Question: should I still take Metformin even when expecting? Am suspecting to be five weeks and have started taking 75mg of aspirin. N.S.N(Zambia)
Answer: Congratulations on your good news. Yes; Metformin is perfectly safe to take during pregnancy. The most important thing is to ensure the blood sugar control is optimal. For some people with Type 2 diabetes, this is achieved using Metformin only. Others need to be switched to insulin. As long as you are having regular blood sugar checks, ideally checking before and after meals, and as long as the control seems good, you can continue with Metformin.
As for the aspirin, which is meant to minimise the risk of recurrent miscarriage, you should stay on this until the third trimester. Use beyond 36 weeks is not recommended. My very best wishes.
Question: Hi, we just found out that my girl just starting her pregnancy. I don't have sickle cell but she does. What is the percent that the child will come out having sickle cell? Also wit her smoken. Does it affect blood flow from her to the child? R. (USA)
Answer: Congratulations to you both. I take it your girlfriend has got sickle cell disease and not sickle cell trait. This is important in predicting the likelihood of your offspring having the condition. I also take it you do not have sickle cell trait. You may need to be aware that many people with sickle cell trait are actually unaware because they are completely healthy. I hope you have had your status checked.
Regarding the smoking, that is particularly bad for women with sickle cell disease during pregnancy. Their ability to carry oxygen is already compromised due to their chronic anemia. Add to this the smoking which reduces the oxygen carrying capacity farther. That is on top of the carbon monoxide which is carried to the baby. A combination of sickle cell and maternal smoking can prove lethal to the baby. She needs to be helped in any way possible to quit during this time.
Question: Hello, my wife had her 20 weeks scan today and the report says golf balls in the heart. The doctor explained and reassured us but im still confused. What is this and how did it get there? N.S. (UK)
Answer: The so-called ‘golf balls’ are one of the recognised soft markers that are occasionally seen when a detailed anatomy scan of the baby is done in the mid-trimester. The medical term for this is ‘echogenic intracardiac focus or EIF’. ‘Golf balls is a descriptive term based on the fact that these areas appear round and white; like a golf ball. They tend to be found in particular areas of the heart. Their importance lies in the fact that, in some cases, they could be associated with a chromosomal disorder. Only a small minority of babies found to have these are actually affected by these disorders. Up to 4% of babies will be found to have these. That’s one in 25. Normally, when found, this will trigger a careful look for any other soft markers. When a scan confirms that there are no other soft markers or major structural anomalies, no further action is called for. The exception could be in cases of a mother with a family history of Down’s syndrome or if she is of advanced age. In such a case, she may be advised to consider a diagnostic test since the risk of her baby being affected is inherently higher.
Question: Under which conditions is the mother advised against home delivery? K.N. (India)
Question: My partner and I have been thinking of trying for a baby but I am 41 next month. What are the risks? P.A. (UK)