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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Establishing timing of conception

Question:  If I had intercourse one night and tested positive on a home pregnancy test with a faint line the very next day and then 2 days later got a dark positive line, I couldn't of conceived with the person I had intercourse with the 4 days ago could I? I would had to of conceived days earlier? S. (USA)

Answer: You are absolutely right. If you had sex and had a positive pregnancy  test the next day or within 3 to 4 days of that, the pregnancy is definitely not a result of that sexual encounter. You would have conceived at least 12 days earlier and quite possibly longer than that.

What is certain here is that when you had intercourse on the night in question you were definitely already pregnant. If you want to pinpoint when you actually conceived, you will need to try to have a very early ultrasound scan which, in the first trimester, should be accurate to within a couple of days in dating the pregnancy

Second hand cannabis smoke in pregnancy

Question:  If a pregnant woman is exposed to second hand Cannabis smoke, can she test positive for THC when the child is born? Y.G. (USA)

Answer: Yes. THC or tetra-hydro-cannibol is one of the dozens of chemicals present in cannabis smoke. It is supposed to be responsible for the ‘high’ that smokers get. Whether the smoke isPassive smoking of cannabis first or second hand, it will contain some levels of THC and, yes, these chemicals do cross the placenta. So, depending on how sustained the second hand exposure was and how close to the time of delivery this is, there will be detectable traces of THC in the baby’s blood. Cannibols are proven to be harmful to the developing brain of the fetus.

Home birth after a previous caesarean section

Question:  Can I have a home birth if I had an emergency caesarean section last time? A.C. (UK)

Answer: The policy on this is not cut and dried. It really depends on a number of factors. Why did you have to have a caesarean section last time? If this was following a difficult labour, it may be unwise to consider a delivery away from hospital. Factors that contributed to a failed vaginal delivery may still be there. Have you had a successful vaginal delivery since that caesarean section? If yes, then that augurs well for another vaginal delivery and midwives may be happy to help facilitate your quest. Are there any issues in the current pregnancy such as a potentially big baby, breech, low lying placenta, anaemia and others? All these will need to be ruled out. It is therefore not possible to give a generic answer to such a query. You need to discuss this fully with your obstetrician and midwife and, please, approach this discussion with an open mind so you can objectively assess any advice you are given. Best wishes.

Healthy diet during pregnancy

Question:  What kind of food should a pregnant woman  eat to protect her unborn child? Thank you. S. (Tanzania)

Answer: There can never be a rigid policy on the kind of food a pregnant woman should take during her pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby. As a loose rule of thumb, a pregnant woman should ensure she has a healthy diet, something that everybody should observe anyway. It is important to ensure a variety, not forgetting lots of fibre as found in vegetables. Specifics that apply to pregnant women are probably on the sort of things she should avoid. Foodstuffs rich in Vitamin A such as liver are to be avoided. Apart from those foods, it is also useful to remind every pregnant woman that alcohol in whatever amount may be unsafe and of-course smoking is a no-no.

Passage of a large clot days after the birth

Question:  I had a baby four days ago and when i went to the toilet i passed a huge clot out of my vagina. I don't know if it was a blood clot or a piece of afterbirth. Is this normal? And what should i do? K. (Australia)

Answer: This is most likely simply a clot. It is actually not unusual for this to happen. Sometimes there is low level bleeding inside the womb after delivery. This blood soon clots and is retained inside the uterus. As the uterus starts to involute becoming smaller in the days after the delivery the clot may be squeezed out, causing a fright as it is so unexpected. If you have not had continuing bleeding or abdominal pain, no further action is required. If you have any symptoms causing you concern then you should get examined by a professional. By the sound of things, this appears innocent.

Pregnancy symptoms with a negative pregnancy test

Question:  i have been getting a lot of pregnancy symptoms over the last 3 weeks but i have done several pregnancy tests and all have been negative is there a bigger issue i should be concerned about? L. (UK)

Answer: You have not said what those pregnancy symptoms are. More crucially, you have not said whether you have actually missed a period. If ‘several’ pregnancy tests have been negative then you are most likely not pregnant. If you have symptoms that you cannot explain, it is best that you arrange to see your doctor for a proper evaluation.

Passive smoking of cannabis during pregnancy could harm the baby, sometimes quite seriously