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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics


Generalised itching in pregnancy

Question: Hi, I’m 28 weeks pregnant with my 1st child i have had itching skin for many weeks now but seems to be getting worse I’m rhesus negative but i don’t know if that will make a difference the midwife checks my blood pressure and says I’m fine its just so irritating its mostly my arms legs belly and bottom back. Thanks. N.T. (UK)


Answer: With that type of itching, the first thing that needs to be ruled out is the condition called obstetric cholestasis. For that you need a specific blood test. If this has not been done, you need to bring it to the attention of your midwife or doctor as a matter of priority. If this is ruled out, it may mean you have a non-specific pregnancy related pruritus. That is a very annoying condition but poses no other risk.




Breast milk production in early pregnancy

Question: At what stage of pregnancy does our breasts start to produce milk? I’m 9 weeks pregnant and my body has started to produce milk. I have got two other children and i never got my milk until i had given birth to them. Is this normal? Z. (UK)


Answer: Milk should not be produced at any stage during pregnancy. Changes occur within the breast during pregnancy in readiness for milk production after the birth. If you are seeing milk and you can express it, even if in small amounts, something is quite possibly not right. I would urge you to bring this to the attention of your doctor promptly. At the very least, an urgent pregnancy ultrasound scan needs to be done to confirm viability.




Making sense of a miscarriage

Question: I have recently just had a miscarriage but i don’t fully understand what has happened. On the scan it shown an empty sack, in which no baby had developed, but on the scan before that there was a echo of a yolk. Where did that go? L.B.(UK)


Answer: I am sorry to hear of your miscarriage which sounds to be a blighted ovYolk sacum (anembryonic pregnancy). It is true that in such pregnancies, early scans can identify a yolk sac. That is not unusual. However, remember, even in a normal pregnancy which is going to progress to Term, a yolk sac is a temporary feature which disappears around the end of the first trimester. That is what happened in your case.












Echogenic bowel on ultrasound scan

Question: I went for my 21 week scan, and was told that there was blood noticed from my placenta which the baby may have swallowed. My placenta is high. They have called me back for another scan at 28 weeks. Can you tell me what affect this can have, what caused this, and can I do anything? Thank you for any advice. S. (UK)


Answer: I have to say the description of the scan finding that you have given here does not make much sense to me. I can only hazard a guess that there were some non-specific echogenic artefacts seen in the baby's stomach area and the person scanning was trying to give some possible explanations for them. The suggestion that the baby might have swallowed "blood from your placenta" is quite unlikely. For some further explanation about ‘echogenic bowel’ scan findings, please refer to this answer given earlier. If you are still unsure of the situation, do not hesitate to ask for a chat and a review by your obstetrician.





Placental abruption recurrence

Question: I went through a placental abruption on **/**/**** at 26 wks to a little girl *******. Now I’ve just gone through the same thing on **/**/**** at 21 wks plus 3 days. Why have i had two in a space of 8 mths? Will it happen again if i was to try again in a good few years? Please reply back. Thank you. E.W. (UK)


Answer: Yours has been a truly painful experience. Nobody knows for sure why some women tend to have recurrent placental abruption even though they may not have any identifiable risk factors. You did not mention whether there are risk factors that have been identified in your case. We have addressed some of these here:


When a risk factor is identifiable, aggressive management of that condition is regarded as an important measure in any subsequent pregnancy to minimise the risk of recurrence of abruption.


Yes, figures are not good when you have had two consecutive placental abruptions. The risk of a further abruption is then estimated to be roughly 1 in 4. Of-course that means, there is a 75% chance of escaping this frightening complication, which is not bad. I do hope you can focus on that and, in the fullness of time, take that crucial step to try again. With best wishes.











More questions and answers on the next page

The little ring in the scan picture is the yolk sac. Even in a blighted ovum, early scans may show the yolk sac. The yolk sac invariably disappears towards the end of the first trimester.