Information For Mums
Your role as a mum begins the minute you get your positive pregnancy test and not just at your baby’s birth, being responsible for your unborn baby’s welfare is essential to its growth and well being, from the start of your pregnancy.
Our aim is to give you the confidence to listen to your instincts and ask for advice from your Midwife or Doctor if you are ever concerned or worried.
NEVER think your question is silly
NEVER think you are being a pain…
You are taking responsibility and caring for your baby – You are being a Mother!
Email us your name and address and we will post you a FREE sticker for your Antenatal Notes. Our stickers have space for you to write the telephone numbers of your Midwife, Doctor and hospitals. Displaying this sticker on your notes will show your carers you are aware of risks and are taking your role as an expectant mother seriously!
How to help your baby
Attend all your antenatal appointments – It is important to keep in regular contact with your midwife and doctor and go to all the antenatal check-ups and scans. They will monitor the progress of your pregnancy and if there are problems they can make sure you get the care you need.
Urine and blood tests – along with regular blood pressure monitoring and ultrasound scans, these tests can pick up early signs of medical conditions which might affect your baby.
Regular measurement of your baby’s growth – This can tell your midwife (and you) about your baby’s progress. Poor growth can indicate problems and it is important this is picked up. A baby not growing well is at risk of stillbirth.
Report any abdominal pain or bleeding – If you have pain or tenderness in your abdominal area you should contact your doctor or midwife. Acute pain or vaginal bleeding should be reported immediately. It is better to report any pain that worries you sooner rather than later.
Avoid infection – Some infections increase the risk of stillbirth, in particular Listeria, Salmonella, and Toxoplasmosis. There are simple things you can do to reduce the chances of being exposed to these infections. Ask for information from your midwife about what foods and activities to avoid during pregnancy.
Private scans – NHS scans are routinely offered at 12 and 20 weeks. Among the main reasons for performing these scans are to date the pregnancy and screen for Downs Syndrome or fetal abnormality. A scan to monitor growth and fetal welfare later in pregnancy is not routinely offered on the NHS, but it is becoming increasingly popular for Mums and Dads to have these checks done privately. These Clinics offer a variety of scans at all stages of pregnancy, including detailed fetal welfare assessments.
How does the welfare scan work in your baby’s interest?
During the scans the sonographer will take a number of measurements and compare them to a standard of what is expected for that stage of pregnancy.
During the scan, the operator will:
- Measure the circumference and diameter of the baby’s head
- Measure the size of the baby’s waist
- Measure the length of the baby’s thigh bone (femur)
- Examine the placenta
- Assess the amount of fluid within the uterus
- Check the baby’s movements
- Assess the blood flow in the umbilical cord, and if necessary other places in the baby
The data obtained is entered into a database for comparison with known standards. The report includes graphs of baby’s growth for discussion at the end of the scan. The detailed printout can be shown to your GP, midwife or obstetrician at your next appointment.
A welfare scan late in pregnancy will also confirm that the baby is coming head first (cephalic or vertex presentation). If it is not then your midwife will be able to act appropriately avoiding a late diagnosis in labour.
Ask questions – During your antenatal and scan appointments it is really important to ask any questions you may have, even if they seem silly or obvious to you, they may highlight something to the midwife or sonographer which indicates a problem. Also don’t be worried about questioning any response they give you. For instance if you said “I’m worried about the cord being around my baby’s neck” and they reply “Oh don’t you worry about that” you are perfectly entitled to question this response! Healthcare professionals are under a lot of pressure with time and money, however your care and that of your baby is their responsibility – they want to help you. Sometimes though, mistakes are made and signs can be missed. So it is your responsibility as a mother to ensure your baby is protected.
If you are at all concerned you should not worry about asking questions. If you are not happy with the response to your questions or are unhappy with your care, you are entitled to request a second opinion. You have rights as a patient and it is the healthcare professional’s job to ensure you are 100% confident in their care.
Attend antenatal classes – A great way of learning about how to help you and your baby through pregnancy and birth is by attending antenatal classes. Your midwife will let you know about the standard NHS classes run at your local maternity ward. However there are many fantastic privately run courses which are informative and great fun, to find a local class near you view our Maternity Service Directory, all the companies listed work closely with us at COUNT THE KICKS™ to encourage confidence and positivity throughout pregnancy.
Not only will you learn about your pregnancy and birth at these courses but you will also meet other people who are experiencing the same thing and have the same worries as you. Most people make lifelong friends within their antenatal groups!
Stop smoking – Smoking cigarettes in pregnancy is associated with higher rates of stillbirth. If you smoke while you are pregnant your baby’s growth and development are affected, and problems with your baby’s health and well being are much more likely. If you smoke YOU SHOULD STOP, and the people you live with should also not smoke.
Ideally you should stop smoking before you become pregnant, but if you are part way through your pregnancy it is still worth giving up smoking. It is never too late to stop. For help visit NHS Smoke Free.
For more information about common advice and guidance you may hear throughout pregnancy Click Here
Please feel free to download our Monitor Movements Leaflet
Please click here to learn more about the Signs, Symptoms and Conditions you should look out for.