What is Folic Acid
Folic acid is a B Vitamin (specifically B9) and is found mainly in green leafy vegetables, liver and kidney (because of the high levels of vitamin A in liver and the risks of abnormalities to baby caused by high levels of vitamin A, it is advised that you avoid liver during pregnancy). The level of folic acid required during pregnancy would be extremely difficult to achieve through diet alone, therefore vitamin supplements are advised.
Today, with ultrasound scans and routine antenatal appointments, unidentified twin pregnancies are virtually unheard of in the United Kingdom. With assisted conception and IVF pregnancies twins are increasingly common. There are two types of twin pregnancies; these are dizygotic, where two eggs have been fertilised and monozygotic, one egg is fertilised and divides into two.
Dizygotic twins are non-identical, have two placentas and these pregnancies are the least complicated of the two but are still considered high risk. Monozygotic twins are called identical and are higher risk because of a shared placenta and possible cord entanglement. Although approximately 50 percent of twins are delivered by Caesarean section, that still leaves another 50 percent born vaginally.
There are many alternative or complimentary therapies that you may have heard of, or indeed used before pregnancy. As with everything it’s important to know what’s safe and what has been shown to be effective.
The NHS maternity review was published on Tuesday 23rd February with quite a fanfare; offering opportunity and choice for women during pregnancy, birth and their postnatal period. As with any hefty document the devil is in the detail. There are recommendations about midwives and obstetricians training together; the introduction of electronic notes that are easily accessible; a more stringently governed clinical staff and the clear promise that women will be given the opportunity to decide where their own portion of that maternity budget is spent.
For many different reasons many of us will have very different births; some water, some forceps, some home and some caesarean. What’s important is that we are all new mums, individuals with individual needs. Over my many years as a midwife I have developed an array of knowledge and products on how best to enjoy this time.
In a bid to discover which is the safest place to give birth a massive study of nearly 65,000 women was carried out in England. Over a two year period the ‘Birthplace in England’ study looked at mother and baby complication rates for hospital consultant led units, hospital midwife led units, stand-alone birth centres and home births.
In the final hours of your baby being born, it’s important to be fully aware of what to expect, how to cope with contractions, and what your body is doing during this time.
An epidural is the most effective form of pain relief in childbirth. It can only be administered by an anaesthetist, and for that reason it’s only available in hospital, which means it won’t be an option if you’re planning to give birth at home or in a birth centre. Occasionally, there are situations in hospital where an epidural won’t be possible, either due to your stage of labour, or because of medical issues that would make the procedure unsafe. Your midwife, obstetrician or anaesthetist will be able to discuss this with you in more detail.
Giving birth is one of the most amazing experiences a woman can have, and who you choose to share this journey with is instrumental to your birthing plan. If you’re expecting your first child, the thought of the delivery room can be very daunting. This is why many women seek the professional services of either a doula or midwife in addition to their obstetrician. But what exactly is the difference between the two?
Exercise in pregnancy (and afterwards) is something I feel is vital to a healthy pregnancy, birth and baby. To get the most out of this and to protect your joints in pregnancy it’s extremely important that you use a personal trainer who specialises in pre and postnatal training. (Ask for a list of their qualifications as I have witnessed many training sessions where pregnant women were being instructed to run and do burpees and star jumps!!)