Friday, 3 August 2012

Pregnancy Post: 34 Weeks

I've missed quite a few of these over the last few weeks so without further ado, here is my Pregnancy Post: 34 Weeks.

Your baby now weighs more than 2.2kg and is 45cm from top to toe. She's filling out and getting rounder – she’ll need her fat layers later to regulate her body temperature once she's born.
If you don't already talk to your baby, this is a good time to start – at 35 weeks her hearing is fully developed. Don't feel ridiculous if you're already chatting in baby talk. Some evidence shows that newborns pay closer attention to high-pitched tones.

If you've been nervous about going into
premature labour, you'll be happy to know that 99 per cent of babies born at week 35 can survive outside the uterus (womb) – and most have no major problems. Although your baby's central nervous system is still maturing, her lungs are nearly fully developed by now.

Many women start to notice a tingling sensation or numbness in the pelvic region or pain as they walk. This may be caused by the pelvic joints loosening, ready for labour. If you're in pain or
hips are sore, mention it to your midwife or doctor and check out our self-help tips.
This week I also had my 34 antenatal check up with the consultant and my 2nd Anti D injection. Baby C is still measuring bigger and, as a result of the growth scan last week, they have found that I am carrying too much water. This meant I needed a TORCH blood test to check for infection. I'm STILL waiting for the results but feel much more positive and trying not to constantly worry!

As I said, this was also the week that I had to have my 2nd Anti D injection.

What is Anti D?

All rhesus negative (RhD-negative) mums-to-be are recommended to have an anti-D injection between 28 weeks and 30 weeks of pregnancy. Your midwife will have carried out a routine blood test at your booking appointment to find out your rhesus status.

You're advised to have the anti-D, in case the baby you are carrying has a positive rhesus status (RhD positive). This will mean there's a mismatch between your rhesus status and your baby's rhesus status.

pregnancy and birth there are times when your baby's blood may mix with yours. This could happen as a result of a small bleed from the placenta. Even if there's no mixing of bloods during pregnancy, your blood and your baby's blood will almost certainly come into contact during birth.

When your body detects your baby's blood within your circulation, it will treat it as a foreign invader. Your immune system will produce antibodies to destroy blood from your baby that it finds in your circulation.

This means that your body will become sensitised to RhD-positive blood. Your antibodies won't harm your unborn baby. But, if you become pregnant again, the fact that your body is already sensitised could be a problem for your second baby.

Here's why: once your immune system has made antibodies, it will be fast to react next time it detects RhD-positive blood. So if your second baby is also RhD-positive, your body will already know how to make antibodies in the event of another mix of bloods.

Your antibodies may cross the placenta and attack your second baby's blood, causing a condition called haemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN). HDN can lead to your baby developing anaemia,
jaundice and even liver and heart problems.

HDN can be prevented by an anti-D injection. The injection stops your body from becoming sensitised to RhD-positive blood. Anti-D destroys any blood from your RhD-positive baby before your body has a chance to make antibodies.

Anti-D is made from the plasma of human blood, given by donors. The manufacture of blood products, including anti-D, is strictly controlled. All donors are screened for
hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and HIV, and blood is only imported from countries that are free of variant CJD. The chance of contracting a virus through anti-D has been estimated to be one in 10,000 billion doses.

Occasionally, anti-D can cause a local reaction at the site of the injection or an allergic reaction, but this is rare. Just in case, your midwife may advise you to stay in the clinic for 20 minutes after having the injection.

The only circumstances in which you may not need the anti-D injection are if:
  • You are opting to be sterilised or you are certain that you won't have any more children.

  • You are certain that your baby's dad is RhD-negative, making it impossible for you to conceive an RhD-positive baby.
But if there is any possibility that you may become pregnant again, it's best to have the anti-D injection.

I feel at this point, that I should most definitely mention that these injections DO NOT HURT! As a complete and utter needle phobe, I was petrified at the prospect of having these injections. Idiotically, I 'Googled' are Anti D injections painful? and it seemed that EVERYONE said how much they hurt. I asked my midwife friend and even she agreed that they were very uncomfortable. This led to much horror and dread on my behalf when actually, I couldn't even feel it! I opted to have the needle in my bum cheek so maybe it was the raised levels of fat on my backside but I want to assure anyone who's come across this blog post by Googling the same questions, DO NOT WORRY! :)

1 comment:

  1. I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed. hormone replacement Pregnancy Week 28