What I wish every woman knew before becoming pregnant
Most women in the pre-pregnancy phase know to take folate supplements. Tick. They know that quitting smoking is for the best. Tick. Even stopping the glass of wine at the end of the day is on the radar. Tick.
What most don’t know is that we now have the ability to look closely at our genes, genes that are incredibly common in our population, and three genes in particular – Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Fragile X syndrome (FXS).
So, what are your chances you carry the gene? Well, pretty high.
If you are planning for pregnancy READ ON. If you know someone who is planning for pregnancy send this link on. I want this information spread wide and far.
Severe Nausea in pregnancy
Hyperemesis Gravidaram - what is it?
While many more women experience morning sickness at some point during their pregnancies, some women develop a condition called Hyperemis Gravidaram. This involves nausea and vomiting which are severe and persistent and which can lead to weight loss and dehydration.
For years now I have been sending my pregnant patients to our in-house physiotherapist, Belinda Matthews with fabulous results. I have now included a visit to Belinda as part of our pregnancy package to help women keep active and as painfree as possible during their pregnancy. For more information about this please see here.
Belinda has been involved in pilates in Ballarat for years and is now excited to now be able to offer Pre and Post Natal Pilates Classes at the recently opened Re-Vitalise Physio and Pilates. Her first class is June 19th 2018 and bookings are essential. Read more from Belinda Matthews about how pilates can help you in your pregnancy
Time between Pap smears increased to every five years!
Has anyone heard about the new changes to cervical screening due to start this year?
For years we have relied on the Pap smear program to screen Australian women and protect them against cervical cancer. This program, combined with HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination, has been hugely successful and Australia has the world’s lowest rate of deaths from this terrible disease. Read more here
10 top tips for Pre-Pregnancy Planning
Like most big projects, your pregnancy will benefit from a little bit of pre-planning. Here’s my ten-point checklist.
1. Take stock. The decision to become a parent is a big deal. We all make great plans for the birth of our baby but that’s one day in a lifetime of parenting. Don’t forget to give some thought to the type of parent you want to be. Try this: which of my personal values do I most wish to foster in my child?
2. Get educated. You are about to enter a new world with its own language. What are trimesters? Stages of labour? Delayed cord clamping? Check out Up the Duff On the Go on the App Store for comprehensive info on your phone.
3. Exercise. Before you are pregnant it doesn’t matter what the exercise is as long as you’re doing something regularly. Later, when you are expecting, the exercise will change but you will already be in the habit Click here to READ MORE >>
The Mesh, The Gynae and the Senator
Gynaecology isn't often covered on the nightly news. Women's reproductive health can be such a secret domain. Even when the covers come off an issue such as vaginal mesh complications, getting a clear explanation of the problem can be difficult. Most media reports that I have read seem to be at least a little confused and a bit heavy on medical mumbo jumbo.
Breastfeeding for some seems to work perfectly from the start, or so we think. The true picture is that for the majority of women there is a struggle with an aspect of breastfeeding resulting in some women abandoning breastfeeding altogether.
The Australian BreastfeedingAssociation says more than 96% of women initiate breastfeeding however by 3 months just 39% of babies are exclusively breastfed. This is no judgement of the new mum, it's a full acknowledgement that for some it's hard and complicated and the pain can be unbearable. I understand the concept of watching the clock or listening to your baby cry, ready for another feed, and then perhaps having a little cry yourself in anticipation of the pain. It's heartbreaking. Click here to READ MORE >>
I wees when I sneeze ( or run or laugh or jump...)
26 July, 2016
Winter can be a busy time in my practice. With coughs and colds comes urinary stress incontinence for some women. Yes I chuckled when a patient joked “I wees when I sneeze” but it’s not funny and women shouldn’t have to put up with leaking urine.
What is stress incontinence?
Many women who have had babies, even by Caesarean Section, have a weakness in the tissue that supports the urethra (the urine outlet). During a cough or sneeze the pressure in the bladder rises and urine will leak out if the urethral valve is weak. Exercise can Click here to READ MORE >>
Is there a safe level of alcohol (or Kava) during pregnancy?
Oct 14, 2014
Just after the September Baby Boom we were able to get away for a week on a family holiday to Fiji. If you've been there you'll remember the locals' fondness for the root extract Kava. Kava is said to give a sense of relaxation, wellbeing and happiness and its positive effects were extolled by most Fijians we met.
My ears pricked up when I was told of Kava's benefits for the pregnant woman. A local shop owner confidently told me that it promoted relaxation in labour; an easy birth and the baby upon its arrival would automatically be on 'Fijian time'.
New first trimester screening gives yes or no answer
Aug 12, 2014
I’ve just got back from a great meeting here in Ballarat. Melbourne Womens Imaging provide most of the ultrasounds for my pregnant patients. Tonight they gave an update on the recent developments in early pregnancy testing. More and more information can now be discovered in the first trimester.
Most of you will know that screening for Down Syndrome and other abnormalities is available in the first trimester of pregnancy. Traditional screening is non-invasive (safe for baby) but unfortunately only gives an estimated result CLICK HERE to Read more >>
The Mystery of Contraception solved...for some
July 11, 2014
I saw this great article this week. Looks like the USA are just discovering what the rest of us have known for years. IUDs are a safe, effective and highly cost effective form of contraception.
I started recommending IUDs in 2002 when I was training in O&G at the Royal Womens. IUDs have always been popular in Europe and Asia, more than 41% of ... click here to READ MORE >>
Welcome to our new website
June 12, 2014
I invented a new word the other night. I wanted to tell you that this site will be free from medical lingo or jargon. I kept telling my wife I didn’t want any “jargo” and I think she knew what I meant.
Welcome to our new website. We have based the site on common patient queries and requests for more information. It's for patients to check out before their first visit, or between visits or just to get a 'jargo-free' update on what’s hot in the world of O&G.
This section “Latest News” is where I hope you will drop in to check out developments in the practice, in Ballarat healthcare or in the wider universe of women's health.
What’s a Harmony test? Where are we at with uterine transplantation? What’s a walking epidural? You’ll know as soon as I do.
If there’s big news in related fields, say anaesthetics or paediatrics, stay tuned for a guest posting from a local expert.
If there’s something you’d like to see covered in Latest News or the broader website please let me know.