Question: If first baby is anancephaly, does the second baby have the same risk? If yes, how can you prevent it?? B. (India)
Answer: Anencephaly recurrence is quite uncommon. The chances of this happening is roughly 4%. It means the chances of having an unaffected baby is 96%. The exception to this is when anencephaly is associated with a genetic or chromosomal disorder. In such a case, the recurrence is significantly higher at around 25%
Anencephaly is part of a group of conditions called neural tube defects (NTD). Like all other neural tube defects, risk of occurrence (or recurrence) of anencephaly can be reduced significantly by taking Folic Acid in the pre-conception stage and the first trimester of pregnancy. A dose as low as 400 mcg (0.4mg) of folic acid daily is sufficient for this purpose.
Question: I am 10 weeks pregnant but have been bleeding on and off. We went to the hospital and they detected a heart beat that was done at 6 weeks and again at 9 wks. They didn’t tell us why this is happening but its 90% chance i will go on to have a healthy baby. Last night my partner and i had sex and again this morning. i had a shower about 2pm, got dressed was sitting waiting to go out. I got up and went into the kitchen and a gush of blood came out, it was watery. I suffer from constipation and i think this is the pain I’m having. I know this is because i have always suffered from it. I had a miscarriage in july 09 and again in dec 09 now i hope this is not happening again. Please can you reassure me. H. (UK)
Answer: What you are going through is a threatened miscarriage. The doctors at the hospital could not tell you why you are bleeding because they don’t know. This is almost always the case. It is rarely possible to explain why miscarriage is threatening. Even when miscarriage occurs, particularly if this is in the early trimester, it is usually quite difficult to explain why it has happened. The only practical advice you can be given is that you should definitely refrain from penetrative sex as long as the vaginal bleeding is continuing. Your chances of weathering this storm and going on to have a healthy baby are as quoted at 9 out of 10 (90%). My best wishes.
Question: Hello there, I am 41 and am 19 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I got the results for the integrated test back last week and the odds of having an affected pregnancy came as 1:1600 - based on the NT, my age and the first and second trimester blood tests. My doctor says that the results are as good as can be, my risk is the same as that of an 18 year old pregnant woman. Of course it is reassuring as I didn't want to have any invasive tests done. Would you please tell me what you think of it? Many thanks. L.
Answer: I would concur with the views of your obstetrician that the results are quite good and should be almost completely reassuring for you. Just bear in mind that, on age alone your risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome are around 1 in 80 to 1 in 85. By including all those other markers, this risk has plummeted by a factor of 20! By any measure, that should be reassuring and as good as you can get short of having an invasive diagnostic test. Enjoy your pregnancy and my best wishes.
Question: Since water birth is new in my country ( IRAN )and there is lots of concern in this regard , I would like to know if I could give birth to my first child in water. Is there any contraindication for giving birth to first child in the water? R. (Iran)
Question: My daughter in law is quite concerned that she feels 'distant' and unreal about her pregnancy. It seems to bring her no interest or excitement. She would like to know if this is a recognised state of affairs. She is 27 weeks pregnant. J.B. (UK)
Answer: Your hospital doctors have done all the right checks and you should be reassured. Sometimes the ‘normal’ vaginal discharge is increased dramatically during pregnancy and this can cause understandable concern. Once a watery discharge is confirmed not to be amniotic fluid (not hard to do), you can and should relax. The “thick paste-like discharge”, if white, could be thrush, a very common development during pregnancy for which a single dose of Clotrimazole (Canesten) pessary is effective and safe.