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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Blood thinning medicine in pregnancy

Question: Does blood thinning medicine affect the baby during pregnancy? I am taking Levonox for blood clotting and I want to how if it'll have any side effects for my baby. E.L. (Mexico)

Answer: Lovenox, like all so-called low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) Lovenox is safe in pregnancydoes not cross the placenta. It therefore cannot reach the baby. It is therefore perfectly safe to  use in pregnancy. The generic name of Lovenox is Enoxaparin. It is also available under the brand name Clexane marketed in Europe and Asia. The only issue of slight concern about prolonged use of these anticoagulant medicines in pregnancy is the risk of osteoporosis for the mother.This risk is small.

Head engagement and timing of labour onset

Question:   Does early head engagement mean early labour? G. Sri Lanka

Answer: Not at all. In some cases, the baby’s head can engage six or more weeks before labour onset. In other cases, head engagement does not take place until labour is actually underway. Head engagement is therefore not a predictor of the timing of labour onset.

Baby’s genotype

Question:  Is it possible to know my baby’s genotype in pregnancy? If no, what are the danger signs in pregnancy? F.A. (Nigeria)

Answer: I am not sure I understand your question. A genotype is an individual’s whole genetic make-up. Did you want to know whether it is possible to know if a baby in the womb is affected by a particular genetic condition? If that is the case then you will need to be more specific. There are some genetic conditions which can be diagnosed before birth and others where this is not (yet) possible. Many genetic conditions, though not all,  can be diagnosed before birth. Such conditions include Down’s syndrome, Thalassaemia, Sickle Cell Disease, haemophilia A, cystic fibrosis and many others. That, of-course, depends on whether the individual woman has access to such diagnostic facilities. These are not available in most developing countries of the world.

Placental abruption risk factors

Question:  Hi. I had a placental abruption in the end of January 2010 and the baby had died at 7th months, I don’t smoke,what could have been the cause? M. (UK)

Answer:Whilst it is true that factors such as maternal smoking or cocaine drug abuse are recognised to be risk factors for placental abruption, it is also the case that in many, probably most, cases of placental abruption, no obvious risk factor can be identified. I am sure your doctors have looked at everything to try to establish why this might have happened in your particular case. If they have not identified anything, it will be disingenuous of me to pretend to be any the wiser. The silver lining in all  this is that, in the absence of an identifiable risk factor, the chances of recurrence are small.

Abdominal pain; 4 months pregnant

Question:   Bad pain in right lower belly feels like a cyst but im 4 mo pregnant accompanied by on and off middle back spasms. T.J. (USA)

Answer: There is, unfortunately, an established myth that ovarian cysts  are a common cause of pain. In fact cysts, even very large ones, rarely cause pain. Most ovarian cysts will sit quietly in the pelvis for months, even years, without so much as a twinge. Situations where cysts can cause pain are where the said cyst undergoes torsion. This complication is quite uncommon and the pain is typically acute, of sudden onset and responds poorly to pain-killers. I do not know why you are having lower abdominal pain and back spasms but it is unlikely to be a cyst. An actual review by a doctor is called for if the symptoms are persistent.

Position of baby in the womb and risk of caesarean section

Question:  My daughter-in-law’s baby is lying the wrong way round i.e. back to back. She is due in 10 days the head is engaged can the baby turn at this late stage or will she require a section or can she have a normal delivery. A. (UK)

Answer: It is never possible for a doctor to give an absolute guarantee to any pregnant woman that they will have a successful vaginal delivery. By the same token, position of the baby in the womb before labour is a poor indicator of the likelihood or not of a caesarean section, if the leading part is the head. It is true that the back to back position can lead to a prolonged and arguably a more painful labour but the possibility of a successful vaginal delivery is not diminished to any significant degree. All babies undergo some degree of rotation during the process of labour and that applies to babies that start with the ‘back to back’ position. In fact, you will never hear a midwife or doctor refer to that as “the wrong way round” as you have put it in your question. It is just another position. The medical term for the position is ‘occipito-posterior position’ My best wishes to the mum-to-be.

Advised to have antibiotics in pregnancy

Question:  My pregnancy is 16 weeks. Doctor did my urine test in 14th week. Now she advice me antibiotics . My question is every thing ok? I am very worried... N. (UK)

Answer: I really don’t think you need to worry. It is a routine thing to check every pregnant woman’s urine. If the basic check gives a suggestion of possible infection, further tests are performed on the specimen. I suspect this is what was done in your case. It is then likely that the results indicate that you have a urinary tract infection, something that is relatively common in pregnancy. With such results, your doctor is compelled to offer you antibiotics to clear the infection. Antibiotics prescribed will usually be safe for you and the baby. I think you should take your doctor’s advice. My best wishes.

Lovenox (Enoxaparin): Use in pregnancy is safe