New mothers who had a C-section are TWICE as likely to suffer pain during sex than those who had a normal delivery

  • Three months after giving birth 78% of women resumed having sex 
  • Nearly 45% of first time mothers experience pain during sex after the birth
  • Women who have a Caesarean or birth were twice as likely to suffer pain
  • Mothers whose babies were delivered using a vacuum also had more pain

First time mothers who had a Caesarean are more likely to report pain during sex more than a year later.

A new study found the majority of women resumed having sex three months after giving birth.

But women who had a Caesarean section were twice as likely to report pain during or after sex even 18 months after having the baby.

This was compared to women who had a normal vaginal birth.

New mothers who had a Caesarean section, or whose babies were delivered using the help of vacuum extraction were twice as likely to suffer pain during sex 18 months after giving birth

New mothers who had a Caesarean section, or whose babies were delivered using the help of vacuum extraction were twice as likely to suffer pain during sex 18 months after giving birth

C-section mums had double the risk of pain during sex even compared to women who had a vaginal birth but who suffered a tear in their perineum – the area between the vagina and anus – but didn’t need stitches.

However, the study did not look at women who had had a difficult vaginal birth.

The researchers also did not offer an explanation as to why certain deliveries led to more pain than others.

However they concluded that more understanding about how a birth can affect a mother is needed, and ways to prevent pain during sex should be explored.

A Caesarean involves making a cut in the front wall of a woman’s stomach and womb

It is usually carried out under an epidural, where the lower part of the body is numbed, but is sometimes carried out under general anaesthetic.

It usually takes 40-50 minutes, but can be performed quicker in an emergency.

Mothers who had a vaginal birth using vacuum extraction – in which a midwife applies a vacuum with a soft or rigid cup to the baby’s head to help guide it out of the vagina – were also twice as likely to report pain more than a year after giving birth.

The study examined data from 1,244 first time mothers across six maternity hospitals in Melbourne, Australia.

WHAT IS A CAESAREAN SECTION?

A Caesarean section is an operation to deliver a baby.

It involves making a cut in the front wall of a woman’s abdomen and womb.

The operation can be a planned (elective) when a medical need for the operation becomes apparent during pregnancy.

It can also be an emergency procedure, when circumstances before or during labour call for delivery of the baby by unplanned Caesarean

A Caesarean section is usually carried out under epidural or spinal anaesthetic, where the lower part of your body is numbed.

It usually takes 40-50 minutes, but can be performed quicker in an emergency.

Some Caesarean sections are performed under general anaesthetic.

A Caesarean section is usually carried out when a normal vaginal birth could put the mother or unborn baby at risk.

This could be if the labour doesn’t progress naturally, the mother has placenta praevia (where the placenta is low lying in the womb and covering part of the womb’s entrance).

Other reasons include if the mother has had two or more previous Caesarean sections or their baby is in the breech (bottom first) position.

Source: NHS Choices

The mothers filled in questionnaires at 3, 6, 12 and 18 months.

Of the women, 49 per cent had a vaginal birth, and two thirds of these women had a tear in the area between their vagina and anus that needed stitches, or an episiotomy.

This is a procedure where the midwife deliberately cuts this area to make the opening larger for the baby to get through.

Nearly 11 per cent of women had a vaginal birth with their baby helped out by vacuum extraction, and for another 11 per cent of women, their baby was helped out by forceps.

Less than 10 per cent were delivered by an elective Caesarean section – where a medical reason meant the mother had opted for this operation before the birth.

Another 20 per cent were delivered by an emergency Caesarean section, which meant events before or during labour eventually meant this operation has to be carried out even thought the mother had not initially chosen it.

The researchers found 78 per cent of women resumed having sex three months after having their baby.

By six months, 94 per cent of women had resumed having sex; 97 per cent resumed 12 months after giving birth and 98 per cent 18 months afterwards.

However most of the women (86 per cent) who had started having sex again 12 months after the birth experienced pain.

And nearly 45 per cent reported pain at three months after the birth.

This went down to 43 per cent at six months, 28 per cent at 12 month and 23 per cent by 18 months.

Of those that reported pain during sex at six months after having their baby, a third said this pain persisted a year later.

Women who had an elective Caesarean section, an emergency Caesarean section or a vaginal birth with vaccum extraction were twice as likely to report pain during sex 18 months after giving birth.

The researchers said other factors associated with pain during sex at this time include whether the women experienced it before becoming pregnant, partner abuse and fatigue.

While 78 per cent of women resumed having sex three months after giving birth, 45 per cent experienced pain during sex. A third of women with pain  at six months after the birth said this pain persisted a year later

While 78 per cent of women resumed having sex three months after giving birth, 45 per cent experienced pain during sex. A third of women with pain at six months after the birth said this pain persisted a year later

One of the study’s authors, Ellie McDonald, from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Victoria, Australia said: ‘Almost all women experience some pain during first sexual intercourse following childbirth.

‘However, our findings show the extent to which women report persisting pain at six and 18 months after birth is influenced by events during labour and birth, in particular Caesarean section and vacuum extraction delivery.

‘Not enough is known about the longer term impact of procedures on the mother’s health.

‘The fact that pain during sex is more common among women experiencing operative procedures points to the need for focusing clinical attention on ways to help women experiencing ongoing illness, and increased efforts to prevent illness after birth where possible.’

Patrick Chien, deputy editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, added: ‘This is the first study with detailed, frequent and long-term follow-up to assess associations of dyspareunia with obstetric risk factors.

‘This study provides us with robust evidence about the extent and persistence of pain during sex after birth and associations with mode of delivery and cuts to the perineum.

‘Future research could look into ways of preventing pain during sex.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2921829/New-mothers-C-section-TWICE-likely-suffer-pain-sex-normal-delivery.html#ixzz3PatJr3gQ

Widely-used painkiller now only available on prescription after being linked to heart problems

  • Diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, has been reclassified
  • Is used by millions for conditions such as back pain, arthritis and gout
  • But there were fears the drug could also cause heart problems
  • Has now been re-classified and will only be available on prescription  

An over-the-counter painkiller used by millions will no longer be sold in pharmacies from today, over fears that it could raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Diclofenac pills will now only be available with a prescription.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the painkilling and anti-inflammatory tablets, widely bought under the brand name Voltarol, carry a ‘small but increased’ risk of heart problems.

Diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, has been reclassified by the UK healthcare regulator as a prescription-only medicine after concerns it may cause heart problems for some patients 

Diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, has been reclassified by the UK healthcare regulator as a prescription-only medicine after concerns it may cause heart problems for some patients

Painkilling gels that contain diclofenac will still be available over the counter, however.

Diclofenac accounts for six million prescriptions, and it is thought that tens of thousands buy Voltarol directly over the counter.

The pills are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are used to relieve pain caused by conditions including arthritis, gout, headaches and flu.

In 2013, Oxford University researchers found high doses of NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

 A review by European health officials confirmed the finding, and said patients should no longer use diclofenac if they have a heart condition, or have previously suffered heart attacks or strokes.

HOW THE PILLS CAN PUT YOUR LIFE AT RISK 

Diclofenac – the active ingredient in Voltarol – offers fast relief from pain and inflammation associated with back, neck and muscle aches.

It also gives short-term relief from headaches, toothache, period pain and cold and flu symptoms.

It blocks a substance in the body called cyclo-oxygenase, which produces chemicals in response to injury – causing pain, swelling and inflammation. 

In 2013, a major Oxford University study found that for every 1,000 people with a moderate risk of heart disease taking 150mg a day for a year, about three would experience an avoidable heart attack, of which one would be fatal.

Diclofenac can also cause serious side-effects in the gut, such as ulceration, bleeding or perforation of the stomach or intestinal lining.

The MHRA’s Commission on Human Medicines concluded that these side-effects could ‘not be ruled out’ even at lower doses, or when diclofenac is taken for a short time.

Pills containing diclofenac remain available over the counter in many other countries, including Germany, Italy and Australia.

However, the MHRA’s Sarah Branch said: ‘Diclofenac is associated with a small but increased risk of serious cardiac side effects in some patients, particularly if used at high doses and for long-term treatment.

Because of this, the Commission on Human Medicines has advised that patients need to have a medical review before taking oral diclofenac to make sure it is suitable for them.

‘If patients have recently bought diclofenac tablets and continue to need pain relief they should talk to their pharmacist about suitable alternative treatments.’

Dr Branch said those prescribed diclofenac by a doctor should continue to take their medicine as instructed, as their medical history has already been assessed.

Dr Phil Berry, head of clinical safety at Voltarol manufacturer Novartis, warned: ‘Those who want to continue taking oral diclofenac are now going to have to go to their GP which, in view of the current situation in the UK with A&E, is worrying.’

Six million prescriptions were written for diclofenac last year and the drug is also available over the counter in lower dose Voltarol tablets and cream

Six million prescriptions were written for diclofenac last year and the drug is also available over the counter in lower dose Voltarol tablets and cream

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2909789/Widely-used-painkiller-available-prescription-linked-heart-problems.html#ixzz3Otn0boFN

Exercising during pregnancy could protect your baby against high blood pressure in later life

  • Study looked at mothers who were physically active during pregnancy 
  • Found children had lower blood pressure when they reached age of 10
  • Findings were even applied to babies born with a lower birth weight  
  • Study is first to show exercise habits could lower child’s blood pressure  

Pregnant women who exercise regularly may be helping their babies beat high blood pressure in later life, say researchers.

They found the children of mothers who were physically active – especially in the last three months of pregnancy – had significantly lower blood pressure when they reached the age of 10.

The finding even applied to babies with lower birth weight who are known to have a greater risk of high blood pressure later in life.

A new study has found that children of mothers who exercised during pregnancy had significantly lower blood pressure when they reached the age of 10 

A new study has found that children of mothers who exercised during pregnancy had significantly lower blood pressure when they reached the age of 10

A US study is the first to show the exercise habits of mothers-to-be may lower a child’s chances of high blood pressure, a key factor in cardiovascular health.

James Pivarnik, lead author and kinesiology professor at Michigan State University, said: ‘We looked at a range of normal birth weight babies, some falling at the lower end of the scale, and surprisingly we found that this lower birth weight and higher blood pressure relationship in these offspring is not supported if the women were physically active.

‘The connection was disrupted, indicating that exercise may in some way alter cardiovascular risk that occurs in utero (in the womb).’

Research suggests babies who are small at birth tend to have more coronary heart disease and strokes later in life, but the latest study found this tendency may be altered through greater activity by the mother while pregnant.

The researchers initially evaluated 51 women over a five-year period based on physical activity such as running or walking throughout pregnancy and post-pregnancy

The researchers initially evaluated 51 women over a five-year period based on physical activity such as running or walking throughout pregnancy and post-pregnancy

The researchers initially evaluated 51 women over a five-year period based on physical activity such as running or walking throughout pregnancy and post-pregnancy.

In a follow up to the study, they found that regular exercise in a subset of 12 women, particularly during the third trimester, was associated with lower blood pressure in their children.

Those children whose mothers exercised at recommended or higher levels of activity had significantly lower systolic blood pressures at 8 to 10 years old.

Prof Pivarnik said ‘This told us that exercise during critical developmental periods may have more of a direct effect on the baby.

‘This is a good thing as it suggests that the regular exercise habits of the mother are good for heart health later in a child’s life’ he added.

The study, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, concluded that regular physical activity by the mother is associated with ‘an alteration in the relationship between birth weight and systolic blood pressure’.

The researchers say their findings support the theory of genetic pre-programming of a child’s health characteristics while in the womb.

This phenomenon is linked to what’s known as the fetal origins hypothesis. The theory suggests if something strenuous happens to a mother and her unborn child during critical growth periods in the pregnancy, permanent changes can occur that can affect the health of the baby.

Advice for mums-to-be on the NHS Choices website says exercise is not dangerous for the baby and there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

Pregnant women are currently recommended to take 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day.

However, research suggests that pregnant women who exercise for more than an hour a day are at greater risk of developing pre-eclampsia, a condition that can threaten mother and baby.

NHS Choices says: ‘As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2899390/Exercising-pregnancy-protect-baby-against-high-blood-pressure-later-life.html#ixzz3O56u2USj

Baby screening: Life-saving scheme expanded

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Baby being tested

Newborn babies across England will be screened for more debilitating genetic diseases from Monday.

Cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease are already picked up in the heel-prick blood test. Four rarer conditions will now also be tested for.

Public Health England expects 30 cases will be identified each year, allowing life-saving treatment.

Wales will follow suit later this month, while Scotland and Northern Ireland have yet to make a decision.

Babies currently have the heel-prick test at between five and eight days old to check for:

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU),
  • Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT),
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD).

The baby’s heel is pricked and drops of blood are collected and analysed, so babies can get the treatment and support they need from the earliest stage possible.

The extra conditions which will now also be tested for are:

  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Homocystinuria
  • Glutaric acidaemia type 1
  • Isovaleric acidaemia

They are all inherited conditions where babies have problems breaking down amino acids, the “building blocks” of proteins.

For example, maple syrup urine disease is caused by a build up of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Too much protein in the diet can lead to coma and permanent brain damage. However, early detection means a low protein diet and food supplements can reduce the impact of the disease.

Life-saver

A year-long pilot programme of expanded screening, run by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, found 20 confirmed cases of the four extra conditions, in 700,000 babies.

Dr Anne Mackie, director of programmes for the NHS Screening Programmes, said: “Screening for these rare disorders has the potential to benefit around 30 children in England each year.

“The early identification of these conditions can prevent death and significantly improve the quality of life for those living with these conditions.”

Wales has committed to starting screening on 12 January.

Public health minister for England Jane Ellison added: “This is really welcome news.

“Expanding the screening has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of babies born with rare genetic disorders.

“Detecting the disorders early can help prevent babies being severely disabled or even dying, which is absolutely vital for the families affected.”

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Case study

Poppy being treated in hospitalPoppy is now on a special low-protein diet to treat maple syrup urine disease

Poppy Bell-Minogue was nine months old when she became unwell.

Unbeknown to her parents, she had maple syrup urine disease, which had led to a harmful build-up of amino acids in the blood and was affecting her brain.

For Poppy’s mum, Samantha, and her husband, an early diagnosis of the disease would have made a huge difference.

Instead, they had to undergo several months of tests and brain scans before doctors diagnosed the rare disorder.

In the meantime, Poppy’s parents were told they would probably lose her.

Samantha says Poppy’s diet from birth would have been different, if they had known: “We wouldn’t have given her breast milk, formula milk or food high in proteins after she was weaned.”

Eating these foods made her condition worse and led to high levels of harmful amino acids in her body which may have damaged her brain.

Domestic violence can traumatise children even before they are born: Abuse on pregnant women is linked to emotional distress in babies, study claims

  • Scientists have claimed domestic abuse can affect unborn children
  • The study suggests children in the first year of their life are influenced by emotional and behavioural trauma experienced by their mother
  • Symptoms include nightmares and having trouble experiencing enjoyment
  • The study included 182 mothers aged between 18 and 34
  • ‘I think these findings send a strong message that the violence is affecting the baby even before it born,’ said the researchers

When a woman is a victim of domestic violence while pregnant, it can leave a lasting effect on the unborn child, according to research.

A Michigan-led study is the first to link abuse of pregnant women with emotional and behavioural trauma symptoms in children within the first year of their life.

Symptoms experienced by the children include nightmares, startling easily, being bothered by loud noises and bright lights, avoiding physical contact and having trouble experiencing enjoyment.

Michigan State University scientists have claimed domestic abuse can affect unborn children. The study found a 'surprisingly strong' relationship between a mother's prenatal abuse by a male partner and postnatal trauma symptoms in their children during the first year of their life (stock image shown)

Michigan State University scientists have claimed domestic abuse can affect unborn children. The study found a ‘surprisingly strong’ relationship between a mother’s prenatal abuse by a male partner and postnatal trauma symptoms in their children during the first year of their life (stock image shown)

The research was carried out by scientists from Michigan State University.

‘For clinicians and mothers, knowing that the prenatal experience of their domestic violence can directly harm their babies may be a powerful motivator to help moms get out of these abusive situations,’ said Dr Alytia Levendosky, psychology professor and study co-author.

The study of 182 mothers, aged between 18 and 34, found a ‘surprisingly strong’ relationship between a mother’s prenatal abuse by a male partner and postnatal trauma symptoms in her child.

ARE NUMERICAL SKILLS ALSO DECIDED IN THE WOMB?

Earlier this year, research linked a woman’s hormone levels in pregnancy with her child’s maths skills at age five.

Boys and girls whose mothers were very low in the hormone thyroxine were almost twice as likely to do badly in arithmetic tests, it found.

Thyroxine, which passes from mother to baby in the womb, is crucial for the development of the brain – but many expectant mothers have too little of it.

Researcher Martijn Finken studied almost 1,200 children from when they were in the womb until they started school.

He measured their mothers’ thyroxine levels 12 weeks into pregnancy and compared the results with the children’s scores in arithmetic and language tests at age five.

Those who were exposed to the lowest levels of thyroxine in the womb were 90% more likely to be in the bottom half of the class for maths.

The researchers examined the women’s parenting styles and also took into account risk factors such as drug use and other negative life events, marital status, age and income.

Dr Levendosky said prenatal abuse could cause changes in the mother’s stress response systems, increasing her levels of the hormone cortisol, which in turn could increase cortisol levels in the fetus.

‘Cortisol is a neurotoxic, so it has damaging effects on the brain when elevated to excessive levels,’ Dr Levendosky said.

‘That might explain the emotional problems for the baby after birth.’

A clinical psychologist for nearly 20 years, Dr Levendosky has counselled domestic violence survivors who didn’t believe the abuse would affect their child until the child was old enough to understand what was going on.

‘They might say things like, “Oh, I have to leave my partner when my baby gets to be so-and-so age – you know, three or four years old – but until then, you know, it’s not really affecting him, he won’t really remember it,”‘ she said.

‘But I think these findings send a strong message that the violence is affecting the baby even before the baby is born.’

Postnatal trauma symptoms include nightmares and having trouble experiencing enjoyment. The study included 182 mothers aged between 18 and 34. 'I think these findings send a strong message that the violence is affecting the baby even before the baby is born,' said the researchers (stock image shown)

Postnatal trauma symptoms include nightmares and having trouble experiencing enjoyment. The study included 182 mothers aged between 18 and 34. ‘I think these findings send a strong message that the violence is affecting the baby even before the baby is born,’ said the researchers (stock image shown)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2877686/Domestic-violence-traumatise-children-born-Abuse-pregnant-women-linked-emotional-distress-babies-study-claims.html#ixzz3MCENU5fI

NICE Guidelines : Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical management and service guidance

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NICE guidelines [CG192] Published date: December 2014

In pregnancy and the postnatal period, many mental health problems have a similar nature, course and potential for relapse as at other times. However, there can be differences; for example, bipolar disorder shows an increased rate of relapse and first presentation in the postnatal period. Some changes in mental health state and functioning (such as appetite) may represent normal pregnancy changes, but they may be a symptom of a mental health problem.

The management of mental health problems during pregnancy and the postnatal period differs from at other times because of the nature of this life stage and the potential impact of any difficulties and treatments on the woman and the baby. There are risks associated with taking psychotropic medication in pregnancy and during breastfeeding and risks of stopping medication taken for an existing mental health problem. There is also an increased risk of postpartum psychosis.

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems during pregnancy, with around 12% of women experiencing depression and 13% experiencing anxiety at some point; many women will experience both. Depression and anxiety also affect 15‑20% of women in the first year after childbirth. During pregnancy and the postnatal period, anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive‑compulsive disorder (OCD), post‑traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and tokophobia (an extreme fear of childbirth), can occur on their own or can coexist with depression. Psychosis can re‑emerge or be exacerbated during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Postpartum psychosis affects between 1 and 2 in 1000 women who have given birth. Women with bipolar I disorder are at particular risk, but postpartum psychosis can occur in women with no previous psychiatric history.

Changes to body shape, including weight gain, in pregnancy and after childbirth may be a concern for women with an eating disorder. Although the prevalence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is lower in pregnant women, the prevalence of binge eating disorder is higher. Smoking and the use of illicit drugs and alcohol in pregnancy are common, and prematurity, intrauterine growth restriction and fetal compromise are more common in women who use these substances, particularly women who smoke.

Between 2006 and 2008 there were 1.27 maternal deaths per 100,000 maternal deliveries in the UK as a result of mental health problems. Although response to treatment for mental health problems is good, these problems frequently go unrecognised and untreated in pregnancy and the postnatal period. If untreated, women can continue to have symptoms, sometimes for many years, and these can also affect their babies and other family members.

This guideline makes recommendations for the recognition, assessment, care and treatment of mental health problems in women during pregnancy and the postnatal period (up to 1 year after childbirth) and in women who are planning a pregnancy. The guideline covers depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, drug and alcohol‑use disorders and severe mental illness (such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and severe depression). It covers subthreshold symptoms as well as mild, moderate and severe mental health problems. However, the guideline focuses on aspects of expression, risks and management that are of special relevance in pregnancy and the postnatal period.

The recommendations are relevant to all healthcare professionals who recognise, assess and refer for or provide interventions for mental health problems in pregnancy and the postnatal period. It will also be relevant to non‑NHS services, such as social services and the voluntary and private sectors, but does not make specific recommendations for these. The guideline also makes recommendations about the primary and secondary care services needed to support the effective identification and treatment of most mental health problems in pregnancy and the postnatal period. This guideline should be read in conjunction with other NICE guidelines on the treatment and management of specific mental health problems. The guideline indicates where modifications to treatment and management are needed in pregnancy and the postnatal period.

The guideline draws on the best available evidence. However, there are significant limitations to the evidence base, including limited data on the risks of psychotropic medication in pregnancy and during breastfeeding.

Woman wakes from seizure to discover she’s given birth to a tiny 1lb baby while just 24 weeks pregnant

  • Gemma Jamieson was six months pregnant when she suffered a fit
  • Her husband, Dale, gave her mouth to mouth and took her to hospital
  • Was treated for pre-eclampsia, a condition causing high blood pressure
  • Occasionally this condition is so severe it can cause convulsions
  • Mrs Jamieson woke up three days later having given birth to her baby
  • She had no memory of the Caesarean section and birth of baby Tyler
  • Born weighing just 1lb, he was given one in ten chance of survival
  • He was taken to another hospital for treatment for a chronic lung infection
  • Had 17 blood transfusions and needed a heart operation at one month old  
  • Doctors said there was a 98 per cent chance of him being blind
  • Underwent five lots of laser eye surgery and now has good eyesight
  • Baby Tyler is now enjoying time at home with his parents

A young woman woke from a life-threatening seizure to discover she’d given birth to a 1lb baby.

Gemma Jamieson, 23, collapsed and suffered a huge fit when she was just 24 weeks pregnant.

While she lay unconscious, doctors battled to deliver her baby and save both their fragile lives.

Remarkably, Mrs Jamieson survived her ordeal, but woke up three days later with no memory of giving birth to the little boy she had carried for six months.

Miss Jamieson, from Hull, East Yorkshire, said: ‘I remember waking up and my husband, Dale, showing me a picture of a baby on his phone, and explaining it was our son.

‘I couldn’t believe it – I had no memory of giving birth – it was all so surreal.

‘I felt robbed of the experience of pregnancy as I hadn’t even felt our baby kick.

Gemma Jamieson, 23, woke up from a near-fatal seizure and discovered she'd given birth to her baby son, Tyler. The pair are pictured, with Tyler now s 17 months old

Gemma Jamieson, 23, woke up from a near-fatal seizure and discovered she’d given birth to her baby son, Tyler. The pair are pictured, with Tyler now s 17 months old

Mrs Jamieson (right) had no idea she'd had a Caesarean section to give birth to Tyler. She and husband Dale, 24 (left), had been at a car festival when she suffered a seizure and was rushed to hospital

Mrs Jamieson (right) had no idea she’d had a Caesarean section to give birth to Tyler. She and husband Dale, 24 (left), had been at a car festival when she suffered a seizure and was rushed to hospital

Tyler was born prematurely and weighing just 1lb. He was rushed to another hospital for treatment as his lungs had not developed properly. He is pictured here at three weeks old, when doctors said he had a one in ten chance of survival. He underwent a heart operation and 17 blood transfusions a week later

Tyler was born prematurely and weighing just 1lb. He was rushed to another hospital for treatment as his lungs had not developed properly. He is pictured here at three weeks old, when doctors said he had a one in ten chance of survival. He underwent a heart operation and 17 blood transfusions a week later

‘Dale told me how much our baby weighed, how old he was, that he was very poorly and being treated in a different hospital.

‘I couldn’t believe what had happened, to know that I’d missed out on his birth, and that all our relatives had seen him before me was almost too much to bear.

‘Giving birth is one of the biggest moments of a women’s life – and I missed it.

‘I just wanted to see him straight away and make sure he was OK.’

Slowly, Mrs Jamieson recovered from the near fatal pre-eclampsia that had caused her seizures.

Pre-eclamsia affects five per cent of pregnant women, causing high blood pressure and swelling in the feet, ankles and hands.

Only one to two per cent develop severe complications like the convulsions Mrs Jamieson suffered.

After an agonising seven day wait while she recovered, she finally met her son, Tyler, now 17 months.

She said: ‘Dale led me into a room full of newborn babies and I had to ask which was ours.

‘But as soon as I saw Tyler I burst into tears – I felt bonded with him immediately.

‘All my energy was focused on him and helping him get better.’

The ordeal ordeal began when Mr and Mrs Jamieson attended a car festival in July last year.

WHAT IS PRE-ECLAMSIA?

Pre-eclamsia affects some pregnant women, usually during the second half of pregnancy (from around 20 weeks)

It causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine  – signs that should be picked up during routine antenatal check-ups.

Occasionally, symptoms can include swelling in the feet, ankles and hands, vision problems headaches and pain just below the ribs.

Although the exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known, it is thought to occur when there is a problem with the placenta.

If left untreated it can cause the convulsions that Mrs Jamieson experienced.

Although most cases of pre-eclampsia cause no problems and improve soon after the baby is delivered, there is a risk of serious complications that can affect both the mother and baby.

There is a risk the mother will develop fits called eclampsia.

These fits can be life threatening for the mother and the baby, but they are rare.

Source: NHS

‘Gemma was sitting in the car and she shouted at me because her shoulder was twitching,’ Mr Jamieson recalls.

‘It just suddenly escalated and she was having a big fit.

‘I just couldn’t believe what was happening.

‘She must have bit down on her tongue because it swelled up and she was having trouble breathing.

‘I managed to give her mouth to mouth – the paramedics said that if I hadn’t been there she might not have even made it to the hospital.’

After being rushed to hospital, Mrs Jamieson began to have her second violent seizure which doctors later discovered was as a result of pre-eclampsia.

It was then that doctors explained that the only chance of saving her life, was to deliver her baby early.

Mrs Jamieson said: ‘I vaguely remember arguing with the doctors because I didn’t want them to deliver Tyler so early.

‘But the doctors told me I was in severe danger – minutes away from death – and I needed to get to theatre.

‘I was then in and out of consciousness for the next three days.

‘I don’t remember giving birth to Tyler or seeing him at all.

‘I have no memory of what happened.’

Tyler was delivered by Caesarean section while both his and Mrs Jamieson’s life hung in the balance.

Mr Jamieson said: ‘When Tyler was born, Gemma was totally out of it.

‘They told me his chances of survival were really slim, it was just awful.

‘Tyler was then transferred to a different hospital and I just spent the days going in between the two.

‘It was awful to see Gemma so ill, knowing that she had a baby that she’d never ever met.’

Tyler not only underwent a heart operation, but 17 blood transfusions and five rounds of laser eye surgery to save his sight. Doctors said he had a 98 per cent chance of being blind, but parents are thrilled he now has driving standard eyesight. He is pictured here recovering at home with his mother

Tyler not only underwent a heart operation, but 17 blood transfusions and five rounds of laser eye surgery to save his sight. Doctors said he had a 98 per cent chance of being blind, but parents are thrilled he now has driving standard eyesight. He is pictured here recovering at home with his mother

Tyler's parents call him their 'little miracle' as he survived against the odds and is now healthy. Mr Jamieson called his wife and his son 'incredible'

Tyler’s parents call him their ‘little miracle’ as he survived against the odds and is now healthy. Mr Jamieson called his wife and his son ‘incredible’

Over the next few days doctors finally managed to stabilize her, but despite her quick recovery, little Tyler faced a long battle ahead, with just a one in ten chance of survival.

Mrs Jamieson said: ‘Tyler is really the fighter in all of this.

‘He was born at just 24 weeks and was so premature that his lungs hasn’t developed properly, so he was battling chronic lung disease.

‘He had to have 17 blood transfusions, and was really struggling to survive.

‘When I first saw him his skin was almost see through and he tubes coming out of him everywhere.

‘He was on a ventilator and had a hat on him – all I could do was stroke him as he had to stay in his incubator.’

Little Tyler then went on a year long journey in order to recover.

Mrs Jamieson said: ‘To begin with Tyler was very ill.

I remember waking up and my husband, Dale, showing me a picture of a baby on his phone, and explaining it was our son. I couldn’t believe it – I had no memory of giving birth – it was all so surreal

‘He had to go to Great Ormond Street for a heart operation when he was just 4 weeks old.

‘Then we were told he had a 98 per cent chance of been blind and he underwent five lots of laser eye surgery.

‘Dale and I were warned on more than one occasion that he may not make it.

‘But over time he just seemed to get better and better.

‘Slowly but surely he began to breathe on his own.

‘When he was six months old, we finally got to take him home and it was the best day ever.

‘His eye sight is now as good as driving standard which is a miracle.

‘He’s gone from strength to strength and about three weeks before his first birthday in July, he finally came off his oxygen for good.’

Mrs Jamieson and Dale are now enjoying time at home with their healthy son.

Dale said: ‘It’s amazing to think that after everything they’ve both through they’re both here to tell the tale.

‘I could have lost them both so I feel lucky to have my family here.

‘They’re incredible.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2870165/Woman-wakes-seizure-discover-s-given-birth-tiny-1b-baby-just-24-weeks-pregnant.html#ixzz3Lcz6ECnH

Teenager who had no idea she was pregnant gives birth on the bathroom floor having thought she had food poisoning

  • Gemma Armstrong, 19 went to the toilet believing she had food poisoning
  • She was shocked to find she started to give birth on the bathroom floor
  • The baby, Orla Degan, was delivered by her partner’s mother and his sister
  • Miss Armstrong had no idea she was expecting and showed no signs
  • Had no bump and even wore a bikini on the beach in Malta a month earlier
  • While pregnant she went on rides at Alton Towers and flew overseas 
  • Orla Degan was born weighing 7lb 9oz on November 19 
  • ‘Best and most surprising case of food poisoning,’ Miss Armstrong said

Struck by an overwhelming sense of nausea, Gemma Armstrong thought she was suffering a bout of food poisoning.

Returning from work last Monday the 19-year-old made a dash for the bathroom.

But rather than a nasty case of gastroenteritis, the teenager was shocked to be in the early stages of labour.

Miss Armstrong, from Alness, Ross-Shire, Scotland, had no idea she was pregnant.

She developed no tell-tale bump and just a month before giving birth to her surprise daughter Orla, the teenager had worn a bikini on a beach holiday in Malta – where partner Daniel Degan works.

Gemma Armstrong gave birth on the bathroom floor - after having no idea she was pregnant and believing she was suffering from food poisoning. Here, she is pictured with daugher Orla Degan

Gemma Armstrong gave birth on the bathroom floor – after having no idea she was pregnant and believing she was suffering from food poisoning. Here, she is pictured with daugher Orla Degan

With her partner Daniel Degan abroad, Miss Armstrong turned to his mother Katrina and sister Eilidh.

The pair delivered their granddaughter and niece on the bathroom floor of their Alness home.

Miss Armstrong said: ‘I had absolutely no idea.

‘I made Sunday dinner the night before and was up all night with sickness and thought I had given myself food poisoning.

‘I went to work on Monday morning, came back at 5pm, went to the toilet and that is when my partner’s mother realised that I was having a baby and she delivered her on the bathroom floor with the help of my partner’s sister.’

Mr Degan flew home immediately after receiving a call to say he had become a father.

HOW WOMEN CAN BE PREGNANT WITHOUT REALISING IT

Ms Janet Fyle, of the Royal College of Midwives said although Miss Armstrong’s situation is uncommon, it is not unusual.

She said: ‘Some women just don’t know they are pregnant

‘One lady was serving in Afghanistan and didn’t realise she was pregnant, and we had to send services out there.

‘It might happen for a variety of reasons. It’s different for any women.

‘There are some women with good abdominal muscles and fat and the baby lies flat against the back so they don’t have a bump.

‘Some women won’t have the normal pregnancy symptoms.

‘Some women feel the baby moving inside them, but some don’t.

‘A lot of the symptoms of pregnancy are ‘everyday’ symptoms. So they might not know that having wind is a sign of pregnancy. Especially if they’ve never had a baby.’

‘Not all women are body-conscious. It depends on what’s going on in their life.’

In these cases, the midwife has an important role in supporting the new family, as adjusting to being a parents can be a shock.

She said: ‘The women themselves are totally shocked when it happens to them.

‘A lot of talking and reassurance by the midwife is needed.

‘They need to say the occurrence is unusual but the woman herself is not abnormal.

‘That woman is going to need a lot of help and support adjusting to being a parent.

‘Women with unplanned pregnancies get very upset, so imagine one day you have a normal life and the next you are a parent.

‘The midwife would give that woman a lot more care, watching for signs of post-natal depression or even post-natal unhappiness.’

Miss Armstrong described the two-hour labour as a ‘real family effort’.

Ms Degan helped her throughout, and his sister cut the umbilical cord.

A paramedic team arrived at the Degan’s home for ‘the last little push’, but as far as Miss Armstrong is concerned, Ms Degan was her chief midwife.

Orla, who weighed 7lbs 9oz, was perfectly healthy when she was born. Mother and baby were taken to hospital for a check-up and spent two nights on the maternity ward while experts monitored their progress.

‘The paramedics took us in because it was such a shock for everyone,’ Miss Armstrong said.

‘I did everything you’re not supposed to do when you’re pregnant,’ she explained

Two months before giving birth she enjoyed a trip to Alton Towers Theme Park and flew on holiday just a month before her daughter’s arrival.

‘I had no big bump, I was in a bikini on the beach in Malta a month ago,’ she said.

Although still in shock, Miss Armstrong and partner Mr Degan, 24, have fallen in love with their first child, who they call their ‘little surprise’.

She described her baby as ‘perfect’, adding she just sleeps and eats and only wakes twice in the night.

‘I just sit and stare at her, everyone is so delighted,’ she said.

Miss Armstrong announced the birth of her daughter on her Facebook page as the ‘best and most surprising case of food poisoning in the world. Not the toilet trip I expected’.

Mr Degan had planned to come home from Malta early as a surprise on November 19.

But Miss Armstrong said she got her surprise in first with the arrival of Orla on November 17.

They have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and family, they said.

‘She is a little celebrity,’ Miss Armstrong said. ‘Everybody seems to know about Orla and everybody has been so good to us, it’s amazing.

‘We had nothing for a baby as people usually have nine months to prepare and we didn’t even have nine hours, but now we have everything as we have had so many presents.’

Miss Armstrong was lucky enough not to worry about telling her work colleagues that she had to take last-minute maternity leave as her father is the boss of the company.

‘I’m so lucky as I probably would’ve got my P45 anywhere else,’ she quipped.

 Miss Armstrong announced the birth of her daughter on her Facebook page as the 'best and most surprising case of food poisoning in the world'. Here she is pictured, right, with baby Orla, centre her partner Daniel Degan, 24, also centre, and her partner's mother Katrina Degan, who delivered the baby

 Miss Armstrong announced the birth of her daughter on her Facebook page as the ‘best and most surprising case of food poisoning in the world’. Here she is pictured, right, with baby Orla, centre her partner Daniel Degan, 24, also centre, and her partner’s mother Katrina Degan, who delivered the baby

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2852943/Teenager-no-idea-pregnant-gives-birth-bathroom-floor-having-thought-food-poisoning.html#ixzz3KP8QSkXo

Press Release : Defective Drug Sodium Valproate NOT To be Prescribed to Women or Girls of Childbearing Age

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CMDh agrees to strengthen warnings on the use of valproate medicines in women and girls

Women to be better informed of risks of valproate use in pregnancy and need for contraception

The CMDh,[1] a regulatory body representing EU Member States, has agreed to strengthen warnings on the use of valproate medicines in women and girls due to the risk of malformations and developmental problems in babies who are exposed to valproate in the womb. The warnings aim to ensure that patients are aware of the risks and that they take valproate only when clearly necessary.

Doctors in the EU are now advised not to prescribe valproate for epilepsy or bipolar disorder in pregnant women, in women who can become pregnant or in girls unless other treatments are ineffective or not tolerated. Those for whom valproate is the only option for epilepsy or bipolar disorder should be advised on the use of effective contraception and treatment should be started and supervised by a doctor experienced in treating these conditions.

Women and girls who have been prescribed valproate should not stop taking their medicines without consulting their doctor as doing so could result in harm to themselves or to an unborn child.

Epilim-anti-epilepsy-tabl-006

In countries where valproate medicines are also authorised for the prevention of migraine, valproate must not be used for this purpose in pregnant women, and doctors should exclude pregnancy before starting preventive treatment for migraine. Doctors must not prescribe valproate for migraine prevention for women who are not on effective contraception.

These recommendations follow a review of recent studies showing developmental problems in up to 30 to 40% of pre-school children exposed to valproate in the womb, including delayed walking and talking, memory problems, difficulty with speech and language and lower intellectual ability.1,2,3,4,5

Previous data have shown that children exposed to valproate in the womb are also at increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder (around 3 times higher than in the general population) and childhood autism (5 times higher than in the general population). There are also limited data suggesting that children exposed to valproate in the womb may be more likely to develop symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).6,7,8

In addition, children exposed to valproate in the womb are at an approximately 11% risk of malformations at birth (such as neural tube defects and cleft palate)9 compared with a 2 to 3% risk for children in the general population.

Doctors should ensure that their patients are adequately informed of the risks of taking valproate during pregnancy, and should regularly review the need for treatment in female patients who can have children. Doctors should also re-assess the balance of the benefits and risks of valproate medicines for any female patient who becomes or plans to become pregnant and for girls reaching puberty.

The review of valproate was conducted by the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance and Risks Assessment Committee (PRAC), following which the CMDh endorsed the PRAC’s recommendations.

The recommendations on the use of valproate in women and girls will be implemented by EU Member States according to an agreed timetable.

 

Information to patients

  • Do not stop taking your valproate medicine without consulting your doctor as doing so could cause harm to you or an unborn child.
  • Valproate medicines can cause malformations and problems with early development of children if they are exposed to these medicines in the womb.
  • If you can become pregnant, you should use an effective method of contraception. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions about which contraceptive method is appropriate for you.
  • Tell your doctor at once if you become pregnant, think you might be pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. Your doctor will urgently review your treatment.
  • If you have any questions about your treatment or contraception, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Information to healthcare professionals

Following an evaluation of the data on the risks of valproate use during pregnancy, the recommendations for the use of valproate in women and girls have been updated:

  • For treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder in female patients who can have children
    • Only prescribe valproate medicines for epilepsy and bipolar disorder if other treatments are ineffective or not tolerated.
    • Advise patients taking valproate medicines about effective contraception during their treatment.
    • Ensure that the treatment of epilepsy or bipolar disorder is supervised by a doctor experienced in treating these conditions.
    • Consider alternative treatments if a female patient becomes or plans to become pregnant during valproate treatment. Regularly review the need for treatment and re-assess the balance of the benefits and risks for female patients taking valproate and for girls reaching puberty.
    • Inform patients of the risks of taking valproate during pregnancy.
  • For migraine prevention (in countries where this use is authorised)
    • Do not prescribe valproate for female patients who can have children if they are not using effective methods of contraception or if they are already pregnant – such use is now contraindicated.
    • Exclude pregnancy before starting a female patient on valproate treatment for migraine.
    • Stop valproate treatment in the event of pregnancy or if pregnancy is planned.
    • Ensure that female patients who can become pregnant are aware that they must keep to their contraception throughout treatment.
    • Inform patients of the risks of taking valproate during pregnancy.

Healthcare professionals in the EU will be sent a dear healthcare professional letter plus additional educational material concerning these recommendations.

References

  1. Meador K, Reynolds MW, Crean S, et al. Pregnancy outcomes in women with epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of published pregnancy registries and cohorts. Epilepsy Res 2008;81(1):1-13.
  2. Meador KJ, Penovich P, Baker GA, et al. Antiepileptic drug use in women of childbearing age. Epilepsy Behav 2009;15(3):339-43
  3. Bromley RL, Mawer G, Clayton-Smith J, et al. Autism spectrum disorders following in utero exposure to antiepileptic drugs. Neurology 2008;71(23):1923-4.
  4. Cummings C, Stewart M, Stevenson M, et al. Neurodevelopment of children exposed in utero to lamotrigine, sodium valproate and carbamazepine. Arch Dis Child 2011 July;96(7):643-7.
  5. Thomas SV, Ajaykumar B, Sindhu K, et al. Motor and mental development of infants exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero. Epilepsy Behav 2008 Jul;13(1):229-36.
  6. Christensen J, Grønborg TK, Sørensen MJ, et al. Prenatal valproate exposure and risk of autism spectrum disorders and childhood autism. JAMA 2013 Apr 24;309(16):1696-1703.
  7. Cohen MJ, Meador KJ, Browning N, et al. Fetal antiepileptic drug exposure: Adaptive and emotional/behavioral functioning at age 6years. Epilepsy Behav 2013;29(2):308-15
  8. Cohen MJ, Meador KJ, Browning N, et al. Fetal antiepileptic drug exposure: motor, adaptive, and emotional/behavioral functioning at age 3 years. Epilepsy Behav 2011 Oct;22(2):240-6.
  9. Meador KJ, Baker GA, Browning N, et al. Fetal antiepileptic drug exposure and cognitive outcomes at age 6 years (NEAD study): a prospective observational study. Lancet Neurol 2013;12(3):244-52.

More about the medicine

Valproate medicines are used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder. In some EU Member States they are also authorised to prevent migraine headaches.

The active ingredients are listed on the packages as valproic acid, sodium valproate, valproate semisodium or valpromide.

Valproate medicines have been authorised via national procedures in all EU Member States and in Norway and Iceland. They are marketed under several brand names including: Absenor, Convival Chrono, Convulex, Convulsofin Tabletten, Delepsine, Depakine, Deprakine, Diplexil, Dipromal, Epilim, Episenta, Epival, Ergenyl, Espa-Valept, Hexaquin, Leptilan, Micropakine L.P., Orfiril, Orlept, Petilin, Valberg, Valepil and Valhel.

More about the procedure

The review of valproate medicines started in October 2013 at the request of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) under Article 31 of Directive 2001/83/EC, following the publication of new data on the risks of malformations and developmental problems in babies exposed to valproate in the womb.

The review was first conducted by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), the EMA’s Committee responsible for the evaluation of safety issues for human medicines, which made a set of recommendations. As valproate medicines in the EU are all authorised nationally, the PRAC recommendations were forwarded to the Co-ordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures – Human (CMDh) for a position. The CMDh, a body representing EU Member States, is responsible for ensuring harmonised safety standards across the EU for medicines authorised via national procedures.

The CMDh position was agreed by consensus, and the recommendations on the use of valproate in women and girls will be implemented by EU Member States according to an agreed timetable.

[1] The Coordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures – Human