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Supporting you through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood
Frequently asked questions
List of questions
Below are a list of commonly asked questions that will be useful and informative before and after your pregnancy.
Click on the 'Q' next to the question for the answer.
I'm Pregnant; I tested at home and have a positive result, now what should I do?
I've just found out I'm seven weeks pregnant but I had a few drinks last weekend will this affect my baby?
I've heard that it's dangerous to use a hot tub or sauna, or even to have a hot bath when you're pregnant is this true?
I'm suffering form morning sickness, only it's not just in the mornings and I can't keep anything down, surely this can't be good for the baby?
I'm suffering from almost constant headaches, but I've heard that painkillers aren't safe for the baby, what can I do?
QI'm not even half way through my pregnancy and have only started showing but already I'm starting to feel a little breathless, is something wrong?
I'm 20 weeks but I haven't felt the baby moving yet my sister felt her baby at 17 weeks, is something wrong?
List of answers
I'm Pregnant; I tested at home and have a positive result, now what should I do?
As soon as you discover that you are expecting make an appointment with your doctor, he or she might want you to take another test to confirm that you're pregnant and will give you advice on how to eat healthily and what foods you should be avoiding. He will also refer you to your local maternity unit who will arrange your midwife appointments and your first scan although this is likely to be a few weeks away.
It is also a good idea to start taking your prenatal vitamins, like folic acid, if you haven't already done so and to think about how pregnancy will affect your lifestyle, think about giving up smoking and drinking and try to eat healthily look at our Planning Your Pregnancy page which has lots of great advice for both newly pregnant women and those who are trying to get pregnant.
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I've just found out I'm seven weeks pregnant but I had a few drinks last weekend will this affect my baby?
This is one of the most common anxieties among expectant mothers, mostly because many women are unaware of their pregnancy until a few weeks in when the symptoms begin and they take a pregnancy test. There is no evidence that a few drinks in very early pregnancy is harmful to a developing embryo, however, though you shouldn't worry about what you drank before you knew you were pregnant it would be advisable to abstain for the remainder of your pregnancy as alcohol enters the Fetal bloodstream in approximately the same concentrations present in the mothers blood.
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I've heard that it's dangerous to use a hot tub or sauna, or even to have a hot bath when you're pregnant is this true?
Research has shown that if your body temperature is raised to over 38.9șC and kept there for a period of time, either in a hot tub, a hot bath, a sauna or a steam room then it can be potentially dangerous for a developing embryo particularly in the early stages. However it can take up to 10 minutes for the body to reach this temperature after being submerged in water and for most people this would feel uncomfortable and you would need to get out so if you have already being using a hot tub before finding out you are pregnant there is probably little cause for concern. Also, being pregnant you are at higher risk from dehydration and dizziness and therefore it may be wise to avoid saunas and stream rooms for the duration of your pregnancy.
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I'm suffering form morning sickness, only it's not just in the mornings and I can't keep anything down, surely this can't be good for the baby?
Fortunately sickness in early pregnancy rarely interferes with the development of a developing fetus, in fact many women actually loose weight in the first trimester because they are so sick but as long as they make up for the loss in the following months their babies will develop as normal. There is a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum which is an exaggerated form of morning sickness which occurs in less than 1 in 200 pregnancies, vomiting is unusually frequent and severe and lasts for longer than the first three months of pregnancy, it is often accompanied by infrequent urination and urine that is dark yellow there also may be some blood in the vomit. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from this condition consult your doctor as medical treatment may be required
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I'm suffering from almost constant headaches, but I've heard that painkillers aren't safe for the baby, what can I do?
Pregnancy headaches are very common and are most likely the result of hormone changes, tiredness and stress, and like most ailments prevention is better than a cure so the best advice is to try to relax; take time out for you, do something that you enjoy ding whether it's a yoga session or a long relaxing bath with a good book. Make sure you get enough sleep, the fist and last trimesters of pregnancy can be very exhausting and this in turn can cause headaches however make sure you don't have too much sleep as excess sleep can also give you a headache.
Although most painkillers are not recommended for pregnant women paracetamol is perfectly safe and can be taken according to the instructions on the label to relieve any pain.
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I'm not even half way through my pregnancy and have only started showing but already I'm starting to feel a little breathless, is something wrong?
It's those hormones again! Pregnancy hormones stimulate the respiratory centre to increase the frequency and depth of your breaths, making you feel as if you are breathing harder. Mild breathlessness is common in the second trimester and as your baby develops and you pregnancy progresses you will find it more and more difficult to take a deep breath as you uterus pushes your diaphragm up and restricts the capacity of your lungs.
Severe breathlessness is not common and if breathing is rapid, you have chest pain, a fast pulse or bluish lips or fingertips then contact your doctor or hospital immediately.
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I'm 20 weeks but I haven't felt the baby moving yet my sister felt her baby at 17 weeks, is something wrong?
The first movements you feel (quickening) can occur anywhere between the 14th and 26th week, but most women feel it between the 18th and 22nd so you're still well within the average and have no reason to be concerned. There are various reasons why some women feel movement at different stages, first time mothers are less likely to feel anything before the fifth month while second timers may feel movement much sooner because a) they know what to expect and b) they're muscles are more lax, making it easier to feel a kick. Overweight women are also less likely to feel movement as early as a slender woman might. If you are overly concerned speak to your doctor or midwife who might let you hear the Fetal heartbeat to put your mind at rest until the movements can be felt.
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"As soon as you discover that you are expecting make an appointment with your doctor..."
"Pregnancy headaches are very common and are most likely the result of hormone changes, tiredness and stress..."
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