Ask The Doctor – The Answers

The 5 Unpredictables of Pregnancy… no. 1

by Roger Marwood MSc FRCOG Roger is a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. He has 40 years experience working in a busy NHS hospitals in West London and has personally supervised around 20 000 pregnancies and countless deliveries. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Imperial College, where he is an acclaimed and popular teacher. Life is full of surprises and so too, of course, is Pregnancy. For many couples , getting there can be an ordeal, a mystery or, for almost half of all women, an unplanned and an unpredicted surprise. Once the initial shock of that […]

The 5 Unpredictables of Pregnancy…no. 2 -The Delivery

TWO – The Delivery Some lucky women , start labour by themselves, cope really well with TENS, a bit of gas and oxygen, jump in the birthing pool and after 4 hrs push out a beautiful 3.5 kilo baby who hardly touches the sides, cries immediately and jumps straight on the breast. No cut, no tear, like a big Orgasm! Dream on, I hear you say, but it does happen.   About 20 % of women do not find labour the worst thing that has ever happened and find they can cope with minimal pain relief and can push the […]

The 5 Unpredictables of Pregnancy… no. 3 – How are you after the birth?

THREE – How are you after the birth? Just imagine:- Breast feeding is easy, the baby feeds and sleeps , you are up only once in the night, and you can get back into your favourite jeans after two weeks. You enjoy your new role as a mother and just love all the attention, visitors, presents and are delighted to get back to the white wine and even the odd ciggy. The pelvic floor is in place and sex last night was not a bad you thought it would be, so there is definitely life after babies, and maybe we […]

The 5 Unpredictables of Pregnancy… no. 4 – The Baby!

FOUR – The Baby At last!  It’s why we are here, after all. And I see now that pregnancy and delivery were just the foreplay, or the prologue, the introduction to the real event. He regained his birthweight in a week and after a few broken nights is feeding six times a day and is easy to wind and settles nicely. I’m sure I’m going to get that first smile any time soon. His skin is perfect and the health visitor says he’s on the 60 th centile, and he’s quiet in restaurants and just loves it when his father […]

The 5 Unpredictables of Pregnancy… no. 5 – The Father

FIVE – The Father Perhaps the most unpredictable of the 5 phases You think you know he’s going to be, but reality turns out differently. It can, of course go both ways. The man who came to every clinic visit and class and was joined at the hip during labour, suddenly changes.  He starts to find work, travel, laptop and cellphone and the latest box set much more interesting than the screaming blob who insists on emptying his alimentary canal at both ends. What happened to our social life and those fantastic meals you used to cook and the random […]

Marwood’s 5 Unprecdictables…concluded!

Well there you have it. Marwood’s five unpredictables. I think I’ve seen almost every combination of Good /Bad in the 5 phases Does anyone ever get all five Goods. Well yes, a few lucky ones, who often do not realise how lucky they really are.  They tend to think that they have discovered the secret to the Universe, and often have special tips on diet, exercise, breathing, baby care and so on, which will enable you to have a similar experience. But really it’s so often down to good fortune. It’s extremely rare to get all five Bads. Perhaps a […]

What Cosmetics are Safe to use when Pregnant?

I am 9 weeks pregnant and have been reading up on the various ingredients found in cosmetic products that should be avoided. Even my most basic products such as those from the brand ‘Simple’ seem to have at least one ingredient that should be avoided. Is this scaremongering or should all these ingredients genuinely be avoided? I feel really confused and worried about harming my baby. I am unaware of any cosmetic preparations that are unsafe to be used in pregnancy.  A recent study of the literature fails to demonstrate any significant risks associated with the normal use of Cosmetic […]

Polyhydramnios just diagnosed

My recent 36 week scan diagnosed polyhydramnios (95th centile) and I am now very worried about cord prolapse and bleeding. What are risks of this and should I go in to hospital for an assessment as soon as my waters break or should I wait for regular strong contractions as generally advised? Excess amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) can be associated with large babies, gestational diabetes, twins, and occasionally abnormalities in the baby or placenta. Sometimes it is just a temporary problem and often no cause is found. If it persists, there is an increased risk of early labour and sometimes early […]

Prolapse – baby 7 weeks old.

I had my baby 7 weeks ago and have noticed a prolapse (possibly bladder & bowel) which protrudes slightly at times.  I have an appointment with my ob/gyn but would like your opinion on whether there is likely to be some improvement with time & when I stop breastfeeding.  Or am I looking at surgery? It is far too soon to predict You can expect a considerable improvement with the passage of time , regaining your normal pre pregnancy weight , pelvic floor exercises and further improvement when your hormones return to normal after stopping breast feeding . So often […]

Breastfeeding, Weaning and Vitamins

I have just begun weaning my baby at six months and have been advised to start giving her vitamin drops. I currently take vitamins myself, specifically for breastfeeding. Should I continue to take these or will that be too many vitamins for my baby?! Hope you can help as I’m so confused after asking several different people and reading various forums!! Current NICE guidelines recommend Vitamin D supplements for all breastfeeding mothers and infants and children up to the age of 5 years. If you stick with the recommended dosage it will be quite safe for your baby. Providing you […]