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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Obesity and caesarean section

Question:  Can obesity in the mother cause complications in a caesarean birth and if so, how? I.M. (UK)

Answer: An obese mother is prone to a higher probability of the usual major surgery complications. These include haemorrhage, infection and thrombosis. These are, of course, not exclusive to obese women. It is just that, with obesity, the risk of all these is higher. There is also the fact that the procedure is technically harder the bigger the mother is, but that is not an insurmountable challenge for an experienced surgeon.

Breathlessness at rest in late pregnancy

Question:  Hi my name is ***** and i have a question about having trouble breathing in pregnancy. Is it normal? I have about 7 weeks to go and last night i had trouble breathing. I felt light headed and no matter which way i turned i still felt light headed? Is that normal? N. (UK)

Answer:  What you are describing here is clearly not a normal feature of pregnancy. What is puzzling is that you seem to have had the symptoms while lying down (is that so?). Breathlessness and light-headedness is not unusual when you are upright during pregnancy. That is usually relieved by sitting or lying down. That phenomenon is also typically transient and not persistent as you describe here. I would therefore advise that you get checked out by your obstetrician promptly even if those symptoms have since resolved. With best wishes.

Vaginal spotting in early pregnancy

Question:  I am 5 weeks pregnant and showing a spot of bleeding, it started bright red and then brown now it is the same bright red put light. Should i be worried? L.K. (Ireland)

Answer: We have answered a similar question a few times already. This is a common problem. Any vaginal bleed at that stage of pregnancy is classified as a 'Threatened Miscarriage' and is a legitimate cause for concern.

It may be worthwhile to contact your GP for a referral to the local hospital for an ultrasound scan. The only issue that might not be straight-forward here is that, at five weeks, the pregnancy might still be too early for the scan to give clarity on what is going on.

Fundal height bigger than dates

Question:  My daughter is 18 weeks pregnant and has just seen her mid wife for a check up. The midwife noticed that although the height of fundus is 18 cms her abdomen height is 26 cms. She appeared to be quite concerned and has booked her next ante natal much sooner than normal to get the results of her next scan at 20 wks. Should this cause concern and if so what could the problem be? Thank you. P.P. (UK)

Answer: There is clearly some crossed wires here: There is only one measurement that can be taken by a midwife or doctor: That is the fundal height. I therefore do not know what you mean by 'abdominal height' as opposed to 'height of fundus'. If I were to assume the 26 cm is the fundal height; yes, at 18 weeks, such a discrepancy will be significant. The three possible explanations of such a discrepancy would be:

Low Hb towards the end of pregnancy

Question:  I am 34 weeks pregnant and have just been told my Haemoglobin Level has dropped to 8.6, is there time for my iron levels to increase so that I can give birth at the local maternity unit and not have to go to hospital?  If it doesn't increase what could the complications be at birth? E.D. (UK)

Answer: There are several issues to consider here:

You will therefore appreciate that there are a lot of grey areas in a situation such as yours. As such, a decision on place of delivery requires on-going assessment. If I were in your obstetrician's shoes, i would check your hemoglobin again at 38 weeks. If it has moved above 10 grams and in the absence of any other risk factors, I would have no objection to you having your delivery at a low-risk maternity unit. With best wishes.

Undestanding Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction

Question:  What exactly is SPD? N.M. (UK)

Answer:SPD stands for symphysis pubis dysfunction. Symphysis Pubis is the front joint of the pelvic pubic bones. It is supposed to be stable and completely immobile. However, in some pregnancies, as a result of hormone effect, the joint becomes loose something that causes pain with some forms of movements. The condition also goes by the name Diastasis Symphysis Pubis (DSP). There is more information on the condition here:

More questions and answers on the next page

Fundal height  as measured in centimetres (cm) in a singleton pregnancy is expected to mirror the number of weeks in gestation