Mama Q&A with Tayla and Jane

Do you remember the Lovely Tayla? Last month she put forward several questions to Jane our Midwife to get some straight to the point answers (which we hope answered some of your own)!

So, lets give you a little update on Tayla… She has found out that she is expecting a little girly and with the weeks flying by she has started to move bring to the forefront the emotions of having another baby (how exciting)! She is continuing to crave anything sweet really proving that she is having a baby girl because what girl doesn’t love her chocolate!

With her now being 22 weeks, like most of you lovely pregnant ladies out there another set of question have come up, which Jane has answered truthfully. So, if you have a moment to kill have a read and there might be a question here you have wanted an answer to.

  1. In pregnancy do you need any extra calories?

We’ve all heard that phrase “eating for two” but actually you don’t need any extras calories in pregnancy until your third trimester and then it’s only an additional 200 calories a day. In reality that’s 2 pieces of wholegrain toast with olive oil spread or a small handful of nuts/seeds/dried fruit – that’s it!

  1. I get worried that my little boy is kicking my bump, will it be effecting my baby?

This is a common worry for second time round mums - Mother Nature has designed your body to protect your growing baby because she floats in amniotic fluid and is surrounded by your strong thick uterine muscles, so unless you had a severe injury your body should keep her safe. If your little boy was older I would encourage the concept of “baby” and touching your bump in a loving way but at 9 months I appreciate he’s too young to understand.

  1. What is the best way to sleep safely for my baby?

At this point any position you can get comfortable in is fine however sleeping on your back in the third trimester (from 28 weeks) increases your risk of still birth because the weight of your baby and womb put pressure on the main blood vessels that supply your uterus, which can restrict the blood flow/oxygen to your baby. There is also some thought that it’s better to sleep on your left side rather than your right because it helps your kidneys to get rid of waster products and fluids from your body. You can use pillows to give you some support as your bump grows and these will help to keep you on your side.

  1. My mum has varicose veins that affected her in pregnancy. Is there anything you can do to prevent getting them?

More than 40% of pregnant women will get varicose veins in their legs and/or vulva in pregnancy so it is a common problem. It’s a combination of extra blood volume, the pressure created by the weight of your uterus and the vessel-relaxing effects of the extra progesterone hormone produced by your body. Some tips to try and avoid them would be:

  • Avoid standing for long periods of time, when sitting don’t cross your legs and whenever possible sit with your legs elevated and flex your ankles to help pump the blood back up your legs.
  • Exercise to increase your circulation, several walks every day is great.
  • Wear comfortable clothing – nothing tight that will constrict circulation – including underwear, socks and shoes.
  • Consider support tights/ flight socks – these can be helpful to encourage blood flow back up your legs.
  • Watch your weight gain – it is normal to gain weight in pregnancy but be mindful that extra pounds increase the demand on your circulation.
  • Sleeping on your left side as already mentioned puts less pressure on your blood vessels.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or straining on the toilet as both can cause haemorroids – which are varicose veins in the rectum.
  1. One of my main cravings has been jelly sweets. Is there anything that isn't as bad that you can recommend?

This is a difficult one especially with your history of gestational diabetes last time you really need to ditch those jelly sweets but I know that will be hard! When you body is craving sweet things in pregnancy it’s really difficult because sugar in itself is addictive. I would suggest looking at naturally sweet foods as alternatives but you will still need to be cautious with your history. Examples would be bananas, oven roasted sweet root vegetables, fresh berries, sweet apples such as pink lady.

Also consider avoidance tactics such as removing all the jelly sweets from the house, having a drink of water every time you get the cravings because sometimes dehydration makes you feel hungry or crave certain foods. It might be worth checking in with your emotions too, sometimes when we feel emotional we reach for the something sugary to make us feel better – if this is the case is there something else you could do? Maybe some exercise, meet up with friends or take a pampering bath when your son is asleep? The same with being tired – we can tend to reach for a sugary pick-me-up when we feel tired so make sure you are getting enough rest – I know you must be full on with your little boy but try to have a nap in the day when he does if you can.   

  1. As my little boy is 9 months and starting to stand on his own, I am constantly bending down to move him and pick him up and my back can really hurt, is there anything when it does that you would recommend?

Think about your posture to try and protect your back, bending at the knees to crouch down is better than bending your back and also me mindful of twisting as well, your pregnancy hormones cause havoc with your ligaments and make you more prone to muscular aches and strains. Warms baths with Epsom salts or magnesium flakes are good way to relax the body or if you prefer to shower aim a warm powerful nozzle at the tender area. Hot water bottle or wheat bags are also worth trying too. Acupuncture and pregnancy massage are a couple of holistic ways to help relieve tired aching bodies but make sure you use a suitably qualified practitioner.

  1. I'm unsure with birthing options, are water births better for pain relief?

Water births are a great method for pain relief - We often use water is ease away tummy aches or sore muscles so it’s the same theory with the pain experienced in labour. Research shows that women who choose to labour/birth in water use less pain relief than those you chose to stay on dry land.

  1. I paid for a private gender scan and know sometimes they can be wrong. Is it quite common to get it wrong?

I honestly don’t know the answer to this – it would depend on how many weeks gestation you were when you had the scan and how good an image they got of your baby’s genital area. Windows to the Womb quote a 99.9% accuracy rate on their gender scans from 16 weeks on wards.

  1. I've heard that generally the birth weight of second baby's are normally bigger, is this true?

Yes this is true and your bump can feel bigger earlier on second time around too, this is because everything has stretched once so this time your muscles aren’t as taut. However gestational diabetes can produce big babies so with you if you don’t get that this time round compared to having it last time you may be the exception to the rule!

  1. In pregnancy can your skin tone change, mine seems to be a lot lighter than it was?

Yes your skin can do all sorts of weird things in pregnancy! Hormonal skin can be dry, itchy, irritated, or blotchy as well as changing colour. Normally pigmentation changes result in a darker skin tone seen in patches, lines or mottling known as “chloasma” but more commonly called “The mask of pregnancy”. You can also get a dark line down the middle of your stomach called “linea nigra” but these all fade afterwards – maybe that is what you’re noticing because your little boy is 9 months? If that is the case then it will soon darken again with this pregnancy.

  1. Lots of people have told me about hair loss in pregnancy, does this happen to most people?

Hair growth generally increases in pregnancy and it can be greasier, but once baby is born it may feel like you are loosing hair but actually you are just shedding the extra you gained in pregnancy.

  1. I've always avoided sleeping on my belly from the time I found out I was pregnant, is this necessary before you have a bump?

No sleeping on your front is fine in early pregnancy; there’s no reason to avoid it. But as you know you will get to a point anyway that it becomes uncomfortable because of your growing bump so then it’s time to switch to sleeping on your side.

  1. Does wearing tight clothes effect the baby? (eg. old clothes that are getting a bit tight?)

No don’t worry I think wearing tight clothes affects you more than it does the baby! There’s no evidence to suggest that tight clothing has any affect on baby but it can possible give you some issues such as:

  • Heartburn – tight clothing can put pressure on the uterus up against the stomach and force the acid upwards causing heartburn
  • Yeast Infection – Pregnancy makes you more prone to thrush, so add tight underwear or clothing into the mix and you have the perfect environment for the yeast that naturally occurs in your vagina to overproduce.
  • Pain – Tight clothing can cause pain particularly in the abdomen, breasts and arms. Wearing bras that are too small can cause issues such as blocked ducts as you approach your due date.
  • Reduced circulation –Tight clothing can cut off blood circulation – putting you at a greater risk of varicose veins and causing numbness or a tingling sensation.

Please Note, these answers might vary or change depending on your situation, Jane was fully aware of Tayla’s situation and lifestyle before answering these questions so if you aren’t sure please ask your own Midwife for an answer that will suit you.

Thank you for reading!

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