked me . I dnt have pain in my tummy, i do seem to have alot of discharge. My doc took a swab test, which i ahvn't had result back yet. I talked to my midwife bout it, but would just like a seond veiw. This is my 3rd pregnancy, my other two where fine no probs at all.

    Would b gratefull, for your advice . My baby is due 14th November.

    Thanks kelly
     
  3. Kerry

    Kerry Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kieren,

    Nice to have you here, and great to see a male midwife.....we have one here in Portsmouth too, nice guy apparently.

    I work as a doula so am also 'in the trade', but currently trying for my third baby and taking a year out from helping others give birth to theirs!!

    Look forward to hearing more from you.

    Much love
     
  4. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    OK - thrush (candida) is one of the main causes of vaginal discharge & pain, hence your GP has given you some cream - possibly clotrimazole 1% (canisten). However you cannot rule out other infections which is why he/she took a swab.

    It all depends on the type of discharge you are having.

    *Yellow or green vaginal discharge is usually from an infection.
    *A foul-smelling discharge is usually from an infection.
    *A thick, white, itchy, cottage cheese-like non-odorous discharge is often caused by thrush.

    Your vaginal pain will be caused by inflammation (which is why you feel like you have just given birth). Once the swab result is back it will be possible to confirm if you have thrush or any other vaginal infection, which will be treatable with antibiotics.

    Your midwife should chase up these results and inform you if there is any signs of infection grown on cultures and prescribe you with antibiotics.

    I wouldn't worry too much as it is very common to have thrush/infections, especially up to 24 weeks and are unlikely to harm the baby in any way.

    Also, the swab will pick up any Group B Strep - a bacterium found commonly in women. If you do have this then you will need antibiotics during labour to prevent transmission to the baby.

    I wouldn't worry too much about this. However, I realise the pain may be getting you down. Meanwhile follow this advice:

    *Keep your genital area clean. Wash daily.
    *Keep your genital area dry. Wear cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch.
    *Do not use feminine hygiene products - just water will do (can disrupt the pH in your vagaina

    Hope this helps - if not, or you have any other questions let me know
     
  5. hayley

    hayley Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kieren

    Nice to have you on here. Makes a pleasant change to hear from a man on here.

    I have a question that i'd much appreciate your advice on. I was wondering if you knew how long it should take to become pregnant. From your experience of speaking with all your patients is there a general time scale for trying before seeking help. I know doctors say try for a year before you think about getting help but is that long? I have been off the pill since September last year. My periods came back to a regular cycle quite early on. (exactly 28 days). But i don't seem to be able to get pregnant. I have also been using an ovulation predictor kit which shows i'm ovulating (11 to 12 days after first day of period) I don't understand why it is taking so long. I'm 30 and my husband is 48. I know men can father a child in to old age but does the sperm count get weaker through age? He is extremely health, eats healthy, exercises a few times a week, has never smoked, drink red wine only.

    Much apprecaie your advise.

    and welcome...
     
  6. Emansmom2005

    Emansmom2005 Member

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    Hello

    I'm glad there is some one here that I can ask a question.
    I am currently 8 wks pregnant and I feel like i look 4-5 mo pregnant. This my second pregnancy; I have a 2 1/2 yr old, and I weighed 105 lbs prior to becoming pregnant. Is this normal to already be showing or am I just eating too much?? I didn't think that I was.
    P.S. I also D/C smoking after I found out.
    Thanks :oops:
     
  7. LauraB

    LauraB Well-Known Member

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    Afternoon everyone,

    And a big welcome to Kieren - I hope you enjoy your time on here. It's very good of you to take time out from your job to offer advice for our ladies, something tells me you're going to be one popular guy on here if you stick around!

    Be gentle with him girls :wink:

    Best wishes,
    Laura B
    Admin
     
  8. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    Every woman is different in the time it takes to conceive. There can be many factors which influence conception including diet, the environment, stress, your occupation.

    In relation to your husband's fertility it is possible for him to get a sperm count - just go to your GP and ask him/her for details in your area.

    There is an interesting organisation called 'Foresight'. They have a website. www.foresight-preconception.org.uk. Their emphasis is on preconceptual care. The idea is that both you and your partner are made as healthy as possible before conceiving. This involves a hair analysis test - whereby they can analyse the quantities of vitamins, minarals and toxins in your system and give you the right supplements to balance this out if necessary. There is also a diet which involves among other things cutting out alcohol and caffeine entirely.

    They claim that they can minimise the possibility of birth defects, miscarriage and can help couples who have been told that they have unexplained infertility. They also claim to have helped couples who have had failed attempts at IVF, and also those who are going through IVF to make it more successful.

    I can't professionally endorse this charity as I am not directly involved in their work, but perhaps if you are able to read their website and absorb the information they give you, you can make your own mind up as to whether you would like to give them a go. Common-sense would say that 'the healthier you are, the better'.

    You have only been trying to conceive for 9 months or thereabouts, so try not to worry too much - it does take some women months or even years to conceive. Also...the more stress you are under, the less likely you are to conceive. Good-luck.
     
  9. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    Without knowing your pre-pregnancy weight it is difficult to assess you weight gain, however, it is usual for women to retain a fair amount of fluid within the first trimester. To look like you are 4-5months @ 2 months suggests that either you are:

    Bloating - Do you suffer from constipation? As your uterus enlargens it begins to press on your stomach and bowels making them sluggish. You need to drink at least 2 litres of fluid a day (preferably non-alcoholic!!) which is approx 8 glasses.

    Large for Dates - Are you sure about your gestation - could you be further on than you thought - when was your last period? Was this lighter than the period beforehand. Without palpating your abdomen it is difficult for me to ascertain whether the fundus (top of the womb) is higher than it should be (suggesting a larger baby or older baby).

    Fluid retention - It is normal for your arms and legs to start swelling within the first trimester, you can increase the amount of fluid you retain by approx 50%.

    Weight increase - You could be putting on weight. Has your lifestyle changed? Has your diet changed at all? Make sure you take in all those viatl ingredients including folic acid and iron.

    I'm sorry this is a broad analysis of your question. When you book with your midwife - she will be able to ascertain the size of your baby by palpating your abdomen - maybe even send you for a dating scan @ 12 weeks. Hope this helps.
     
  10. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the welcome, from everyone I've received postings from. I just want to say that I am happy to answer your questions as I have been. It may take me a day or two to get back to you - work permitting, but I will do my utmost to answer every single one of you. It's nice to be able to let you guys know things you are unsure about - or that your midwife doesn't always have time to explain.
    :)
     
  11. Emansmom2005

    Emansmom2005 Member

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    T hanks so much for the advise.

    I think it could be a combo of things. I was on HCTZ 25mg about 3 mo ago. I just went to my Dr last week and had my 1st U/S and was told I was 7 wks at that time. He said that I wasn't big but I don't think he pays to close atten to that stuff at first. I was anywhere from 102 to 105 lbs prior to preg. I think there is just some bloating with fluid ret going on. But I showed pretty quickly with my first as well, just not this early. My friend said you show quicker with your 2nd. I do feel like alot of organs have shifted upward and I have a short torso. There's no where for all the parts to go HA HA. Thank goodness no constipation going on. I just hope that I'm not eating too much. My habits really haven't changed any.
    Although I did quit smoling when I found out about the preg, as I did with my 1st. I gained a total of 35 lbs with #1. My goal is to try and stay around 25-30lbs at most. I was justing starting back on a fitness program to get in shape for the summer since I finally had reached my 1st pre-preg weight. I then found out I was preg again. I guess I should stick to walking now that I never started the gym. I've been told it's ok to con't a work out whille preg if you were already involved prior to preg. What do you think?? Stick to walking only or go to gym and walk on GXT and do leg weights??

    Shannon
     
  12. hayley

    hayley Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kieren

    Thank a lot for your advise. I'll give that web site a look. As you say the healthy you the better you are likely to concieve. I know 9 months isn't long but it doesn feel like a live time. I'll try relaxing about the whole thing. It's just i'm an impatient person (if you haven't already guessed) this is one thing I can't take control of.

    Thanks for replying.
     
  13. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    It is fine to go to the gym - pilates is supposed to be very good for pregnant women - makes you quite supple. My only advice is not to overdo it as your ligaments become soft with all that progesterone in your system and you could end up stretching them - can result in back problems and SPD (symphysis pubis disorder) making it difficult to walk. However, moderate exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle.. As you become bigger you might find swimming a relief too.
     
  14. catherine23

    catherine23 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Kieren, love the name by the way thats going on my list for boys!

    Thanks for being here for us, im sure your going to be very busy with questions. This is probably an odd question and early for me to but when I eventually go into hospital (and give birth) im worried that i'll basically be told to leeve soon after lol, (babys delivered and off you go!) I know people do stay but I just wondered what the least amount of time (roughly) I could stay in a hospital? If I give birth in the morning will i get to stay all day and that night or if I give birth at 10pm do I get to stay that night but off in the morning asap? I worry about the silliest of things I know!
    I had a dream last night that I found it imposible to breast feed. If say the baby doesnt latch on straight away and doesnt seem keen will I find it really difficult. This is my first baby and I have no idea what to expect! Or if I litrally have to force my nipple in his/her mouth? lol sorry

    catherine x
     
  15. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    Hiya Catherine

    Thanks for the compliment!


    Hospitals vary across the country. Where I work, the least amount of time you can spend in the hospital is 6 hours - and this is so the baby can be checked over by a paediatrician for any problems that may occur 6 hours after birth.

    Again refer to my answer above - usually midwives will feel uncomfortable discharging you too late at night and will advise you stay in until the morning - also the chances that there will be an available paediatrician to check your baby over late at night is quite slim - so expect about midday the following day for your discharge. If there are any problems with yourself post delivery or if you need more time with the midwives in your unit then your discharge can be postponed for a day or two.

    The baby friendly initiative (UNICEF) advise that women who wish to breastfeed get the baby onto the breast within 1 hour of delivery. Once the baby is delivered the midwife looking after you will assist you with breastfeeding. Most babies do not get it straight away and it very often takes determination, encouragement and practice on your part. Some babies latch on (we have to say attach nowadays - don't ask!!) instantly, others will not attach well for a day or two - but your midwives are there for support. Personally, I would never discharge any of my women unless I was sure the baby was feeding well, because once initiated the midwife in the community can then pick up the care and support at home.

    With breastfeeding it is important to be as relaxed and comfortable as you can. Learn how to express your own milk so that you can reassure yourself of your own milk production. The hormones required for milk production are oxytocin (these are the same hormones that cause contractions) help the milk eject and make you feel sleepy; and prolactin which creates the milk - this peeks 4 hours after a feed which is when your newborn baby will either conveniently wake up asking for another feed, or you will need to encourage your baby.

    The more your baby is at the breast in the first 3 days, the easier it will become to attach your baby and for your milk supply to come in.

    In the meantime get to know your breasts so that it isn't so alien to you once you start feeding. Feel behind the areola (the dark circle arond your nipple) and you will notice a lumpiness - these lumps are the milk ducts and they will expand gradually throughout your pregnancy and start to fill postnatally. Your nipple may be proud and easy to erect, or may be inverted - whichever your shape it shouldn't mean that you will have problems with feeding, because it is the squeezing of the milk ducts - not the nipples that eject the milk, hence it is important to know when your baby is attached properly, and so that you don't end up with sore nipples!!!

    Your baby will massage your milk ducts with its tongue, squeezing the milk from the ducts into the nipple, where it will squeeze out with pressure by the lips. So if you are able to encourage milk production by gently stroking and massaging your breasts 10 minutes before a feed, this will help the stimulation of those prolactin hormones. At first you won't have much milk - this is known as colostrum and is very rich in sugars, fats and antibodies - so don't stress that you won't produce enough milk - you will in time, all the studies show this.

    Cross these bridges when you get to them - but it is always good to think about what you will do beforehand, and you should be given plenty of support.

    Let me know what happens when you do have your baby - I'll be interested to know how you get on.
     
  16. catherine23

    catherine23 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Kieren!

    I forget about all of the support I will get! I always panik about not knowing enough, Ive always been like this but least I will be prepared. Ive even read up on weaning and foods I can make when their ready! Im sure by the time im 9 months I'll even know about schooling hehe.
    I will let your know how I get on with feeding I've still got a while yet though not due until November!

    Thanks again

    Cat x
     
  17. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    Hiya

    Ok..I'm just going to explain this as best I can, forgive me if i ramble.

    There are for blood groups A B AB & O. And there is the rhesus D Antigen - some people have it, others don't. The Rhesus D Antigen is almost a marker on the red blood cell that the body uses to determine whether it should be there or not. Those who have this Rhesus D Antigen are known as positive, those who don't - negative. Hence A-ve or A+ve etc. This allows us to determine which blood is compatible with whom. Those who are positive can have the same blood group without the antigen eg A+ve can have A-ve as well via transfusion. But those who are negative cannot have the rhesus D antigen in their system otherwise the body will attack those red blood cells (because they have this great big flashing marker saying'hey look at me, I don't belong here!!!). likewise you can mix blod groups, apart from O (and it has to also be free from Rhesus D Antigen - O-ve - anyone can have this!!).

    So..if you are rhesus negative, if you have a baby that is rhesus positive and your baby's blood comes into contact with your blood (you have to remember the baby has its own blood supply - totally separate from yours) then your blood will start attacking that blood, but also it will remember those antigens next time round. So...if you have another baby and it happens to be rhesus positive, then your body will seek it out - crossing the placental barrier and fight against your baby causing haemoliytic disease of a newborn (HDN), which can lead to stillbirth, abnormalities and severe jaundice.

    What the Anti-D jab does is what it says on the tin...it zaps the Rhesus D antigen that enters your blood supply before you have a chance to attack or recognise it. Thus safer for your next pregnancy.

    Once you have had your baby you will need to give a blood sample to see whether any of the baby's blood has got into your blood stream (fetal leak) and some blood will be taken from the cord to see what the baby's blood group is. This is called a Kleihaur test (direct & indirect coombes testing). If you are positive to the baby's antibodies then you are DCT positive, or if your baby is rhesus D positive then you will need a further Anti D jab after delivery.

    Injections aren't very nice - but this is an important one to have to safeguard against any future pregancies. It should be inserted into the deltoid muscle (your arm), though some midwives still use old practice and insert it in the bum or the leg. She should monitor you for about 15 mins, because as with any drug you can react to it - though it is very unlikely. Anti-D is a blood product - taken from donors from plasma. Because of the way it is processed it is extreemly unlikely to get any viruses from the donor (like a blood transfusion) the odds are 1 in 10,000 billion doses (NICE, 2005).

    The anti-D is not known to cause any fetal development problems, in fact it goes a long way to prevent it.

    I hope this reassures you and is not too vague. Feel free to tell me if you are still unsure.

    Good Luck
     
  18. JacqWish

    JacqWish Well-Known Member

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    Hi, i am just over 5 weeks pregnant. I suffered 2 miscarriages 4/5 years ago so have been a little worried about this pregnancy. I am more hopeful this time as i am feeling things i never felt the first two times (sore breasts, sickness, tiredness, cramps etc). I have a query regarding travelling. My partner booked a weekend trip in Holland some months ago and i was wondering if it would be safe enough to travel? (I will be 8/9 weeks by the time we go).
     
  19. midwife_online

    midwife_online Well-Known Member

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    You didn't say how you would be traveling - by aeroplane or ferry?

    Now...Holland isn't far, so the risks if you are flying are not so great.

    In the first trimester, which you will be when travelling, you have to remember that the symptoms you feel such as nausea, frequency of going to the toilet. Your risks in pregnancy of developing clots are higher (DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis), and flying also increases your risk further - generally the longer the flight, the more risky it is, so get some support stockings to wear.

    Many organisations will say that flying itself would not increase the risks of miscarriage or abnormalities, though you have to consider the destination and the length of your journey.

    If you are not flying, you also have to think about the fact that you are still early on in your pregnancy. The risks of miscarriage, as you probably are aware, are higher up to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because this is where most of the organogenisis occurs (forming of all the major organs of the body), so you have to think about whether you would cope if this were to happen abroad, or even whilst travelling. Now...I'm not saying this to frighten you, but I am exploring the different possibilities so that you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to travel.

    The second trimester is usually the best time to travel as you have gone through the first 3 months, symptoms are often less, and you will have had your midwife booking having checked you out for any medical problems, but that is not to say you can't travel in the first trimester.

    If you decide to travel, and you have no reason not to other than the considerations above, remember to have proper health insurance (that includes repatriation - flying you home if necessary) and carry an E111 form that you can get from the post office, should anything happen while you are away.

    Bon Voyage - Holland is lovely.
     
  20. JacqWish

    JacqWish Well-Known Member

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    Hi, we have an 8 hour boat journey to get the to the scottish mainland but I think our flight is only a couple of hours in total so i think i have pretty much convinced myself to go and try and relax (having not had a holiday in 9 years!)

    Thanks for your advice :)
     

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