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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Using Maxolon in pregnancy

Question:  Hi, I’m 9 weeks pregnant and I have terrible morning sickness. I can hardly keep anything down. The doctor has prescribed me maxolon but I’m scared of taking any medicine in case it harms the baby. Can I take this? M.N. (UK)

Answer: Maxolon or to give it its generic name Metoclopromide, is an antiemetic (anti-sickness) drug that has been used to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy for many years. Its safety in pregnancy is not in doubt. The only challenge encountered in using this is, since you are supposed to take this orally, you may find that it does not stay down long enough to have the desired effect.  Alternative anti-sickness drugs used safely in pregnancy include Stemetil (Prochlorperazine). This is available in sub-lingual as well as rectal suppositories, modes of administration which skirt around the problem of vomiting. Another is Cyclizine, also under the brand name Valoid. This too is safe in pregnancy

Revealing pregnant state at a job interview

Question:  i am going for an interview this week, should i reveal that i am pregnant. I really want the job and if i did get it i would need to go on maternity leave about 4 months later, if i do tell them, i can't see me being considered?, if i don't tell them and get the job then reveal, they may not like it. Am i obliged to say at interview stage? what should i do? C. (UK)

Answer:  This is a tough call. You do not have a legal obligation to tell a prospective employer that you are pregnant but you clearly have a moral obligation. At the core of any hiring, apart from the qualification, is trust. If you spring this on your employer soon after you are hired, you will have destroyed that important component. Plus, remember many jobs now come with an inbuilt probationary period before you get security of tenure. This varies but is usually around one year with a formal and obligatory review after that. If the job you are going for contains this clause, I cannot see you surviving the review. No employer wants to retain an employee they can’t fully trust.  My personal view is that you should come clean about your state. If you have dazzled them enough as regards your potential, they will still want you and work to find a solution to the  problem of your temporary absence. Best of luck!

Membranes ruptured at 20 weeks

Question:  My daughter in law is in hospital after her waters went. She is only 4½ months pregnant. Is the baby going to be alright? V.G. (UK)

Answer: Four and a half months means she is at the half way mark (19-20 weeks)in this pregnancy. If membranes have definitely ruptured and amniotic fluid is draining, the prospects for the baby are not very rosy. When membranes rupture at such an early stage, chances are overwhelmingly that ‘labour’ will ensue. This will, strictly speaking, be a late miscarriage rather than a delivery. There is no prospect of the baby surviving if this were to occur in the next few days. In the unlikely event that the pregnancy does carry on, there is the formidable problem of poor lung development as a result of lack of amniotic fluid. For normal fetal lung development to take place, a normal amount of amniotic fluid is necessary. When membranes rupture, they cannot close up again. It means therefore that, all the amniotic fluid that is made drains straight out. You end up with a state of almost complete absence of amniotic  fluid (anhydramnios). In such a situation, even in the rare event that this pregnancy continues to what is regarded as a viable stage (beyond 24 weeks), this baby will be born with severely underdeveloped lungs which are likely to be non-functional. Survival prospects will be close to zero.

Exposure to chicken pox and measles in pregnancy

Question:  i am pregnant and was exposed to measles and chicken pox. Will this affect the baby? S. (Philippines)

Answer: For most people, exposure to either of these viral infections in pregnancy poses no risk either to them or the baby. The reason for this is the vast majority of people would have had chicken pox in their childhood thereby acquiring lifetime immunity. It means therefore exposure at any later date does not pose any risk. The situation for measles is more or less similar. Any woman at a child-bearing age is likely to be immune either from vaccination during childhood or a previous infection. If this applies to you, you do not need to worry. The immunity you have protects the baby in the womb as well. We have covered this subject in more detail here:

Early membrane sweep

Question:  Im 36 weeks pregnant in my first pregnancy and I’m really fed up. I find walking up the stairs hard work, I waddle rather than walk, I’m not interested in sex as I feel like a hippo and I haven’t been able to sleep properly for weeks. Everything is sooo hard!! Can I ask for maybe a membrane sweep when I see the midwife on Monday? J. (UK)

Answer:  I’m afraid you are likely to be disappointed. The final phase of a pregnancy can be hard going, that is certainly true. However, that is never a good enough reason to intervene and deliver the baby early.

Plus, a membrane sweep at such an early stage is unlikely to be feasible and even if it were, it is unlikely to work. In any case, I cannot see this request being given a consideration. Sorry to be so ‘cheerful’ but I do hope spontaneous labour ensues soon for you.

‘Shadows’ reported on a detailed baby scan

Question:  On my 20 week scan i was told there were two dark spots/shadows near head and heart and now am sick with worry, is this a definite problem or maybe nothing? are these markers for Downs Syndrome? A. (UK)

Answer: I will be honest with you and say I really don’t know. My instincts lead me to believe that what were described as ‘shadows’ are likely to be artefactual rather than something definite, but that is just a hunch. The reason I believe so is that these were almost certainly not the recognised major structural abnormalities as these would not be so vaguely described. Nor are they likely to be the recognised ‘soft markers’ as these are fairly easy to spot and are described in specific terms. What’s more, I cannot see any possibility of something suspicious found being left up in the air. You will normally be given an opportunity to discuss the findings with your obstetrician in detail and appropriate advice given especially if there is the slightest possibility the findings could be a sign of something like Down’s syndrome or similar. All in all, I think those findings are unlikely to be significant. However, since you are concerned, the most effective reassurance will have to come from the horse’s month. I would urge you to contact your midwife asking clarification on the scan findings. She is then likely to arrange for you to go back to the antenatal clinic to discuss this with the doctor.