The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Does anyone know if there is a recommendation re: following
cervical length if a woman has had a full term pregnancy since a
LEEP or conization without problems, and is now pregnant
again?? Is it recommended to still follow cervical length in
I think it varies by clinician but I recommend a 'baseline'
measurement at 12 weeks followed by a comparison when routine 20wk
anatomy scan is performed. If cervix is found to < 3cms and/or
a significant interval change occurs, then increased surveillance
would be indicated (which would be clinically coordinated based on
the individual hx). IMO the most period is 24-28 and the
time when patients with increased risk for associated 'incompetent
cervix/PTL' would typically declare.
rejected for biophysical profile [20 July 2004] - The
amniotic fluid index has both low specificity and sensitivity for
identifying women with oligohydramnios at risk of cesarean
delivery for fetal distress.
profile with amniotic fluid volume assessments.
Magann EF, Doherty DA, Field K, Chauhan SP, Muffley PE, Morrison JC.
Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Jul;104(1):5-10.
The AFI offers no advantage in detecting adverse outcomes compared with the single deepest pocket when performed with the BPP. The AFI may cause more interventions by labeling twice as many at-risk pregnancies as having oligohydramnios than with the single deepest pocket technique.
Feb. 7, 2003 (HealthScoutNews) -- A low level of amniotic fluid in the last trimester of a pregnancy, often thought to be sufficient cause to induce delivery, is not reason enough to do so.
Johns Hopkins researchers who studied the health of more than 250 babies born at 37 weeks of gestation say they found that babies whose mothers had low levels of amniotic fluid were of normal size. And the babies had no greater risk for health problems than babies whose mothers had normal levels of amniotic fluid.
"This study indicates that we don't want to intervene because of a Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI) of less than five if everything else is normal," says study author Dr. Ernest M. Graham, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University.
Graham presented the results of his study on Feb. 7 at the annual
meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San
with borderline amniotic fluid index.
Banks EH, Miller DA
Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999 Jun;180(6 Pt 1):1461-3
The researchers conclude that borderline amniotic fluid index merits careful attention and twice weekly antepartum testing.
fluid index of </=5 cm necessitate delivery in high-risk
pregnancies? A case-control study.
Magann EF, Kinsella MJ, Chauhan SP, McNamara MF, Gehring BW, Morrison JC
Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999 Jun;180(6 Pt 1):1354-9
High-risk pregnancies with an amniotic fluid index of </=5 cm appear to carry intrapartum complication rates similar to those of similar high-risk pregnancies with an amniotic fluid index of >5.
Midwifery Today, Autumn, 1999, carries a discussion of the
apparent contradiction in these studies and suggests that midwives
need to take many factors into account in deciding when to
intervene during pregnancy and delivery.
antepartum diagnosis of oligohydramnios at or beyond 34 weeks'
Casey BM, McIntire DD, Bloom SL, Lucas MJ, Santos R, Twickler DM, Ramus RM, Leveno KJ
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2000 Apr;182(4):909-12
We believe that neither our results nor similar results reported by others necessarily prove that antepartum oligohydramnios requires intervention, Dr. Casey's group writes. They note that the amniotic fluid index measurement is not precise, and that individual physicians have their own thresholds for interventions.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to summarize five cases where subtotal
immersion was associated with an increase in the amniotic fluid
index. STUDY DESIGN: Five women with oligohydramnios, as defined
by an amniotic fluid index < 8 cm, who underwent subtotal
(shoulder-deep) immersion therapy are described. RESULTS: The mean
pretreatment amniotic fluid index was 4.9 +/- 3 cm. After
immersion therapy was instituted, the amniotic fluid index
increased an average of 6 +/- 2.2 cm. In three subjects whose
immersion therapy was discontinued, the amniotic fluid index fell
an average of 4.7 cm. CONCLUSION: Subtotal immersion may help
reverse oligohydramnios stemming from uteroplacental
This is the 1st that I've heard of immersion for this purpose,
but does it occur in a heated pool? i.e. to increase the
vascularity/flow to the placenta? (I may be way off here... like I
said, 1st I've heard of any of this...) But it sounds like an
interesting concept....Good idea, if it works.....(and they told
me to stay out of the hot tub while I was pregnant.....)
Could this possibly be due to lowering of pressure on the cervix?
Or pressure on the placental blood vessels? I find this
I think it's due to the pressure exerted by the immersion fluid on the body, which raises interstitial fluid pressure, causing it to flow back intravascularly, in essence raising the intravascular volume (i.e., hydration) and causing increased uterine blood flow.
Doesn't everyone have to pee when they stay in a swimming pool
for about 20 minutes?
In the Sept/Oct issue of JNM, Michel Odent explains that the mechanism causing the pee-in-the-pool phenomenon is more than just a pressure gradient/increased perfusion thing:
A similar, though less potent effect can be observed in a patient
who is confined to bed rest, where increased venous return from
the lower extremities results in greater cardiac output, a higher
glomerular filtration rate, and a greater volume of urine output.
From Patty Brennan's Guide to Homeopathic Remedies for the Birth Bag, Fourth Edition:
"Too much fluid will keep the baby buoyant and the uterus overextended, so the baby can just float into an undesirable position. Too little fluid will likewise be problematic as the breech baby will not have enough buoyancy to turn. If fluid levels seem to be off in either direction, try the water-balancing tissue salt Natrum Muriaticum. Suggested regimens for varying potencies are as follows (see what works for you):
6X 3 times per day for 1 week or
30C 2 times per day for 3 days or
200C once per day for 3 days or
Treatise on Polyhydramnios
Someone recently mentioned to me that when a pregnant woman
sleeps on her back it disturbs the body's ability to get oxygen to
the baby. It sounded very odd to me. Has anyone heard anything
like this or that any particular sleeping positions interfere with
the flow of oxygen or are bad for the fetus?
If a woman sleeps on her back she is cutting off blood
circulation from the large artery that runs along the
back... Being on one's back for very long can be very
uncomfy for a pg woman
Actually, I think it is the inferior vena cava. And yes, by sleeping on the back a woman can cause the blood flow to be diminished.
That being said, I don't tell my ladies one way or another.
They usually tell me. Many women just cannot lie on their
back. But some find that they always wake on their back and
they are concerned because the books say they shouldn't. I
tell them not to worry about it because if it bothered the babe,
it would bother her and she just plain would/could not do it.
A woman in late pregnancy, when she lies on her back, can cause some compression of the vena cava-the main vein going to the trunk of the body. For some, not all, this causes discomfort and a feeling of lightheadedness due to constriction of blood flow. If you are constricting blood flow from that area, you are also slowing all circulation in the area, so you would also be possibly cutting some circulation of oxygen to the uterus, I imagine.
I think for most women, though, it is something they will feel
themselves and be uncomfortable with if it is a problem for
them. Even slightly elevating the shoulders or being
slightly to one side can alleviate this, if she still wants to be
on her back.
I agree that it makes sense to keep a laboring woman off her back.
But is there really any evidence that sleeping on your back causes any harm to the baby? Some of my clients are inveterate back sleepers, and they feel SO guilty about it. I have done some searches and not found any research about this, which is what I tell them.
I also figure that if their sleep position is causing circulation problems, they're going to wake up with swelling in their feet and legs, which would be a good reason on its own to change sleep positions.
I think of this issue as one of those "old midwives' tales", and
I'd love to see any actual research on the subject.
I agree. While Supine Hypotension can be a problem during labor, it is really not an issue before that time. Common sense tells you that if a woman has circulatory interruption before labor, she will experience symptoms - i.e. dizziness, edema, nausea, etc. - what I lovingly call "the beached whale" symdrome.....and she will change positions to eliminate that feeling.
During labor, however, with the demands of the uterus, the supine position can aggravate the compression of the inferior vena cava, and drop the blood supply available to the contracting uterus. So, avoid the position- simple solution to obvious problem.. NO laboring woman would ever assume the supine position voluntarily, because she would shortly feel the above mentioned symptoms and change positions so she could breathe, and work more efficiently.
Over the years, I have seen research on Supine Hypotension during
labor, but never before labor.
I believe that if you are one of the ones who has that O2
deprivation you will know it because you get either faint or sick
to your stomach. Some of my ladies can't sleep any other
way, and I say their baby will tell them if it doesn't like that
particular position. There CAN'T be a rule, an
absolute. What did women do (and still do) when they didn't
have someone to tell them all these "musts"? They
figure it out. Right?
The link between sleeping on your back and trouble for the baby can clearly be inferred from the data which does exist. If we know an awake mom can have supine hypotensive syndrome (and the data is clear, then why would she NOT have it when she sleeps? The mechanism still exists and I can't think of anything about 'sleep" which would change that..
I say it's probably better to sleep on their sides, but if they were made as back-sleepers then that's probably what's best for them. Our particular bodies are our best guides for what's best.
And the condition only occurs pretty late in pregnancy when many women aren't at all comfortable sleeping on their backs any longer.
But.. I also tell them how easy it is to prevent any potential problem. All one has to do is get a slight tilt to the pelvis -- so a little pillow, or folded blanket or soft towel wedged under one hip does the job. Easy fix. No worries.
Swelling in the legs isn't a reliable indicator of supine
hypotensive syndrome. It's not that type of circulation. It's a
lowering of the blood pressure
which can affect placental flow and fetal heart rate (we see this often when moms labor on their backs because we are monitoring then). There shouldn't be any effect on swelling of hands or feet.
I tell folks no to worry too much about it, because the affects
are mild in most people -- not existent in some people -- and are
only extreme in a minority of people. But it's so easy to sleep
comfortably in other positions -- or even on the back with a
little pillow on the side -- that I think it's worth recommending.
But if moms can't or wont do it -- I have no worries.
OK, I broke down and looked in PubMed:
of the inferior vena cava in the late second trimester on
uterine and umbilical artery blood flow.
Ryo E, Okai T, Kozuma S, Kobayashi K, Kikuchi A, Taketani Y
Int J Gynaecol Obstet 1996 Dec;55(3):213-8
CONCLUSION: The inferior vena cava is compressed in the majority of pregnant women in the second trimester, and the compression may affect the uterine artery blood flow but not the fetal circulation.
Semi-Fowler's positioning, lateral tilts, and their effects on nonstress tests.
Moffatt FW, van den Hof M
J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 1997 Sep-Oct;26(5):551-7
CONCLUSIONS: No statistically or clinically significant differences were found in nonstress tests between the three groups. Lateral tilting did not shorten test time. Results do suggest that hemodynamic changes can occur in 3rd trimester women who are in semi-Fowler's position without a lateral tilt. Lateral tilting of gravidas in semi-Fowler's position during nonstress testing is thus supported to avoid hypotensive symptoms.Maternal and fetal effects of the supine and pelvic tilt positions in late pregnancy.
Neither the left or the right pelvic-tilt position was associated with a significant change in leg blood flow or maternal heart rate compared to the supine position. A possible 'sluice' effect in the placental circulation was not confirmed, as fetal heart rate and umbilical Doppler resistance did not change in any position. . . . Leg BP and Doppler ultrasound measurements of uterine artery resistance may not be adequate measures of the effect of posture on uteroplacental perfusion.
And . . . just when you thought it was safe to sleep standing up:
cava syndrome' during quiet standing--an unexpected observation
in late pregnancy.
Schneider KT, Bollinger A, Huch A, Huch R
Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1984 Aug;91(8):766-71
While studying the lung function of pregnant women at term in four different postures, we were surprised to note marked cyclic accelerations in the heart rate in two-thirds of the women when in a standing position. . . . About 70% of the fetuses showed reduction in the long-term variability, increase in fetal heart rate or periodic accelerations. Although no woman fainted during quiet standing, the maternal circulatory changes were consistent with those seen in the classical vena cava syndrome.But it is safe to sleep on your belly!!! All I can say is that these researchers have never been pregnant!
prone position on the umbilical arterial flow.
Nakai Y, Mine M, Nishio J, Maeda T, Imanaka M, Ogita S
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1998 Nov;77(10):967-9
"The maternal prone position can provide complete relief of uterine compression of the large maternal vessels. "
From Physiology in Childbearing by Dorothy Staples:
"Aortocaval occlusion - The alternative name for aortocaval occlusion is supine hypotensive syndrome. Bevis (1996) believes this is misleading as the fall in blood pressure is a late sign nd reduced placenta perfusion will have occurred before the drop in maternal blood pressure. a reduction in venous return and a fall in cardiac output are produced by the weight of the gravid uterus pressing on and partly occluding the inferior vena cava. It will occur whenever the woman lies supine in late pregnancy. If fetal distress is present the interference with placental circulation will increase the severity of hypoxia.
"Prevention - If the woman has to lie supine the sequence of
events can be avoided by placing a folded blanket or a small
rubber wedge under the mattress to tilt her body 15 degrees to the
left. Modern operating tables and delivery beds have this
function built into their design. Enkin & Wilkinson
(1997) reviewed the use of lateral tilt during CS but found the
data to be poor. However, they stated that low Apgar scores
were fewer and neonatal pH measurements and oxygen tensions
appeared to be better if lateral tilt was used. [This is
from the poor research.]"
Hypertension, Habitual Snoring, and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes [6/23/14] - Pregnant women with hypertension are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that often goes undiagnosed. . . . Because the association was so pronounced, the authors urged all pregnant women who snore to be tested for obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, they noted that obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that is believed to cause or promote hypertension.
Summary of the issues: avoid hot tubs in the first trimester, and then use common sense in enjoying them in the second and third trimesters.
NOTE - Exposure to heat is only a problem if it raises your body
temperature. In general, if the water temperature is at or
below normal body temperature, then it will not cause any
problems, so pregnant women can still enjoy warm baths. If
the water temperature is too warm, then you will start sweating to
try to cool down; if this happens, then you're too hot, and you
need to cool down the bath or get out of the water.
of uterine and umbilical arteries in heat stress during late
Vaha-Eskeli K, Pirhonen J, Seppanen A, Erkkola R
Am J Perinatol 1991 Nov;8(6):385-9
"The effect of a moderate heat stress (20 minutes 70 degrees C) on uterine and umbilical artery blood flow was studied . . . The fetuses of healthy pregnant women are not compromised during or after moderate thermal stress."
In language that most people can understand, this means that if you spend 20 minutes at 158 degrees Fahrenheit (which is really, really hot, even hotter than El Paso, Texas!), your baby will still be fine. Even assuming that this was dry heat (the least stressful on the body because the woman's perspiration would cool her down), this is still very, very hot.
From a practical point of view, you can note that this level of
heat stress caused an increase in the woman's pulse of 26
beats/minute on average. A conservative approach to using
hot tubs would be to check your pulse, and if it increases more
than 20 beats/minute after 20 minutes, get out and cool down a
bit, and then get in and enjoy yourself some more!
and neural tube defects.
Milunsky A, Ulcickas M, Rothman KJ, Willett W, Jick SS, Jick H.
JAMA. 1992 Aug 19;268(7):882-5.
CONCLUSIONS--Exposure to heat in the form of hot tub, sauna, or
fever in the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with an
increased risk for NTDs. Hot tub exposure appeared to have the
strongest effect of any single heat exposure.
During Pregnancy Linked to Birth Defects [2/24/14] - The
researchers conclude that they "found substantial evidence to
support an adverse impact of maternal fever during pregnancy."
They suggest that future studies be conducted prospectively,
assess longer-term health outcomes, and consider timing, duration,
and extent of fever.
Limitations of the study include the consideration of elevated maternal temperature and not the underlying cause of it (type of infection).
One of my clients called reporting something coming out of her
vagina. I went and saw her and yup, it was her cervix. She is 13
This should resolve when the uterus grows 'up and over' the pubes
@ ~16-18 wks (depending on maternal habitus/uterine growth)
Meanwhile, avoid any activities which have potential valsalva, I'd
substitute some? of the Kegels for the knee-chest posture prn,
watch for UTI d/t potential urinary retention.
Sponge Tampons can be used to support a prolapsing uterus.
likely to become incarcerated in second trimester.
Anyway, what happens (according to the theory that I learned in a medical setting, which may be different from what midwives know) is that the fundus of a retroverted uterus gets trapped in the posterior portion of the pelvis and the uterus, as it expands, pushes against the urethra and obstructs the bladder. It can also put lots of pressure on the rectum and the nerves in the pelvis. This pressure can result in miscarriage, or the pregnancy can continue, expanding the anterior wall of the uterus--a very uncomfortable and unnatural condition.
I saw two cases of this in residency. My first clue was having a hard time finding the cervix during a speculum exam--it was very anterior and pointing posterior (imagine that the uterus is bent 90deg at the junction between the body and the cervix). Bimanual exam confirmed a firm mass in the posterior pelvis--unmistakably the pregnant fundus. Fetal heart tones could not be heard with the uterus in this position. I can't believe I have forgotten the exact details of these two cases--I know one miscarried and one had a full term baby. I think OB reduced one and I reduced the other.To reduce the uterus: Place the woman in knee/chest position and push hard on the fundus. In addition, you may wish to place a tenaculum on the cervix so you can pull it towards the perineum. I have felt the satisfying "plunk" of the uterus moving into the pelvis and then been able to hear heart tones. I have also read about somehow using the same position, then introducing a flexible sac containing mercury and allowing this weight to more gradually reduce the uterus.
While apprenticing, I assisted with an Amish woman with a bicornate uterus through three pregnancies, and know of the outcome of her first and fifth pregnancies as well.
First pregnancy ended up in spontaneous abortion at 16 weeks.
Second pregnancy was a term breech presentation at home. uncomplicated.
Third baby born vertex at home at about 34 weeks gestation, no complications, precipitous labor, we missed the birth by about 7 minutes. Bicornate uterus was discovered during fundal massage in fourth stage of labor.
Fourth baby, came at about 34 weeks in footling breech/sort of transverse position with umbilical cord dangling down around the presenting part. Transferred to hospital at 8cm, BOW intact, Baby born vaginally w/o complication within 10 minutes of arrival at hospital.
Fifth baby born by C-sec, at 30 weeks with abruptio placenta.
She has conceived 2 more times, and carried to term uneventfully
twice. She now is thinking about a 3rd child." I've told her my
gut feeling is that she would have another uneventful pregnancy,
but that she still is at a higher risk of prematurity, although
probably not as high as the literature says given her
I've got a nice review--"Reproductive Potential of the Anomalous
Uterus," Phillip Patton and Miles Novy. Seminars in Reproductive
Endocrinology 6 (2):217-233, May 1988. 92 references.
It classifies the Mullerian anomalies into 5 categories and looks
at the literature on each. Unfortunately, for many categories
including bicornuate uterus, it doesn't specifically address
SUBSEQUENT pregnancies, though the individual articles might.
Table 4 (reprinted without permission)--Pregnancy outcome in the bicornuate uterus
|Capraro et al.||38||137||30||14||56||61|
|Heinonen et al.||44||98||28||22||50||63|
The references above are:
Those references include:
My impression is that the more pregnancies they have, the more
the uterus is "stretched out". Thus, they make their risk smaller
and smaller spontaneously.
I have a student/client with a bicornate uterus who is 29 weeks pregnant (1st pregnancy). Preterm labor is being well-managed (has stopped) with bedrest, oral terb, & cerclage (at 14wks/1cm). Having made it this far, she is now thinking ahead to delivery, and what problems she may have then.
Her OB has mentioned she is at increased risk for uterine rupture of the "non-pregnant" horn during labor/delivery. He himself admits he cannot give her percentages for this happening, but that it has happened to one of his patients with a bicornate uterus. But then, he also admits, that he has had very few patients with bicornate uterus, so his experience is limited.
Her OB will remove the cerclage at 36 weeks. He has mentioned
scheduling a c-section to prevent rupture, but my client is
concerned that this is too drastic a decision without more
Leave her alone. The delivery will be natural. One is always
astonished to see how many unicornuate or bi uterus are unknown
I agree 100%.
I agree, she may deliver vaginally at term with no problem. I assume you will take the cerclage out at 38 weeks or so?
I have had two of these patients, both delivered vaginally. They
were watched closely for pre-term labor, one had it; the other
didn't. Neither had a cerclage, although I considered it and
checked the literature. Couldn't convince myself to do it.
I concur completely. I have never heard of a rupture of the
non-pregnant horn. It doesn't even make sense, since that is the
thicker and hence stronger horn.
If he is concerned about rupture, then why not treat her as a
VBAC. I have read reports of rupture of a uterus without previous
surgery, but I have never seen one. I have to think that they are
very unlikely (but not impossible). It seems that his approach is
somewhat coloured (that's the Canadian spelling) by his past
experience (as it is for all of us). I would be just as concerned
about an abnormal presentation (breech, shoulder, cord). I would
think she should be given the option of vaginal delivery in a
setting where immediate C/S is possible.
If she presents in labor with a vertex presentation, I would let
her labor like anyone else.
If vertex, allow labor. As it has been said - we don't know how many of these are never diagnosed because they conceive spontaneously, labor and deliver spontaneously. If non vertex, I would hesitate about version, but I have tried and have taken care of one (undiagnosed as uterine duplication because needed no procedures) who (yes its anecdote and meant as such) that was followed by a lay midwife, taken to two other places for attempted version, known to be footling breech, went into labor spontaneously at 42 weeks, known to have had a fast labor with her first baby, the lay MW went to her home (out in the boonies) found her to be 8 cm, then rushed her to our hospital 'cause we were closest (she would usually use another hospital). Since footling breech and neither I nor my partners had prior rapport with her and it was footling, I did do a C/S. She thought we were great and came to us for her next pregnancy with a successful VBAC. I've taken care of another with complete duplication - First pregnancy in side A with normal labor and delivery. Second pregnancy in side B - She had a First Stage that was like a "first" labor (first for that uterus) and a Second Stage that was like a "second" labor - the vagina and perineum had given birth before. Neat people with interesting stuff mom nature did to them, keeps us thinking and on our toes for all the variations we see.
See also: Well Woman /
Fibroids with Complementary Medicine By Lewis Mehl-Madrona,
Embolization for the Treatment of Symptomatic Uterine Fibroid
Tumors [Medscape registration is free]
for Uterine Fibroids [Medscape registration is free]
Method Shows Promise in Treatment of Fibroids [Medscape
registration is free]
Fibroids - Natural Medical Protocols
Integrative Medicine articles about uterine fibroids:
Stress Reduction for Relief of Fibroids & Endometriosis by Susan M. Lark M.D.
Uterine Fibroids by David L. Hoffmann B.Sc. (Hons), M.N.I.M.H.
Uterine Myomas (i.e., Uterine Fibroids) - Translated with commentary by Bob Flaws, Dipl. Ac. & C.H., FNAAOM
Uterine Fibroids from Naturopathy Online
Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D talks about a study they're
conducting about uterine fibroids at Shadyside
- "We have a study under way on complementary medicine treatment
of uterine fibroids, which has three components. Guided imagery or
visualization is one; Chinese medicine with acupuncture and
nutritional modification and herbs is the second treatment; and
the third treatment is a kind of deep tissue body therapy
primarily related to the pelvis and We have a study under way on
complementary medicine treatment of uterine fibroids, which has
three components. Guided imagery or visualization is one; Chinese
medicine with acupuncture and nutritional modification and herbs
is the second treatment; and the third treatment is a kind of deep
tissue body therapy primarily related to the pelvis and abdomen.
About Uterine Fibroids from Women First Healthcare
Uterine Fibroids from MEDLINEplus.
We were talking about non-pharmaceutical pain relief, and we talked about warm baths, and it occurred to me that a TENS unit might provide some pain relief.
Does anyone know anything about TENS use during pregnancy? Any
thoughts on safety? Placement of the electrodes (same
location as for labor?)
I cared for my daughter-in-law with a twisted fibroid stem in
pain. A homeopath recommended colecynth 30x that cut the pain
before she got home and although' the fibroid grew until about
26/40 wks. she never had a problem.
I'm here to suggest hypnosis. This is a very safe and
effective option for pain relief; no negative side effects and
many positive effects: pain relief, constant availability,
self empowerment, a skill with a broad range of
applications that the woman takes with her through the rest of
I understand the pain she is going through as I had a necrotic
fibroid myself. I did find that pain was well controlled with
Tylenol #3. The codeine is not that bad for the baby and it made
things easier for me. Without proper pain control she just might
go into prem labor........from
the irritable uterus. Alcohol could also help. Be assured that the pain will eventually go away probably about 30 weeks, but in the meantime she needs to get the pain under control!
I am looking for information on fibroid tumours during pregnancy
or more specifically what I might expect the impact of fibroids to
be postpartum. I have a client G3P1 who has a fibroid located in
the fundus of her uterus. My concern is postpartum hemorrhage.
What size is the fibroid?
I'm not sure. I got the impression it was 2-3 inches in diameter
when picked up by u/s last pregnancy. This seems big to me but I
have no experience with these at all. I can't palpate it but will
try more carefully next time. It was picked up by u/s last
pregnancy. I wonder if it would be worthwhile for her to have an
a 2-3 inch fundal fibroid should cause no problems at all with PP
bleeding. The ones to worry about are those grapefruit sized ones,
which are obvious on abdominal exam (I suppose if they were
posterior you might not feel them). If she is s=d and you can't
feel irregularities, I would not worry.
Gemmotherapy recommendations for uterine fibroids (from Dolisos):
European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) Buds 1DH: 50-100 drops 3 times per ay t help relieve uterine congestion
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) Young Shoots 1DH: 50-150 drops 3 times pre day to help with hormonal equilibrium
"SEQUOIA GIGANTEA: Prostatic hypertrophy and adenoma, uterine
fibroids. " from GEMMOTHERAPY
One of the studies that I haven't had time to do any serious work on lately is the use of pycnogenol, a natural proanthocyanidin extract from such sources as grape skins and pine bark.
The study will get done within the next two years, but until then, I can tell you that since there are no other nonsurgical possibilities, it's worth a try. If it works, she'll probably have about 50% shrinkage at the end of 3 months, 75% at six months, and 90% at a year. They'll probably never go away with pycnogenol but may well become symptom free. And three months isn't too long in the grand scheme of things to be doing intermittent cathing if you can save a surgery from it. As a side benefit, once we have big enough numbers, we may be able to show significant anti-cancer effect from this extract.
If she uses it, do me a favor, please, and report the details to
me so that I can incorporate the data point. Dose is 1 mg/lb body
Client pregnant with her 10th baby, has an umbilical hernia which protrudes about 3 1/2 inches most of the time but when she lies down she can move her stomach in such a way that it goes down to about an inch. She is 38 weeks pregnant. The hernia is not bothering her now but it bothered her quite a bit at the beginning of pregnancy. She is planning to have it surgically corrected some time after the birth.
To our questions:
I've seen these handled three ways:
One -- mom holds her hands over the area when she pushes
two -- mom wears a "wrap" during labor
three -- it is simply ignored.
The outcome has always been the same -- no problems with either approach.
I do think mom should be advised to refrain from heavy-duty pushing. She's a multip and if she wanted could probably deliver without any pushing at all -- or only the most gentle pushes. I think it'd be advantageous to "breathe" the baby out. Since she is high parity, she probably won't have more than a couple second stage contractions anyway.
Can't see how the maternal position could be relevant to anything.
I wouldn't advise trying any sort of exercise during pregnancy.
PS -- these are actually pretty common. I've seen some pretty good sized ones -- especially in high multips. I don't think I've ever heard of any problem with them -- has anyone?
I don't think they carry the same risk of intestinal protrusion
as other types of hernia sine the peritoneum covers the area quite
I have only seen one umbilical hernia in a pregnant woman. and it didn't need any support. this mom had three babies with it till she got around to getting it fixed. didn't seem to bother her once she was 6 1/2 months or so.
I have run into this situation twice in the past couple of
years. I used a wide abdominal binder on these ladies during
labor for support. The same kind one would apply after
abdominal surgery.. Cost about $13 through a surgical supply
house. Might only be available by prescription, but you
could rig one up with material. The fancy ones are stretchy
elastic with velcro closures, and I always carry a couple of sizes
with me for my moms with pendulous abdomens. Sometimes will
help guide the head into the pelvis.
We have many women with beta thal trait. They really do quite well, and no special care is needed. You will never correct the anemia if it is due to beta thal. These women should have the normal amount of iron that other pregnant women get.
Here is a good "one stop shopping" website on hemoglobinopathies.
with High-Risk HPV Present in Pregnancy [Medscape
registration is free]
If you read the above carefully, you realize that molar pregnancies can co-exist with normal pregnancy, so hearing a heartbeat doesn't rule it out, AND . . . this one kind of blew me away . . . choriocarcinoma can develop after a normal pregnancy, but is easily ruled out by a negative pregnancy test.
So . . . what does all this mean in terms of providing responsible (ethically and legally) midwifery care?
HCG levels with first lab work to rule out molar pregnancy, with or without normal pregnancy?
If done early, should they be repeated later in pregnancy to
confirm fallen levels?
Varney's suggests 100 days post-LMP if molar pregnancy is suspected.
Postpartum pregnancy test - how many days? Or would low HCG levels in mid pregnancy be sufficient.
Anyone know ACOG recommendations on all this?
I've had 2 molar pgs in my career. The deal with them is, if the pregnant mom doesn't know until, say, quickening, or, fhts heard with fetoscope, the situation can get more malignant. Early diagnosis is important which is why I try to see clients at 11 weeks to listen with a Doppler.
I understand the importance of early diagnosis of molar pregnancy, but I'm uncomfortable with frightening moms into routinely allowing me to use a doppler when they're otherwise opposed, especially when it's to try to detect such a relatively rare occurrence.
And, of course, I find myself asking what you do if you aren't able to pick it up with the doppler. Do you send all clients for a "real" ultrasound if you haven't heard FHT by 11 weeks? (Or maybe you have an U/S machine in your office?)
Do you have any ready references for the increased risk in waiting an additional 8 weeks for other positive signs of pregnancy?
I will use this information to inform my clients and expand the
ever-increasing universe of informed consent choices.
Wouldn't it be a reasonable compromise to get HCG levels with
initial labs? A normal HCG level would rule out molar
pregnancy without exposing the baby to ultrasound.
I'm working with a woman who is bleeding from the nipples. It is
a bit watery, but very much blood and she says that if she wears a
sports bra it goes through that and her shirt in a day, so this
isn't a small amount either. Her doc has never heard of this
and so she was sent to an specialist who had never heard of it.
She will get a mammogram after the birth, but I am thinking that
it must be a tumor, but in both breasts? Have any of you
ever heard of this?
I had a lady doing this with her first baby last year. Had
done some breast pumping during labor and got lots of bloody
discharge, and she said that had been going on for awhile. I
took her to see a specialist pp and he said it was normal.
But if it didn't clear up in days to come back, but it did clear
up and she breast fed.
Bleeding from the breast is rare and could be several things. Of course the mom should be referred to a physician in case she did have something serious going on or even a benign intraductal papilloma, but I would ask if she had had any breast trauma such as wearing breast shells or trying to express colostrum.
Sometimes the reason for the bleeding is not known. Chele marmet calls this "rusty pipe" syndrome. It is most common in first-time moms. It usually resolves itself and in no way interferes with breastfeeding.
Sometimes bleeding is due to warty type growths in the
ducts. They are not really tumors and do not preclude
I am a La Leche League Leader and have some information about blood from the nipples.
If it helps to know that there's a benefit to profuse salivation during pregnancy, it is that it helps to keep your teeth and gums were in excellent shape!
She has tried the suggestions of limiting starchy/acidic foods,
small frequent meals, gum, upping water consumption, various teas.
Does anyone else have something along these lines to suggest as a
way to help out with this problem?
Often sucking on hot (atomic) fire balls helps.
Those tiny little sherbet pip sweets helped one woman I know of
for the excess saliva.
Any thoughts what to do with pregnant women with constant
salivation? Have a 18 week OB who must carry a cup to spit
in because she has such excess salivation. (Much as I hate to
admit this, I find this absolutely disgusting....although I know
she has no control over this, I just hate spit. It's hard to even
One of my OBs suggested an anticholinergic drug which he uses for over active bladder, and which has particularly nasty dry mouth as a side effect, but we are both reluctant to use this in pregnancy.
So how about midwifery remedies?
Some say that eating celery helps. This is recommended by
Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Has she tried one of the really drying type of mouthwashes?
(Listerine comes to my mind!) Also, have you talked to a dentist
about ideas? Homeopathy might also have some remedies.
Keeping mints or hard candy to suck on sometimes helps as
adjusting starches in the diet (usually lessening).
Astringent mouthwashes are recommended, but my ladies haven't
reported that this helped for very long. I wonder if comfrey
tea would help. It usually helps to balance mucous membranes
- if they're too wet, dry them up; if too dry, help make them
In the book, "Natural Healing for the Pregnant Woman," the
homeopathic remedy Tabacum (I'd never heard of it) was recommended
for "profuse salivation." It is recommended to take a 6C or
30C potency every 15-30 minutes for 3 doses, then one to four
I had this with all three of my pregnancies and have had a few clients experience it also. It is usually concurrent with not just nausea but vomiting and dehydration.
My only relief was B6 shots. In between I kept Kleenex or
paper towels in my mouth to absorb the "fluids" :-). (I still
don't like the word SPIT.) Of course - I was too sick to go
out and about - so no one else, outside of family, was really
offended. When my husband was going though a checkout at the
grocery store with my 6 year old, the gal asked what all the
Kleenex were for. "Oh, my mom's pregnant!", my daughter
pronounced! I'm sure that kept the checkout gal wondering
:-) Anyway - I feel for the gals with ptyalism - it's kind
of a vicious circle thing.
Attached are the articles, I think are most helpful in answering these types of questions (what can we do to maximize good outcomes?)
As I mentioned in the AIM talk, there are a number of problems with these types of broad based studies
The risks associated with advanced age include:
Abruption, previa, low birth weight, preterm birth, perinatal mortality (IUFD and neonatal mortality)
The absolute risks are modest - for instance the perinatal morality in those >45 in the Jacobsen paper are 1.4%. The table (hazard ratio) from the Reddy paper is chilling >8/1000 pregnancies in those >40. in this paper the risk increased in those >37 weeks
Important to keep in mind, that most women will not have this outcome but when you compare it to those aged 20-20 (0.5%) it is statistically different.
If you look at low birth wt (and we know these babies are at a higher risk of IUFD) – again the risks are modest (Aldous – from WA state).
There is no study proving the efficacy of antenatal testing, but I do believe that is helps avoid CD, and IUFD.
UCSF recommendations for antenatal testing are attached
Fet Guide '09 short.pdf
In one of DeLee's books he makes the observation that elderly primips do as well as younger primips as long as two conditions are met:
1. the woman is in general good health with no underlying medical conditions (heart disease, hypertension, diabetes etc.)
2. the primip who got pregnant "easily" can generally expect a
better outcome than the woman who conceives with difficulty. If a
woman takes years to conceive, then we have to wonder about her
hormonal function. If she marries late and gets pregnant in the
first year, it proves she probably has normal functions.
Moms Take Heart: You May Be More Likely To Live Longer
[6/28/14] - Women who had their last child after the age of 33 had
twice the odds of "exceptional longevity" — defined as living to
about 95 — as did women who had their last child before age 29 . .
. [Ed: My theory is that the baby's stem cells get back into the
mom's organs and revitalize them.]
labor in healthy women.
J Perinatol. 1999 Mar;19(2):114-9.
RESULTS: The mean length of the active-phase, first stage was 7.7
hours for nulliparas and 5.6 hours for multiparas (statistical
limits of 2 standard deviations from the mean were 17.5 and 13.8
hours, respectively). The mean length of second stage was 54
minutes for nulliparas and 18 minutes for multiparas (statistical
limits 146 and 64 minutes, respectively). Variables associated
with longer labors were electronic fetal monitoring, ambulation, maternal
age over 30 years, and narcotic analgesia. Morbidity was not
increased in longer labors.
outcome among mature women.
Porreco RP, Harden L, Gambotto M, Shapiro H.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jan;192(1):38-41.
"When controlled for parity and plurality, mature women over 45
years conceiving largely through ART with donor eggs can expect
newborn outcomes similar to younger women cared for in the same
setting of a high-risk maternal-fetal practice."
with age [10/12/04] - Older mothers are more anxious during
their pregnancy and less likely to have the social support younger
mothers enjoy, a study has found. But they are also less
starry-eyed about parenthood, and will perhaps make better mothers
Roberts CL, Algert CS, March LM
Med J Aust 1994 May 2;160(9):539-44
The risks associated with pregnancies in women over 35 are
primarily related to pre-existing medical conditions such as
hypertension. Overall health appears to be more important
Midlife Mommies - A
treasure chest of resources for first-time moms over 35. We offer
info on business, health and fitness, in addition to providing a
place to tell your personal story.
explain high caesarean section rates among women over 30? A
BMJ 2001;322:894-895 ( 14 April )
Please, I want to hear your stories of your oldest clients, and
how they did. Good births, problems, SAB's, etc.
My experience of older mothers giving birth at home has been very
positive. Just staying away from a hospital improves their
chances of having an ecstatic birth. I'm interested to know what
their job history has been. Women who have been airline
stewardesses, x-ray technicians, firewomen, Kinko's employees,
etc. may be at higher risk for birth defects because they have
been exposed to radiation or chemicals. If there is no
history of work related pollution, I have only found one thing
consistent with over 38 yr old mothers and that is "The older the
woman, the cuter the baby."
I assisted a woman this summer that was 45yo, g6p4 ages 24, 13,
9, 6yo. 1st forceps breech, 2nd C/s for active HSV, 3rd induced
ybac, 4-sab, 5-ybac at home (got tired of docs and hospitals
looking for problems) 6-sab, 7 6mo after sab. very supportive and
same husband with last 3 children . excellent diet. Living 40
miles from the closest hosp. She had her 1st 2 visits at the local
clinic with FP docs, who strongly recommended hosp birth d/t age
and distance to hosp and refused referral for HB. She and here
family were well aware of her risk factors, they also were aware
of the risks of going to the hospital for routine birth with her
"risk" factors. she used a lot of herbs throughout, chiro care for
her back, she was in a lot a back pain at the end. she was totally
receptive to transferring to hospital/docs at the earliest signs
of problems. she gained the most she had of all preg, and felt her
yrs at the end of preg. 9 hrs latent, 4 hrs active, 20min pushing.
17min3rd followed by 450-500cc bldg. (I saw my partner
inadvertently put a lot of tension on the cord right after birth
which probably may have contributed.) Mom and babe are great!
My oldest mom was 46 when she gave birth to her sixth child. She was a nice Mormon woman, had a pretty decent diet, no major health problems other than being over weight. It seemed like her biggest problem was feeling overwhelmed with having yet another child somewhat unexpectedly. Her pregnancy was uncomplicated, and she gave birth at home without any problems.
Another mom I cared for, who is a friend of mine, was 45 when she gave birth to number 6 also. She had a number of SAB's prior to her last pregnancy, with no history of earlier SAB's. Her husband had had a vasectomy which had been reversed as they decided they wanted one more baby! The SAB's began occurring after the reversal, and it took about 3 years before she was able to conceive and carry to term. She felt pretty tired and run down in the last pregnancy, and mostly scared of losing the baby, but the birth and postpartum was uncomplicated.
The oldest first time mom I took care of was 43. Other than having many anxieties that I don't see as much in younger women, she was fine. She did develop a severe type of gestational pruritis (I don't remember which type as there are several -- I was not her primary care giver) that made it difficult to sleep or get comfortable at all. She had a normal vaginal birth, and had no real difficulties. She had a second baby about one year later and was induced, I believe, because the itching problem made her so miserable. She had no birth complications but did have problems with breastfeeding afterwards, related I suspect to meds in labor.
The highest parity mom I have cared for is 8 now. I am not sure
what you are looking for. I have the impression over the years
that parity may make more of a difference as moms get older than
the actual age........
Let's see, you want good stories for primips 35+?
This is a bit clinical sounding, but I wanted to give you some numbers to show primips over 35 can have "normal" births. However, as you can see there was significant intervention compared (ie, arom) to what we, as natural birth advocates, would like to see.
As far as the length of their labor from about 3cm and relative ease:
38 yr old = 5 hrs/arom/epidural
40 yr old = 15 hrs/arom/epidural
36 hr old = 7 hrs/arom/epidural
35 yr old = 5 hrs/augmentation/epidural
36 yr old = 6 hrs/augmentation/non-medicated
37 yr old = 13 hrs/arom/epidural
36 yr old = 6 hrs/non-medicated
39 yr old = 6 hrs/narcotic
40 yr old = 6 hrs/augmentation/spinal during pushing
39 yr old = 5 hrs/augmented/non-medicated
37 yr old = 6 hrs/non-medicated
38 yr old = 7 hrs/narcotic
35 yr old = 13 hrs/induction/narcotic
35 yr old = 9 hrs/induction/epidural
38 yr old = 9 hrs/induction/no meds
36 yr old = 14 hrs/epidural
36 yr old = 9 hrs/augmentation/epidural
I never thought any thing different due to their age. I find that if the woman is generally healthy, has a good mind set, and frequent exercise is a factor, I don't see much difference if their labors. I find that sedentary life style and mind set are the biggest factors for difficult births in my book. Just my 50 cents worth.
I purposefully left out the complicated births, but there were
only 6 that went much longer and became complicated due to
fatigue, intervening or natural phenomenon. Far less of them than
what I listed above.
Last year I looked after a 43 year old primigravida who was a GP. We both did a (not particularly rigorous) search of the literature and too found inconsistent results. Neither of us could find any good quality research to support the use of a high risk label being applied to a primigravida on age alone.
She had a Registrar give her a full run down of all the 'risks' and suggested an elective LSCS at 38 weeks to be on the safe side. My client listened to his advice and considered her options but in the absence of any other complications went on to have a quick (OP) birth at home with no complications and a speedy recovery.
In fact my colleagues and I look after many older primigravida (I
guess we would class that as 40 and over) with several women being
42 or 43. What has surprised us has been the trend that these
women, if low risk in all other ways, appear on the whole to have
very quick and 'easy' labours. Clearly our clientele are not a
cross section of older primigravida but we have wondered what
influences this.. a healthy lifestyle, social support, preparation
(plus time and money for this) or just a weaker pelvic floor (not
our own observation - that of a client!)
Oldest mom was 47; oldest primip was 44. I've heard of a
few at 50. Never heard of any problems (my few moms in
their forties have done great)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association
PCOS increases risks associated with pregnancy and birth. If the
mom's hormonal levels are aberrant enough, that placenta just
doesn't get properly situated and that can lead to the other
problems down the road that, statistically, are more common in
women with PCOS - PIH, pre-eclampsia, abruptio, etc.
Abnormal placentation can lead to additional problems during the
birth. Also, PCOS is an inflammatory condition (most will
have elevated CRP values) and that inflammation probably also
contributes to the increased incidence of the above diagnosed
See also: WaterBirth for
Study Finds Strong Link Between Pre-Pregnancy Obesity, Infant Deaths [1/20/16] - Pre-pregnancy obesity is strongly associated with infant mortality, and compliance with weight-gain guidelines during pregnancy has a limited impact on that mortality risk, according to a study published online in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. [Ed: Takeaway message: there's tremendous benefit in reducing weight BEFORE becoming pregnant. In particular, carrying the extra weight contributes to blood pressure and blood sugar issues during pregnancy. However, it's not healthy to lose fat during pregnancy since fat contains stores toxins; losing the fat releases the toxins into the mother's bloodstream and thus into the baby's.]
Excessive gestational weight gain and obesity increased cesarean
delivery risk in both adolescent and adult pregnancies, according
to a study of 1,034,552 Ohio births where analyses were limited to
309,935 singleton live births in term primiparous women.
• Cesarean delivery increased by 31% with excessive weight gain compared with Institute of Medicine (IoM)-recommended gestational weight gain (22%)
• Cesarean delivery increased overweight (31%), obesity (41%) compared with normal body mass index (BMI).
• Compared with adults, teens have 47% lower primary cesarean delivery risk.
• Excessive gestational weight gain increased risk in adults by 50%.
Citation: Beaudrot M, DeFranco EA, Elchert JA. c Obstet Gynecol 125:2S, May 2015. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000463524.12783.be [Ed: I wasn't able to find this reference in PubMed.]
During Pregnancy Impairs Breast-Feeding Ability [Medscape
registration is free] - This article suggests that the elevated
levels of progesterone supplied by fat in the body may reduce milk
supply. However, it also suggests that more attention to a
proper latch and baby and maternal position may reduce this
problem. Personally, as a midwife, most of the breastfeeding
problems I've seen have been in women who are on the thin side -
they may not have enough fat to support breastfeeding hormones, or
they may already have body image issues that make it difficult for
them to appreciate their breasts as a source of nutrition and
comfort for their babies.
Website - Kmom's site
Baby Becoming -
Clothing for the Big, Beautiful, Pregnant and Nursing
Woman. Charlotte is proud to be the Pregnancy Advocate
for NAAFA. (National Association for the Advancement of Fat
Acceptance) PHONE: 401.658.0688 or 1-888-MOMMY10
(1-888-666-6910) FAX: 401.658.3008
Hospital in Western Australia is considering opening a
specialized antenatal clinic for obese women, which they
define as weighing more than about 265 pounds. (It's not
clear whether this is pre-pregnant weight or admission
weight. I think it's admission weight, since much of the
concern is about the hospital staff having to lift heavier moms,
presumably those who have epidurals and aren't able to move
find maternity fashions for plus size women?
Is Weight a Contraindication for
A Dad Talks about His Wife's Experience as
a Large Woman
I would especially appreciate any words of encouragement that any
of you could offer to me as a healthy, but overweight woman (with
normal blood pressure and no family history of GD). I'm on a
mailing list for overweight and pregnant ladies, but they seem to
embrace the medical establishment and there seem to be a
frighteningly high number of c-section and induced births on that
list. Is there anyone on this group who could share with me a
story of a plus-sized homebirth?
I'm on a midwife email list where the subject of heavy women
having babies has come up more than once. Our assessment is that
the medical system is discriminatory toward overweight women and
treat them as walking disasters with no willpower. The experience
of most midwives is that overweight woman who are healthy and take
care of themselves during pregnancy have no more problems during
labor and birth than anyone else. Your perception that overweight
women have higher C/S rates is based in fact - it's true. I truly
don't think that should be happening. It's known that obese women
(perhaps as opposed to large-framed, heavy women) have a higher
incidence of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during
pregnancy, but that doesn't mean that EVERY, or even most obese
women will have these problems. I advocate a lot a attention to
diet during pregnancy, a low weight gain, lots of activity, and a
positive attitude on the part of the woman and her support people.
There shouldn't be any reason why you can't look forward to a
Kliegman, R.M. & Gross, T (1985). Perinatal Problems of the Obese Mother and Her Infant. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 66(3), 299-305.
This article used wt. greater than 200 lbs prior to pregnancy or
during pregnancy as its definition of obesity and did not consider
height. It is a literature review. More gestational diabetes was
found in obese moms. A, the risk of pre-eclampsia was increased.
There was also a higher incidence of twins. Fetal macrosomia was
more common but when obesity was defined as more than 50% of the
ideal wt for height, there was similar Csection rates as for the
general population. Even when moms did not gain much wt. during
the pregnancy, the incidence of low birth wt., and IUGR was
reduced by 50%. Perinatal mortality was improved or at the least
equivalent to compared to that of non-obese moms.
Feelings about Being Naked and
Bodily Emanations while Birthing
Junk Science about Obesity and
Childbearing - I was moved to write this subsection after
reading an article that smacks of junk science: Big
Problems - For Obese and Overweight Women, Pregnancy Ups
Risks To Selves, Babies By Suz Redfearn [2/22/05]
THESE WOMAN ARE LUCKY TO BE HAVING BIG BABIES-------and we need
to tell them that. Sorry for yelling, but I LOVE big
babies. Moms with big babies in my experience have an EASIER
TIME. Yes, I said EASIER........
Had it in June. Momma wanted to get level II u/s with MFM docs. All was well. Didn't hear it again until the end of labor just when I was starting to get concerned about the baby. All was fine, baby born not long after I heard the arrhythmia episode. Baby now 7 weeks old.
Many years ago now we had a client whose baby had an arrhythmia ,
that I heard with a fetoscope , baby was fine, normal nursed....
But at 18 months he tipped head first into a mop bucket was
rescued quickly enough in his rural home and air evaced to the
hospital where he checked out fine as far as the drowning went but
they found a heart anomaly that needed surgery, so any more I want
these babies checked out, not necessarily immediately cuz we would
be seeing signs and symptoms of a baby not doing well but at some
point in the first month.
The few times I've consulted with our back up doc about fetal
arrythmias, he usually says "stop listening so long that you have
a chance to hear it!". We have never had to risk out of OOH
for it (or send to MFM) and most of the time it resolves
spontaneously either before labor or after birth. I agree
with the caffeine - also d/c cold meds, etc.
Anyone have any experience of 'abdominal clicks / sounds' in
pregnancy? I have a client who's 30 weeks, 4th pregnancy,
describing loud clicks emanating from abdomen, loud enough for
husband to hear in same room, not like hiccoughs, several at a
time, associated with fetal movements. Any thoughts?
This is the first time I have EVER had confirmation that this can happen! I thought it was just me!!
When I was pregnant, I sometimes heard exactly what you describe - loud 'clicks' coming from my tummy. They could be heard across the room, sometimes. My mum heard, my DH heard - even the dog heard - but when I mentioned them to HCPs they just looked at me as if I was mad, and said things like 'you must have imagined it', or, it was your stomach growling - which it wasn't - not like that at all.
I have never had any idea what caused the clicks. To me, they sounded like bones creaking, only more a 'click...click...click' - but there was an almost 'electronic' squeak to it, on occasion. It was only every now and then that this happened - and of course, NEVER when a HCP was there. I also associated it with baby moving.
Baby turned out to be breech with a low lying placenta (partial
previa, I believe - not right over the cervix, but in the
way). The clicks seemed to me to come from the lower part of
my abdomen - I wondered if it was her legs? Or maybe it was
a noise from the placenta? Baby doesn't squeak or click
anywhere now, by the way - and she didn't at
It was weird.
Oh - should also mention that the clicks started quite late on -
I think after 28 weeks, though I can't be sure. Of my 4
pregnancies, I only had clicks in that pregnancy.
I've heard quite a few women talk about this, so it can't be *so*
Maybe congenital dislocation of the hip. Not experienced it but
have heard other midwives speak of it!
One of my clients reported this with all of her babies . . .
maybe joint and disc pops could be a normal part of development as
the muscles strengthen?
New Treatment for Genital Warts
I had Dr. Shah for our lectures on HPV (it pays to go to school in the same city as the guys "across town"). Quoting from our handout, which is a chapter in press...about respiratory papillomatosis:
"RRP of juvenile onset is acquired most often by transmission of HPV-6 or HPV-11 at the time of birth, during fetal passage through an infected birth canal.
Children with RRP rarely give a history of birth by cesarean
delivery, an indication that most of the infection occurs by
intrapartum transmission. The possibility of transmission in utero
is raised by occasional reports that RRP was present at birth or
in the first weeks of life. The risk factors for RRP of juvenile
onset are vaginal delivery, being first-born and having a teenage
Does this mean we should section all teenage nulliparas ????
The information I am lacking is the prevalence of HPV6 and 11 in
pregnant women, and the probability of transmission. Shah's paper
did imply that almost all childhood cases were delivered
vaginally, but if, as has been suggested here, the prevalence in
mothers is high and the prevalence of respiratory papillomas in
neonates is low, then no action is probably warranted.
Since most children are delivered vaginally, this is an expected
finding. Consider looking at the proportional data for VD and CS.
I'll still go with the vaginal route. Thanks again.
In the U.S. there have been lawsuits where patients won huge
awards because their doctor "did not perform a c/section to
prevent papillomatosis" but I try not to let juries get in the way
of science :)
The current (1993) STD treatment guidelines from the CDC also
recommend AGAINST c/s for neonatal indications. I would only
consider c/s for large condyloma which may bleed or obstruct
As a doula, MT, and a trainer for MT & pregnancy, I would not
recommend that you find a table with a cut out. Those tables
are extremely bad on the pregnant body they put a tremendous
amount of strain on the low back, the round ligaments.
In the unit where I work, we deinfibulate women antenatally. There is a specialist midwife who does it, usually at about 26 weeks. If the woman prefers, we can do it in labour.
The woman sits with her legs in a stirrupy position (we have a
special bed which is like a cross between a dentists chair & a
birthing bed). The midwife uses lignocaine to anaesthetise
the laabit and then carefully cuts through the infibulation.
We find that most women have complete genitalia underneath the
infibulation. She continues cutting upwards until the
urethra is visible. Then she blanket stitches the cut sides
to prevent them fusing. The woman is given topical
lignocaine gel to apply to the wounds to stop the area
stinging. Apparently the main discomfort is because the
sensitive tissues underneath are exposed for the first time in
many years, and it can take a few weeks to get used to the
avoid germs while traveling (and the rest of the time,
too! REMINDER - Even mild viruses can cause blindness,
deafness and cerebral palsy in your baby.)
Breast-Feeding, and Travel from the CDC
and Flying from the Health Physics Society
[InfoBeat News, 12/12/01] - Most pregnant women who want to
travel this holiday season should not fear that flying will cause
complications or bring on motherhood a little sooner than
expected. According to new recommendations from the American
College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, healthy women with low-risk
pregnancies can safely fly up until their 36th week, or one month
prior to their due date.Women who should not fly at any time
during their pregnancy are those at risk for complications or
pre-term delivery, including women with poorly controlled
diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, or sickle cell
disease - which can be worsened by high altitude.
Traveller from the British Columbia Ministry of Health
flight nurse be allowed to fly?
J Air Med Transp 1991 Jul;10(7):11-2, 15, 19-21
altitude in pregnancy.
Semin Perinatol 1996 Aug;20(4):303-14
staying at high altitude in pregnancy: effects on the mother and
fetus]. [Article in German]
Baumann H, Huch R
Zentralbl Gynakol 1986;108(15):889-99
summary of what the research actually shows about primips and
'engagement' at term OR even in early labor
When I see a nullip not engaged at term, I'm concerned about CPD,
polyhydramnios, malpresentation but might also consider
placenta previa or fibroids as obstructing the head from
entering the inlet of the pelvis. I'd bet on CPD or
Questionable dates? Fibroid or mass in the pelvis? BPD very
large? Cord in front of head? Face presentation? Placenta low
What is normal for a grand multip (G10 P6) as far as fundal heights in the first trimester?? Do you even bother with them?
This mom was feeling her uterus above the pubic bone at supposedly 4.5 weeks, which stimulated her to buy a pregnancy test (which was positive). Solid menstrual dates by NFP charting.
She is now 10 w 4 days. In the AM before emptying her bladder, she can feel the fundus at the umbilicus, but it is "resting" in the abdominal cavity, and her abdomen barely bulges up when she is laying flat. At this point, the fundus measures 18. After using the bathroom, it goes back down to around 16. No fetal movement has been felt.
With her last baby, at 11 weeks, she had an ultrasound due to feeling the fundus halfway between the umbilicus and the pubis. There was only one baby in there, and her dates were exactly correct, the baby even being born on her due date. By 20 weeks the measurements had normalized.
So, how normal is it for the uterus to be floating around even as high as the umbilicus at 10.5 weeks? Should she be thinking twins? Last time the uterus seemed large for dates in the beginning as well. Is it just that the ligaments are so stretched out that the uterus can seem to come "loose from it's moorings?"
I just have not had my hands on a grand-multip uterus before,
especially in the first trimester.
Anything is normal for grandmultips. No, I don't measure them before 20 weeks; I'm just looking for a consistent increase but don't worry about the correlation between centimeters and weeks of pregnancy.
I've known of moms having to go into maternity clothes at 8
weeks, but I do expect them to "normalize" by 20 weeks, when I
This has been moved to: H1N1 Novel
Pandemic Flu (Swine Flu)
Why do pregnant women get so hot, as if there's "a bun in the oven", and they're the oven?
fetal and placental interactions for heat dissipation.
Schroder HJ, Power GG.
Exp Physiol. 1997 Mar;82(2):403-14.
for Vaccinating Pregnant Women - from the CDC.
Baby - 32-week intra-abdominal pregnancy which had died and
APLA is a an abnormal clotting condition. The blood is more coagulatable than usual. People are at higher risk of stroke and thromboembolism. There are many many degrees of the condition though -- and some people are at low risk and some are very high risk. There are some blood tests which can show a person's individual risk....but family history is a good guide.
some people benefit from taking blood thinners like low-dose aspirin. Some need medications. Some simply need to avoid things which increase their risk (like smoking or birth control pills).
During pregnancy the hyper-coagulable state may be increased
further, putting women at risk for embolism and (maybe) at higher
risk for early miscarriage. Anyone with APLA should be evaluated
to see if they need treatment during pregnancy and postpartum.
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