Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘fertility treatment’ Category

Pregnancy

“The condition of having a developing embryo or fetus in the body.”
“The process by which a human female carries a live offspring from conception until childbirth.”

Pregnancy is referred to as a gestation period – the time between conception and birth. Approximately 40 weeks (280 days). Measured from the first day of the last menstrual period. For women who use a procedure that allows them to know the exact date of conception (such as in-vitro fertilisation IVF, or artificial insemination) the gestation period is 38 weeks (266 days) from conception.

Pregnancy is divided into three stages – called trimesters, each lasting about 3 months.

An embryo is a multicellular diploid (has two sets of chromosomes) eukaryote (an organism whose cells contain complex structures enclosed within membranes) in its earliest stage of development; from the time of first cell division until birth. In humans, it is called an embryo until about eight weeks after fertilization (i.e. ten weeks after the last menstrual period or LMP), and from then it is instead called a fetus.
Embryo is the term used to describe the developing baby in the first 8 weeks and the term Fetus is the term used after 8 weeks until birth (when all the structure of the baby and systems of the body such as the digestive and nervous systems have developed).

Facts at 24 weeks
24 weeks is the legal cut off gestational age for a legal abortion (although abortions or terminations can be carried out later in the pregnancy on medical grounds).

COMPLICATIONS OF PREMATURE BIRTH
Babies born after 34 weeks have a low risk of problems although they are sometime slower to feed.
A baby born before 33 weeks will have more serious problems such as immature lungs.
Very premature babies (born under 28 weeks) need to be delivered in a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit.
Doctors have been able to improve dramatically the survival hopes for babies born as early as 22 or 23 weeks.
However, very premature babies face a huge battle at the start of life. They are at risk of serious conditions including:
* Hypothermia, due to lower levels of fat
* Low blood glucose, which can lead to brain damage
* Respiratory distress syndrome – which can cause blindness
* Brain haemorrhage
Long-term they may have cerebral palsy and have sight and hearing problems.
They are also more likely to have motor impairments and co-ordination and concentration problems.

Birth
Occurs at around 38 weeks after fertilization, so 40 weeks pregnant. Term is considered to be 37 – 42 weeks gestation. The fetus has developed enough to survive easily outside its mother’s body. Babies are usually born head first but occasionally are born breech.

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/v1027487/inside-pregnancy-weeks-28-37

There are a variety of birthing methods; the majority of babies are born by a natural vaginal birth but some labours might need help such as
Ventouse, Forceps, Caesarean section.

The process of natural birth involves what is known as “labour” the baby passing from the mother’s abdomen through the vaginal passage and into the world. There are three stages of labour:

Stage 1: The cervix has to open and stretch around the baby’s head until it is 10cm open.

Stage 2: The baby has to come out, either by the expulsive efforts of the uterus and the mother breathing the baby out, or by her actively pushing the baby out.

Stage 3: The placenta or afterbirth has to be expelled.

Linked blog posts:

https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/so-you-are-pregnant-preparing-for-the-birth/
https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/the-big-day-the-birth/

Well this is an interesting topic!

Basically, I think we get what we are given … but if you are in the position of having a large family with all the same sex, perhaps you might consider *trying* to alter the odds of conceiving one sex or the other.

There was a programme on TV a week or so ago “8 boys and wanting a girl” (Channel 4 21 January 2010) which evoked mixed feelings for me.  Part of me thought the families ought to be grateful to have lovely children, and part of me felt sorry for them.  You can watch it here if you are quick!  www.channel4.com/programmes/8-boys-and-wanting-a-girl/4od

The programme talked about PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis), similar to IVF but the sex of the fertilised egg is determined and selected to implant into the mother accordingly but this in not available in the UK and some families are travelling to America and spending huge amounts of money to receive this treatment.

There are, however, less drastic measures that *might* alter your chances to have one gender or the other.  There is a book by Hazel Phillips called “Girl or Boy? Your chance to choose” and also “How to have a girl” and “How to have a boy” by J. Martin Young or “How to choose the Sex of You r Baby” by Landrum B. Shettles.

There are various theories about the timing and position of intercourse and the diet of the mother, but … it seems that the theories are contradictory.

I wish you well, but remember that all children are precious whatever gender they are!

Fertility issues or preconceptual guidance is part of the midwife’s role and is something I am often asked about.  Apart from the usual information for someone planning a baby, actually getting pregnant can sometimes be an issue.  The medical profession often do not consider it a potential problem unless you have been trying for a baby for around 18 months, and indeed it can often take longer – this must seem like forever when you aren’t getting pregnant.  I do know that stress (including trying for a baby) and sub-optimal health can lead to difficulty in conceiving, so bear this in mind.

To get yourself into optimal health obviously you need to eat well, be rested.  There are some very good websites, particularly the Foresight website and I suggest you work through this list. 

www.haveababy.com

www.womantomother.co.uk

http://www.foresight-preconception.org.uk

http://www.marilynglenville.com

http://www.zitawest.com

http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/agesandstages/pregnancy/whenyrpregnant/

Also, complementary therapists may help and I have listed some that I am aware of in the Milton Keynes area:

Acupuncture –

Sandra Ah-Peng – Acupuncturist
Milton Keynes 01908 505883

www.mkacupuncture.co.uk

Gabi Stutz – Acupuncturist
Milton Keynes 01908 225051

Homoeopathy –

Gwynne Grayson – Homeopath
Milton Keynes 01908 520546

Jacky Swanepoel – Homeopath
Milton Keynes 01908 585385

Reflexology –

Kelly Holman – Reflexology
Milton Keynes 01908 54266

www.thesunflowerhouse.co.uk

Kinesiology –

Lesley Stephenson – Kinesiologist
Northampton 01604 871225

www.sanctumclinic.co.uk

Hypnotherapy –

Denise Marleyn
Leighton Buzzard 01525 850334

www.persephone-therapy.co.uk

Emotional Freedom Techniques

https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/emotional-freedom-technique-eft-and-fertility/

Sejual Shah

http://www.healthyinmind.com/

Nutrition:

Kim Crundall

http://www.balancenutrition.co.uk/index.htm

How aware you are of your fertile period?  It is usually 14 days before a period, so if you have a 28 day cycle it is day 14, but on a longer cycle it may well be later, and just to confuse things women do not always ovulate on day 14!  There are various things you can use, like predictor and charting your temperature etc, but also by looking at your normal vaginal discharge (!) at your fertile period the discharge will change from a thicker creamier discharge moving towards a clear, stretch discharge like egg white.  To help with conception it is best if you have sex on alternate days around this period.   

Hope that something here will be helpful to you.

Childbirth at 65

With all the new technology regarding fertility recently, a 65-year-old friend of mine was able to give birth.  When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, I went to visit.  ‘May I see the new baby?’  I asked ‘Not yet ,’  She said ‘I’ll make coffee and we can chat for a while first.’

Thirty minutes had passed, and I asked, ‘May I see the new baby now?’

‘No, not yet,’ she said.

After another few minutes had elapsed,

I asked again, ‘May I see the baby now?’

‘No, not yet,’ replied my friend.

Growing very impatient, I asked, ‘Well, when can I see the baby?’

‘WHEN HE CRIES!’ she told me.

‘WHEN HE CRIES?’ I demanded. ‘Why do I have to wait until he CRIES?’

‘BECAUSE I FORGOT WHERE I PUT HIM, O.K.?!!’

Okay, so this was a bit of light-hearted nonsense, but … it is true a woman of 66 gave birth to a son in May after undergoing IVF treatment in a Ukraine clinic. In the UK fertility treatment is not usually recommended for women over 40.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5398437/Woman-of-66-becomes-Britains-oldest-mother.html


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