In an ideal world we wouldn’t need to include this section on the website. We want every woman to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and a well baby. While most women avoid pregnancy problems, not everyone is so fortunate. We’ve developed this section of the website to let you know about pregnancy problems, ways to avoid problems and how to respond when things don’t go to plan.
Some pregnancy problems can affect your unborn baby’s health. Certain illnesses can impact your unborn baby so it’s important to address illness in pregnancy. If you have any symptoms that are similar to those mentioned in these articles speak to your midwife or doctor. Educating yourself about any pregnancy problems you develop is a great way to make informed choices about treatment options open to you.
Pregnancy Problem Articles
Molar Pregnancy By Hannah Dahlen A molar pregnancy, otherwise known as an Hydatidiform Mole, occur when a part of the baby that forms the placenta becomes quite abnormal. This can occur when a sperm penetrates an empty ovum (female’s egg) or when a couple of sperm enter an ovum. It occurs about 1 in 1000 to 2000 pregnancies. The mole can be complete, meaning there is no baby present, or partial where there is some part of the baby
What is Gestational Diabetes? Hannah Dahlen Gestational Diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during the pregnancy and then goes away after the baby is born. Around 3-8% of pregnant women will develop Gestational Diabetes at around 28 weeks of pregnancy, as this is the time that most women are tested. Certain women are at higher risk of developing Gestational Diabetes due to their ethnic background (Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Polynesian/Melanesian), being Indigenous Australian or Torres Strait
Herpes and Pregnancy Hannah Dahlen One in eight Australians…… Genital herpes is an extremely common disease with one in eight Australians carrying the virus. There is a lot of misinformation in the community about genital herpes and this means the psychological impact of the disease often outweighs the physical effects. Here are some facts: The reality is that many herpes carriers don’t even know they have the disease, as they may never have symptoms, or only have very mild
Thalassaemia Hannah Dahlen Thalassaemia is the most common inherited blood disorder in the world and it affects the production of haemoglobin, resulting in severe anaemia in those affected. The red blood cells of a person with Thalassaemia only survive a few weeks instead of four months so they require ongoing blood transfusions and treatments to remove the excess iron from their blood. The disorder is passed from parent to child. Thalassaemia mostly affects those with ancestry from Southern Europe, India,
Hyperemisis Gravidarum Hannah Dahlen Hyperemesis Gravidarum HG is characterised by persistent vomiting and severe nausea. The woman suffering from HG is unable to maintain adequate hydration and fluid, electrolyte and nutritional status are jeopardised. Dehydration, ketonuria, electrolyte imbalance and a body weight loss of greater than 5% of pre-pregnancy weight characterise HG. Onset is always in the first trimester, usually 6 to 8 weeks, and tends to re-occur with subsequent pregnancies. HG occurs in around 1:100 pregnancies. HG is associated
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)By Elizabeth RussellThis chapter has been taken in part from the chapter on FASD in my first book by Dr Sterling Clarren.Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is an umbrella term for conditions that are caused as a result of drinking alcohol during pregnancy but is not a diagnosis. Alcohol is a substance that causes birth defects and as such can affect the unborn child’s development. If a woman drinks while she is pregnant the alcohol, no matter
Pre-eclampsia and Vitamins E & C Press Release from Tommy's Baby Charity Women at risk of pre-eclampsia should not take high does of Vitamins C & E during pregnancy. Research published by The Lancet, shows that women at high risk  of developing pre-eclampsia – approximately 20,000 women in the UK each year - should not take high doses of vitamins C & E during pregnancy as it does not prevent pre-eclampsia and actually increases the chance of having
Pubic Symphysitis: A Common Cause of Pain in Pregnancy Hannah Dahlen Pubic symphysitis is one of the most common causes of pain in pregnancy. It can manifest as pain on one side of the lower back, pain radiating into one or both groin areas, or pain around the pubic bone. Pubic symphysitis results when the ligaments and joints of the pelvis become relaxed due to the hormones of pregnancy and become inflamed by certain movement. Pubic symphysitis generally onsets after
Chickenpox- What Pregnant Women Need to Know Hannah Dahlen What is chicken pox? Chicken pox is a very contagious illness caused by a virus called herpes zoster (also known as Varicella-Zoster virus). Over 90% of the population will have had chickenpox by the age of 15, making it a common childhood illness. What are the symptoms? Chickenpox begins with a feeling of being generally unwell. You tend to get a slight fever, runny nose and a skin rash. The
Ectopic pregnancy By Hannah Dahlen Any pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus is called an ectopic pregnancy. The most common site for an ectopic pregnancy is in one of the fallopian tubes that lead from the ovary to the uterus. During conception a woman’s ovum (female egg) is usually fertilized by the sperm in the narrow fallopian tube. This fertilised egg begins to divide and moves into the uterus over the next couple of days. If the fallopian
Understanding Anaemia in Pregnancy Hannah Dahlen Mary was dragging herself around. It was her fourth pregnancy in six years and she was clearly a busy woman. She dismissed her tiredness as part ofthe reality of having three young children to care for whilst growing a baby. When she came to see me in my clinic she leant her head against the wall and in a breathless voice said ‘I’m so exhausted. I just don’t know how I am going to
Prenatal Diagnosis Support By Stephanie Azri Stephanie recounts her story as mother expecting a child with a fatal condition (Potter's Syndrome). Stephanie shares her journey to help other families in a similiar situation and offers them practical support. Talina’s story My husband and I had decided to have another baby with the other two we had. This was just before Christmas 2001. I remember taking my temperature and telling my husband the ‘day’ would be January 8. Indeed it
Smoking and Cleft Lip By Hannah Dahlen A recent analysis of 24 different studies showed there was a significant association between mothers who smoke in early pregnancy and the development of a cleft lip in the baby (a gap in the upper lip) and/or cleft palate (a hole in the roof of the mouth). A woman has approximately a 30 percent increased risk of having a baby with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate and a 20 percent increased risk
Placenta Praevia The placenta is the organ which supplies your baby with nutrients and oxygen via the umbilical cord, as well as removing waste products. The placenta is attached to the wall of uterus by many blood vessels. While it can appear quite low in early pregnancy, as the uterus grows and stretches the placenta is typically drawn up away from the cervix (the lower portion of the uterus). What is Placenta Praevia? In some cases the placenta remains in
What Diet Works Best for Women with Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a glucose intolerance that develops during pregnancy. In pregnancy the woman’s body is not as sensitive to insulin which is needed to lower blood sugar levels. When GDM occurs the body does not produce sufficient insulin. As a result of this insulin insensitivity blood glucose levels rise. GDM is associated with problems for women and their babies including higher rates of intervention during birth, higher birth
Vasa Previa and Me By Claudia Phares Vasa Previa is a rare complication in pregnancy where unprotected blood vessels run across the cervical os. If the blood vessels rupture during labour, or are compressed during birth, consequences for the baby can be rapid and severe. Claudia Phares talks to Katharine Gillett about experiencing Vasa Previa and the care and support she received from midwives It has been seven months since I went into labour with my daughter. I remember feeling
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension By Yvette Barton Whether your pregnancy is managed by a midwife, obstetrician, general practitioner or through the public health system, there are a number of simple observations which will be performed at each antenatal visit. These observations are intended to plot the course of your health during pregnancy and to identify early warning signs of potentially concerning issues. Perhaps the most common of these observations are checking your blood pressure and testing your urine for the presence
Rh Negative Blood and Pregnancy By Anna Russell As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed your midwife or doctor will recommend blood tests to determine your immunity to various illnesses, as well as your overall health, your blood type and your Rh factor. Not everybody knows what their blood type is as it generally doesn’t affect us in a day-to-day sense. However in pregnancy it becomes important, as does the knowledge of whether you are Rh positive or negative.
Preventing High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy with Magnesium SupplementsBy Laura-Jane MarsdenAny pregnant mum will tell you how important it is to have a healthy pregnancy. For some women high blood pressure can cause problems in pregnancy and make the pregnancy higher risk. This occurs in around 1 in 10 pregnancies. Women who take magnesium supplements are less likely to develop high blood pressure in the third trimester. Having an adequate level of magnesium appears to help to keep blood pressure
Perinatal Depression Rhona Barker This week, 17th - 23rd of November 2013, is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week. Perinatal may be an unfamiliar term for some people but it refers to the period from conception through to 12 months after the birth of a baby. The perinatal period is considered to be a time of transition in life, which is wonderful and exciting but where families are also challenged and vulnerable to stress. The community often associates perinatal depression