An exciting but very emotional time…

Many expectant parents suddenly realise they need a lot of information and have to make a number of choices for them and their baby. Being pregnant, especially if this is your first pregnancy, brings many new and unfamiliar symptoms and experiences. These symptoms are usually entirely normal and your body’s response to the circulating pregnancy hormones that are supporting your baby’s development in the womb. Pregnancy places additional demands on your body, so it is important to take care of yourself and attend all of your antenatal appointments.

Abdominal Palpation

Abdominal Palpation Abdominal palpation is an important aspect of your care during pregnancy. The regular antenatal appointments that you are invited to attend are very important because they enable your midwife to monitor your pregnancy. By seeing you at regular intervals, they are able to check that all is progressing as it should be and can monitor yours and your baby’s health and wellbeing. Where your midwife or doctor sees you regularly, any concerns can be identified much sooner and acted upon promptly. Traditional approaches to monitoring your baby’s growth [...]

Smoking and Pregnancy

Smoking and Pregnancy There is a wealth of research that shows us that individuals who smoke tobacco are putting their health at risk from cardiovascular (heart) disease; chronic lung disease; cancer and cerebrovascular disease (stroke). Second-hand smoke puts the health of others at risk too – more than 80% of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, so people can still breathe in harmful poisons without being aware they are doing so. This is why the law has changed and why it is now illegal to smoke in vehicles with [...]

Anti-D for Rhesus Negative Women

Anti-D for Rhesus Negative Women There are four main blood groups: A, B, AB and O and alongside your blood group is the Rhesus factor with the ‘D antigen’ being an important substance that stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies. The Rhesus factor (usually abbreviated to ‘Rh’) is a molecule that is found on the surface of our red blood cells. Where people have this molecule called the ‘D antigen’ on the surface of their red blood cells they are referred to as being ‘Rhesus D positive’ (Rh [...]

Alcohol and Pregnancy

Alcohol and Pregnancy The topic of 'alcohol and pregnancy' has attracted a lot of media attention. This is because of concerns over the adverse health impact of alcohol during pregnancy on the developing baby. For this reason, revised UK-wide guidelines on alcohol consumption during pregnancy were published on 8 January 2016. The Chief Medical Officers for the UK now recommend that pregnant women, or women planning to become pregnant do not drink any alcohol at all. This is a recent change from previous advice to keep any alcohol intake to a minimum. Research shows that experts do not [...]

Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord

Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord The umbilical cord - also referred to as the birth cord, connects the developing baby to the placenta (afterbirth). The cord literally acts as a ‘life line’ supplying the baby with oxygen and nutrients that support its growth and development whilst they are in the uterus (womb).   What does the umbilical cord look like? In a baby that is born at term (around their due date), the cord has a spiral twist and is normally around 50-60 cm long, with a diameter of approximately [...]


Moxibustion In the past it has been thought that women can encourage their baby to turn from breech to cephalic (head down), by kneeling on-all-fours, with their head down and their bottom up in the air. However, research studies have found that this doesn’t actually work. Complementary therapies have however, gained popularity; in particular, the use of a traditional Chinese medicine called ‘moxibustion’. Moxibustion involves the use of the herb Artemis vulgaris – in the UK this herb is better known as mugwort (its Japanese name is ‘moxa’). The [...]

Breech and External Cephalic Version (ECV)

Breech and External Cephalic Version (ECV) It is recommended that all women with a breech baby at term should be offered ECV. The procedure attempts to turn the baby around in a somersault-action, so that they are ‘head down’ before labour starts. It is recommended that ECV is performed from 36 weeks’ of pregnancy where women are expecting their first baby and from 37 weeks’ where this is their second or subsequent baby. Depending on your situation, ECV can be performed right up until you give birth. Other studies [...]

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