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Problems in pregnancy

Many women can worry over symptoms they develop during pregnancy and many of these are normal and nothing to worry about such as:

Nausea - this occurs in 80-85% of all pregnancies during the first trimester, with vomiting an associated complaint in approximately 50% of women. However if you have severe vomiting, particularly if you are not able to keep fluids down you should see your GP. Most cases of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy are self-limiting, and settle without complication as the pregnancy progresses.

Heartburn is estimated to occur in 30-50% of all pregnancies.Try to maintain upright positions (especially after meals), sleep in a propped-up position, and have small frequent meals, eating slowly. Try to reduce the amount of high-fat foods and caffeine you eat and drink.

Constipation is common - drink plenty of fluids, high-fibre foods and get plenty of exercise.

Fatigue is very common in early pregnancy and reaches a peak at about 12 weeks.Rest, lifestyle adjustment and reassurance from your midwife are usually all that is required.However if fatigue continues in later pregnancy,  anaemia should be excluded. Your midwife can perform a blood test to check for this.

You can discuss any concerns with your midwife or GP 

More serious problems or concerns

Bleeding in pregnancy

If you are less than 16 weeks pregnant and have any bleeding you need to contact your GP who will advise you and who can also refer you in to the Early Pregnancy Assessmet Service at either Leicester Royal Infirmary or Leicester General Hospital if it is felt further assessment or a scan is required. Out of GP hours you can phone 111 for advice.

If you experience bleeding from 16 weeks onwards you can contact the Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) at the hospital where you are booked direct and a midwife will advise you and invite you to come in for assessment if appropriate.The MAU's phone numbers are there 24/7 for advice.

Royal Infirmary MAC 0116 2586312     Leicester General MAC 0116 2584808

You should also contact these areas if you have any of the following issues from 16 weeks:

Abdominal pain

  • Severe itching - particularly of the hands and feet

  • If you think your waters have broken / are leaking and you are not having contractions

  • If you think you may be in labour but are unsure and need some advice


 (*Twin pregnancy – separate advice)

  Fetal movements can be defined as any kick, flutter, swish or roll.

  • You may start to feel your baby move from about 16 weeks or possibly even later than 20 weeks. 
  • If you have not felt movements by 24 weeks please discuss this with your midwife

 From around 28 weeks babies tend to be more active during the afternoon and evening and movements usually stop when baby has a sleep. These sleep periods rarely exceed 90 minutes in a healthy baby

Please be aware of your baby’s normal pattern as early as you can. Formal counting of movements is not recommended – it is more important that you recognise what is a normal pattern for your baby.

 It is important that you report any significant reduction or sudden alteration in your baby’s movement - particularly once you are 28 weeks or more.

  • Under 28 weeks please inform your midwife via the Community Office on 0116 2584834
  • From 28 weeks please contact your Maternity Unit (AAA and PAS Mon to Fri 08.30 to 16.30 - MAC outside these hours) you will be asked to come in to Hospital for this to be investigated .

 Please do not wait until the next day!

Reduced or absent movements can sometimes be a warning sign of baby experiencing problems and in some cases baby’s have sadly been found to have died following such an episode.

 If you are 28 weeks pregnant or more and are unsure whether your baby’s movements are reduced, lie on your left side and focus on the movements for a couple of hours. If you do not feel 10 or more discreet movements in about 2 hours then you should contact the Maternity Unit immediately.





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