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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Bump getting smaller!

Question: I am 36 weeks pregnant bump measures 35 cm i feel my bump is getting smaller! For the past few days i have been feeling sick and when i eat i have to go straight to use toilet. Midwife checked me three days ago heartbeat ok baby still moving. Is it anything to worry about? M.C. (UK)

Answer: A bump measuring 35 cm at 36 weeks gestation is completely normal. I don't know what you mean when you say you feel "the bump is getting smaller". Do you mean it was bigger than its gestation before? If the fetal movements are normal and you are overall feeling well in yourself, I don't think there is anything to worry about. Sometimes the perception of a ‘shrinking bump’ occurs when the baby’s head descends into the pelvis (engages). This might be what has happened with you.

Having said all that, if intuitively you feel something is not quite right, then you should insist on seeing your obstetrician promptly. Nothing that you have said suggests a potential problem with your baby.

Panic attacks in early pregnancy

Question: Does my being jumpy  at things and having panic attacks and nervousness hurt the baby? I am 6 weeks pregnant and have had 3 miscarriages and 4 births. M.B. (UK)

Answer: Your being jumpy and nervous will not hurt your baby. In any case, you need to bring that to the attention of your doctor so you can get the appropriate help. Believe me, help is available.

Bleeding behind the placenta

Question: I'm 16 weeks pregnant, at 12 weeks i had pains and a big bleed. a scan confirmed they baby is fine, but they could see a large amount of blood outside the sack towards the bottom not effecting the baby. today i had another scan now being 16 weeks, they found another large amount of blood but at the top to the right of the placenta. I'm really worried what do you think is wrong? should i prepare for the worst at this stage? T. (UK)

Answer: You clearly have had a threatened miscarriage. The positive side to this is, there has been no further revealed vaginal bleed after the original episode. This is a good sign and means the possibility of losing the pregnancy is significantly diminished. The presence of another haematoma on the latest scan does not necessarily mean there has been a fresh bleed, even though it appears to be on a different location. Retained blood can track in any direction as you lie flat. While it will be wrong to be dismissive, I think the overall picture is fairly positive.

Stillbirth during labour

Question: My first baby is three and a half years. I had a stillbirth during my second pregnancy on **/**/*****. The cause is not really clear as it happened during delivery or labour. I had a healthy full term pregnancy. After how long can i try for another baby ensuring i have a healthy pregnancy and baby. M. (Kenya)

Answer: I am really sorry to hear of the quite tragic outcome to your latest pregnancy.

An intrapartum (during labour) stillbirth is such a rare thing in modern obstetrics which makes it even more tragic. However, there is certainly no reason to expect that those events will have any bearing whatsoever on the progress or outcome of your subsequent pregnancy. Your body will probably be ready for another pregnancy within 6 to 8 weeks, sometimes earlier. This is when you should expect normal ovulatory cycles to start. As long as you feel psychologically and emotionally ready to embark upon another pregnancy, you certainly can and should.

I hope things work out alright for you.

Risk of shingles to pregnant women

Question: I am 25+5 pregnant and have shingles.If that means that I can potentially give chicken pox to other people, especially pregnant women, who have not had it before, should I be booked off from work? I work in a restaurant and come into contact with lots of pregnant women.

Answer: If what you have is indeed shingles, it is important that you avoid contact with pregnant women (particularly) and children. If your work brings you into contact with such groups of people, you should clearly stay off until the lesions have crusted over. This is crucial both for you and your employer who would be liable for any consequences resulting from any such infection passed on to a client/customer.

Recurrent vaginal thrush in pregnancy

Question: Is recurrent vaginal thrush a symptom of some serious condition like cervical cancer? How is vaginal thrush treated during pregnancy and is it harmful to the unborn baby? B. (Zambia)

Answer: Vaginal thrush (candidiasis) is quite common during pregnancy. This is because of the change in the vaginal pH caused by pregnancy hormone. This encourages candida, the fungus that causes thrush to flourish. It is a real nuisance but otherwise entirely harmless both to the mother and baby. Vaginal thrush does not signify cervical cancer or any such condition. Local treatment such as Canesten (Clotrimazole) pessaries inserted in the vagina are safe to use in pregnancy and are effective. However, their benefit is usually short-lived, lasting a few weeks, before the thrush comes back. One word of caution: If a woman is unsure whether the discharge she is getting is really thrush, it is worthwhile bringing it to the attention of her doctor to be verified. Oral treatment is not advised in pregnancy.

If you develop shingles during pregnancy, it will not adversely affect your unborn baby. However, you should avoid contact with other pregnant women as some of them may not be immune to the causative  chicken-pox virus

Clotrimazole pessaries (vaginal tablets) are safe and effective for vaginal thrush in pregnancy. Just make sure you have the correct diagnosis first.

shingles (herpes zoster) in pregnancy