Thrilled but terrified? We help you overcome your pregnancy anxieties
You may be delighted to be expecting, but chances are you’ve got lots of worries, too. We asked our panel of leading experts for advice on your most common concerns.
‘Will I miscarry?’
Q. At five weeks pregnant, I had mils cramps and light bleeding. My doctor said there was a 50% chance the pregnancy would continue. I’m now seven weeks and the cramps and bleeding haven’t returned. Can you advise me?
Midwife Says : Bleeding in early pregnancy is common and doesn’t always mean miscarriage. It may occur when the fertilised egg implants in the womb. Some women notice bleeding when they would have had their period. It may be due to cervical erosion, and light spotting can also occur after sex. If there’s also abdominal pain, seek medical advice immediately. You could always ask your GP to refer you for an early scan.
‘I’ve got a strange discharge’
Q. I’m 16 weeks pregnant and have a pale green, almost fluorescent discharge. There’s no smell, but I’m worried. Is it normal?
Obstetrician Says : This sound like the normal discharge of pregnancy-odourless and very pale. Thrush is also more common in pregnancy due to a change in the levels of acidity in the vagina-discharge is often curd-like and accompanied by itchiness. A cream from a pharmacist or your GP will help. If you get a discharge that is very watery, bloodstained or smells nasty, see your GP.
‘Can I have a C-section?’
Q. I’m carrying a big baby-can I request a Cesarean?
Obstetrician Says : Current guidelines recommend your obstetrician considers your request, but they don’t have to agree to it. Talk through your reasons and request a second opinion if you wish.
‘I can’t feel my baby more’
Q. I’m 27 weeks pregnant and over the last day or so, I haven’t felt my baby move as much as normal. Should I get checked out?
Midwife Says: Yes. At 27 weeks you should feel your baby move at least 10 times in 24 hours. She has sleeping and waking phases, so it may be that her sleep phase has altered and she’s now moving at a different time. Changing position or drinking cold water can help. If you’re concerned, contact the hospital so they can check all is OK and monitor her heartbeat.
‘I got drunk’
Q. I’ve just found out I’m pregnant, but I went out drinking several times before I knew I was expecting. Will this have harmed my unborn baby?
Dr Says : Try not to panic. Many women have been in the same situation as you and have gone on to have perfectly healthy babies. Ideally, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether when you’re pregnant. But health watchdog NICE says if you do choose to drink, wait until after 12 weeks, then limit it to no more than one or two units once or twice a week. What’s important now is that you stay as healthy as possible for the rest of your pregnancy.
‘I’m not keen on the local hospitals’
Q. I have a choice of two local hospitals to give birth in, but I’ve heard bad things about bath. How do I decide?
Midwife Says : Firstly, remember you hear more bad stories than good ones about hospitals. Explain your concerns to your midwife. Consider which hospital is easiest to get to, and ask if you can see the birthing room. If you still want to look elsewhere, your GP may be able to suggest an alternative hospital, but don’t leave it too late to request this. You could also consider a birth centre or home birth.
‘I ate liver pate’
Q. I conceived while on holiday in France and am worries because I ate liver pate. Could I have harmed by baby?
Nutritionist Says : All pates, even veggie ones, should be avoided during pregnancy as they could carry a bug called listeria, which could harm your unborn baby. Liver and liver products should also be avoided as they contain high levels of vitamin A, which can be harmful, too. But try not to worry. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll have harmed your baby.
‘I’m worries about aches and pain’
Q. I’m 22 weeks pregnant and have an ache in my right side, and need too pee more than usual.
Dr Says : Aches and pains are common when your body changes to accommodate your growing baby. It’s safe to take paracetamol, and use a heat pack over the sore area. The symptoms described could signal a kidney infection, which will usually need antibiotic treatment. See your GP for advice straight away.
‘Should I be working nights?’
Q. I’m 15 weeks pregnant and work lots of night shifts. Are there any risk?
Midwife Says : Most employers carry out a workplace assessment for pregnant employees. They must do whatever is reasonable to prevent risks and offer you suitable alternative work.
A Danish study showed that mums-to-be who regularly work nights have an increased risk of late miscarriage or stillbirth. Other studies show they slightly increase the risk of a low-birth-weight baby. So, I feel it’s advisable you change to day shifts for the rest of your pregnancy.
‘How early can I have an epidural?’
Q. Can I have an epidural as soon as I get to hospital? I don’t want to wait until I’m in a lot of pain.
Midwife Says : Lets your midwives know you’d like an epidural and also write it on your birth plan. You won’t be allowed one until you’re in established labour: having regular contractions that are causing the cervix (the neck of the womb) to dilate. In fact, many obstetric units say you should be at least 3cm dilated, so check your hospital’s policy. Epidurals have to be given by an anaesthetist, so it depends on one being available.
A helping hand
Being pregnant is an exciting time and there’s lot you can do to make sure you give your unborn baby the very best start in life. To give you a helping hand, Vitabiotics Pregnacare, the UK’s number one pregnancy supplement brand, has developed new Pregnancy max to provide maximum nutritionist support throughout your pregnancy journey.
Tailored for you : Pregnacare Max contains 400mcg of folic acid, including an advanced form called L-Methylfolate, plus the recommended level of 10 mcg of vitamin D. It also includes a high purity omega-3 capsule, providing 300 mg of the fatty acid DHA which can contribute to normal development of your normal baby’s eyes and brain