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My wife and I have recently found out that we going to have a baby which we are very happy about. However we have a few questions about my wife's job and where she stands.

My wife will be starting a new employment in two weeks time. Should she tell her employers straight away? Also would they have any grounds to dismiss her in the first three months of her probation period?

We have also been looking at some of the maternity entitlements from the company, it states- Over 26 weeks' but under 2 years continuous employment up to and including the 15th week before estimated childbirth.

From her start day it's 31 weeks until her estimated childbirth. Does she qualify for maternity leave? Or does that mean 26+15 before ewc?
Statutory maternity pay is payable to women who have have 26 weeks service or more by the end of the 15th week before the week the baby is due. However statutory maternity leave is available to all women regardless of length of service.

So taking the length of gestation to be 40 weeks, this means that a woman must have served 26 weeks with a company by the time she is 25 weeks pregnant.

New maternity legislation is coming into force for women whose babies are due either on or after April 6 2003. You will be entitled to a higher rate of SMP, and longer leave, but you do need to give your employer more notice of your pregnancy and leave requirements. To give the correct notice, you must let your employer know about your pregnancy by the 15th week before the week that you are expecting your baby (called the Notification Week or the Qualification Week). Work this out by going to the Sunday before your due date (or staying with that date if your baby is due on a Sunday) , and counting back another 15 weeks. So, if your baby is due on Monday April 7 2003, you go backwards to the previous Sunday (April 6), then you count back another 15 Sundays.
During the notification week, you must tell your employer:
  • that you are pregnant and intend to go on maternity leave
  • that you want to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • the planned date that you will be starting your maternity leave (which cannot be earlier than 11 weeks before your baby is due).
    Then your employer will reply within 28 days, stating the date that the company expects you to return if you take your full leave entitlement. If you need to change the date, you will have to give 28 days' notice.
  • A male friend of mine has recently been told that an ex is carrying his baby. My friend is willing to take the responsibility but he has a few concerns that she is not telling him the truth about whether it is his or not. He has confided in me and as I have no children it is hard for me to comment whether she is telling the truth or not?

    He met this girl only 3 weeks ago and they slept together but at the time she was still sleeping with her ex-boyfriend. But she is still sure that it is my mate's baby and not her ex-boyfriend's. For only being at the most 3 weeks pregnant if would say there would be not many signs yet? I have seen the girl and she is actually starting to look pregnant! she says she is suffering from morning sickness a lot and also today she went into hospital as she had bleeding but they said she is fine.

    I have read somewhere that they can actually do a blood test before the baby is born to determine whether the father of the baby?
    There are some quite invasive and potentially difficult procedures that can be carried out before the birth of a child, such as amniocentesis, which would enable DNA to be taken to determine parentage. Even in the US it is suggested that these tests are not undergone to confirm parentage alone. It is probable that it is both unethical and expensive.

    When the child is born, a DNA test can be taken, or, if you are right that this woman is in fact more advanced in her pregnancy, it will become apparent that your friend cannot be the father. As doctors measure pregnancy from the date of the last period, it is impossible to be medically 3 weeks pregnant, as you have to have undergone a full 28 day cycle before you miss a period and know you are pregnant.
    My partner is 10 weeks pregnant, and although she has had mild nausea, and the odd craving, she constantly remarks that she doesn't feel pregnant. She has been pregnant in the past and says that she had tingling in here breast very early. Do you have any thoughts?
    It is common for symptoms to differ dramatically from pregnancy to pregnancy.
    My husband and I are trying to conceive twins. Is there a certain method or fertility drug that we can take in order to get twins.
    There are drugs that increase the chance of multiple pregnancies, however, you might also have triplets or only one baby when taking these. You should talk to your doctor about this.
    I tend to get a small dose of thrush almost every month, just after my period. I'm ttc - is this dangerous to an unborn baby?
    Yes, it does have the potential to be dangerous in pregnancy, but its very (very) rare. It can cause chorioamnionitis, which is infection of the amniotic fluid, which can precipitate labour; and there is the possibility of causing neonatal candidia infections as the infant passes down the 'birth canal'. In fact in the immunocompromised, eg with AIDS or patients on chemotherapy and the like, it can cause a severe infections such as pneumonia and encephalitis. For peace of mind, you should discuss this with your GP, perhaps they can help you prevent the monthly thrush.
    I am not breast feeding. Please notify me of ways to treat breast engorgement. How long will I have to suffer through this pain?
    The standard advice in this situation is warm compresses and support. There are drugs which inhibit lactation after delivery . See your doctor about these.
    Is it possible to feel nauseous only a few days after conception? I miscarried in my 7th week several months ago, but the nausea didn't start until well into the 3rd week. My husband and I have been trying very hard to conceive and I've felt definite bouts of nausea the last couple of day - and I'm only a few days after any possible conception. Am I just imagining things? Or is this possible?
    We assume you actually know the answer to your question by now, but briefly, the link between nausea and pregnancy is still not very well understood. Its probably a reaction to HCG, so its theoretically possible at implantation, but usually the levels aren't high enough to cause sickness.
    We have been trying for a baby for 2 months now, with no result. I have a regular 28 day cycle. I always have pain around ovulation time and have increased vaginal discharge. which starts at about day 10 until day 14. Is this normal to have pain and feel hot for these many days? Could this mean there could be problems?
    The good news at the moment is that two months is not considered a long time to be trying for a baby usually! A year is commonly the point at which people start considering infertility treatment. In general your symptoms sound quite normal, but if you are in anyway worried, make an appointment to see your GP.
    I have just come off of the Depo-provera injection at Christmas and have had three regular periods. What I would like to know is how do I know if I am ovulating?
    If there's a regular cycle, then you are probably ovulating. If you want to check, you can monitor your Basal Body Temperature, look at mid-cycle mucus or use Persona, but these are not guaranteed methods. If you want to know whether you are ovulating in order to try and get pregnant, it is often best just to try to get pregnant and find out that way!
    I am 15 weeks pregnant and think I may have tonsillitis. Is this serious?
    Generally, high fevers can be dangerous in pregnancy, but otherwise there should be no danger from tonsillitis as long as anybody who prescribes you drugs knows that you are pregnant. You should always visit your GP with something like this.
    I am 15 weeks pregnant with twins and over the last 3 weeks have been experiencing seizures in my hands and feet. They only last for seconds but are constant. It almost feels like the message is not getting from my brain to my limbs. This has now started to spread to my neck. I have consulted my GP who says it is fluid retention. Can you shed further light on this condition?
    Fluid retention is normal, and is increased commensurate with the number of foetuses. Fluid retention can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. You should really discuss this with your obstetrician.
    Does air travel effect ovulation?

    We are trying to conceive and have read that air travel will mess up the time of ovulation and thus the fertile period, but none of the articles ever indicate if it is likely to make it occur earlier or later. Is this true and if so, what is the likely effect?
    This is probably not actually true, and therefore there should be no likely effect.
    Is spotting normal when I should have a regular period?

    I was sure when I got chemically pregnant. I instantly had heartburn for several days, which I don't get normally. I started morning sickness the same day of the heartburn. I had instant weight gain, which I had not eaten more to increase this. I had lost my waist line. I started to bleed 3 days after when I would have a period. It was clump dark rich blood. It did not end after a few days it lasted 2 weeks of spotting. I though I would get a normal period. 6 days after when I should have had a period I started to but only spotting again. Is this normal? Do I have other medical conditions underlyng this?
    Only a positive pregnancy test proves you are pregnant.
    It could be an anovulatory cycle, ie one in which an egg is not produced, but could be related to intra-uterine pathology. Intermenstrual bleeding is never 'normal', and you should see your GP.
    How long after IUD removal can I get pregnant?

    I have the IUD right now, I have booked an appointment with the doctor on the 6th December but my last period was 25th November and my cycle is 28 days . Now we have not had sex since 1st December, does this mean I can get pregnant. We are hoping for a boy and I was told my best day is 9th december.

    My question is can I get pregnant between the 6 to 9 December?
    Its pretty unlikely that one would get pregnant immediately after the IUD is removed, but possible as it has no hormonal effects which need to wear off.

    You cannot time intercourse to produce a male/female baby.

    How can I tell if the scan showed a boy or a girl?

    I had a nuchal scan at 12 weeks, the Consultant performing the scan thought that my baby was a girl. I've just had my anomaly scan at 20 weeks and the sonographer felt that she could see scrotum and thought that it was a boy. My baby was being somewhat coy, and we did not actually see a penis. Is it possible for the vulva to appear slightly rounded and appear similar to scrotum, or is it most likely that I am expecting a boy?
    This is an interesting question, the most likely thing is that it is a boy, the 20 week scan is better at this. Ultimately, you should wait and see what comes out, and buy yellow things till then!
    When is the best time to do a pregnancy test?

    My period is late but I have done a test 3 times but it is still indicating negative. All my tests were done in the evening, is it recommended to another test first thing in the morning?


    Taking and stopping the pill of any kind will interfere with your normal cycles. If you have taken the mini-pill for one month, then this could affect the date on which your period is due - its unlikely but you may even miss a period altogether. So as you have had three negative tests, the chances are that your period is just late.

    It is usually advisable to do pregnancy tests first thing in the morning as they measure a level of hormone in your urine and the concentration is higher.

    How can I tell when I am most fertile?

    My monthly cycle is irregular and varies from 28 to 35 days in length. How can I tell when I'm most fertile and when is the earliest time I can do a home pregnancy test which will provide me with an accurate result?
    You can check your most fertile time through an ovulation predictor test such as Clearplan.

    Really you can test for pregnancy from the first day of your missed period - so as yours are irregular, if it hasn't come by the 35th day, test then.

    Will my cycle return to normal after stopping the pill?

    I went off the pill last month after almost 2 years, and my period this month was 4 days late. Before and during use of the pill I had a 28 day cycle, so should it return to 28 days now?

    Also, I'm 99% sure I ovulated on day 13 of my last cycle, the first one after the pill. Is it even possible to ovulate during the first cycle "clean"? We're TTC assuming my cycle goes back to normal, tried on day 10, and will try on days 12 and 13, also.
    This is always a difficult question. 12 months is usually quoted as being the time it takes to return to a normal cycle, and if ovulation is occurring, the cycle should be between 21-35 days. This is the normal range. The luteal phase (second half of the cycle) is fairly constant in ovulatory cycles so the day of ovulation is often shifted forward or back.

    Any physiological measure of ovulation is fraught with difficulty (eg basal body temperature, cervical mucus). The idea of trying to conceive at the time of ovulation is consequently very difficult to put into practice. Bear in mind that spermatozoa can live for 72 hours in the female genital tract, and so have sex regularly from approx mid-cycle onwards, and enjoy it.

    Can you take a newborn on a plane?

    My wife and I would like to take our expected baby on holiday to Italy later this year. The baby will be 3 months old and the flight not more than 2 hours. Is this sensible ?

    Many people do take children that young on planes. However, you should remember that the pressure will affect the little, less developed sinuses on a baby far more than it affects adults (and you know how some adults can get!) So be prepared for this. Two ways to deal with this are
    a. feeding the baby ( some airlines still hand out boiled sweets to adults to suck on landing and take off for the same reason) and
    b. planning the trip round nap time, to maximise the chances baby will sleep through the whole thing.

    Another idea is to call up your airline in advance and ask them if they have any procedures they advise or suggestions for you to follow. (This obviously works better with 'frills' airlines!)

    Here's a link to an American website. They say much the same thing as we do, but I know its good to hear these things from a couple of sources!

    Can a negative result turn positive?

    I took a pregnancy test and the result was negative.... I waited about 3 minutes and then I put it in its box and was going to throw it away.... I forgot to throw it away so when I got it to throw it away the results were positive... my question is can a negative result turn into a positive?
    It sounds like what happened here was the substance in the 'control' portion of the test leaked into the 'blank' part, which would bring up a positive test after a while. But by all means do another test (first thing in the morning is usually best) to check.
    Can a test be done before the first date my next
    period is due?

    I have been trying to conceive and for the first time feel strange, however I have another few days before my next scheduled period is due. Therefore I was wondering if I can do a test before this date or would it be a waste of time?
    Testing before you have missed a period is usually a
    waste of time. The HCG levels are not high enough to make the PT positive.
    What is the cause of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy?

    My wife has had a problem since her start of pregnancy. Her last period was 30 August 2002. She has bleeding in the end days of months (20 to 30 ), in Sep , Oct and Nov (on 29th). Although not much. She also undergone ultrasound. What is the cause of bleeding and implication and treatment of that ?
    This is very common, the first bleed is what used to be known as implantation bleeding. The common times for bleeding are 4,8 & 12 weeks, but it may continue throughout the pregnancy. There are no implications of first and early second trimester bleeding, as long as the baby is still alive. There are no treatments for it, she should probably rest during the actual bleeding, but this has not been shown to improve outcome. It is of no long term consequence. Bleeding in the late second and throughout the third trimester has a different aetiology, and should be discussed with the obstetricians concerned in your wife's care.
    Will polisitic ovarian syndrome interrupt conception?

    I have a daughter born in July 2000. We had help to conceive by AUI as I wasn't ovulating every month (my periods were all over the shop) and my husband's sperm count wasn't as good as it could be! I went on Clomid, and in the second month of using it and having AUI (I think that is what is called) we conceived. I was told during my Caesearean that I had polisystic ovarian syndrome. Although my periods are alot more regular anything from 30 to 35 days, do you think I should contact my doctor for help again as we have been trying for 10 months?
    Yes, you should contact your doctor. The true diagnosis of
    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome requires biochemical profiling (blood tests) +/- an USS, but the blood test is the best diagnostic tool. It is not a worry in respect of your health while your periods are regular, and this in itself suggests that you are ovulating, and therefore don't have significant PCOS. Doctors often make a comment on the ovaries as having this appearance at surgery, but its not a good way to tell. The fact that you needed IUI in the first pregnancy suggests you may need it again.
    What do I do about pains in my legs?

    I'm 19 weeks and have had bad pains in my thighs they are
    quite painful sometimes. There is no swelling but it's worse in the evening.
    You should never ignore pain in the legs in pregnancy because of the possibility of DVT. You need to get it checked out by your GP. Otherwise, it could be due to compression of the pelvic nerves with the increasing size of the uterus. You should seek physio advice re support later in pregnancy as if this is the cause, it will probably get worse.
    Do you know when you are pregnant?

    My husband and I have been trying for a baby for 18 months to no avail. I am now 4 days late. Everyone keeps saying that I would know if I was pregnant but I don't feel any different and I am too scared to do a test as it will be so upsetting if I am not pregnant - is it true I would know? My mum says that she knew from the day that she conceived.
    The only way to know for sure that you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test and for it to be positive. Bear in mind that although many people claim they 'know' that they are pregnant many others don't know till they give birth! Everyone's different.

    Don't let yourself get upset if the pregnancy test is negative. Being miserable will not help your chances of conceiving. Being your optimum weight, not smoking and eating loads of fresh fruit and vegetables will help. Now you have been trying for over a year you are possibly eligible for NHS help in conceiving ( depending on your age and other factors). Make an appointment with your doctor in the first instance.
    How early can you get morning sickness?

    Would you get morning sickness at 2 months?
    'Morning sickness' is a nausea induced by pregnancy hormones, so you can certainly get it from very early on the pregnancy. It is most usually experienced in the first three months.
    How will I know if I am fertile?

    My husband and I would like to have a baby. In June we got married and we decided that I would go on the depot shot. On July 15 I got my first shot of Depo. I have only hade two shots. I got my last shot on October 9, since then no more shots. I have always had irregular periods. I have not had my period yet. They say it is because I was on Depo. My doctor said if I don't have a period by March they will give me a pill to start my period again.

    I have a question. Do you know how long it will take us to have a baby? They say it takes one year after being on Depo. Will I have problems to being with having irregular periods? After Depo wears off they say you can tell you are fertile by your period coming on time. My period never came on time, how will I know if I am fertile? Somebody said a monitor would tell us. I told my husband and he said he didn't like the idea. He said that we would only have sex when it says and that is wrong. I told him that maybe the only way to know and he said ok if no luck in a year maybe. I don't know what to do. We really want to have a baby and I don't feel I can. What can I do to become pregnant with the problem I have?

    Your doctor is right - it can take up to a year after coming off hormonal contraception ( that includes Depo shots) for your body to get back to normal. So please don't worry about your period coming until next October, although it may come back before then.

    Once your period is back, then you can optimise your chances of getting pregnant by having sexual intercourse during days 7 to 16 of your cycle - which is quite a lot of time, and your husband shouldn't worry too much.

    Is there such a thing as a false positive?

    Could i please ask your advice?? if you do a preganancy test (First Response) and it shows a positive line, a little faint but a definite positive, (2 lines were showing), and then a week later your period arrives, does that mean that you have lost whatever was there, in other words is there such a thing as a false positive?


    Sometimes the dye that creates the control (first) line can leak into the second window, which will make it show positive when it isn't.
    Can you find the sex in the breech position?

    Could you tell me that if a baby is in the breech position is there any way to detect or find out what sex it is asap. Or if you can pay for a private scan as I haven't been offered any more scans. I`m now 25 weeks.
    Yes, you often can tell the sex in the breech by ultra sound scan. However, the chances are that it may have moved, as babies move about a lot under 25 weeks. It may be worth having a private scan, for instance at the North London Fetal Medicine Centre. If you watched the TV programme on development in the womb last year, you'll be familiar with the name of Professor Kypros Nicolaides, who is a consultant here.
    Can depression affect my period?

    I had a baby nearly three months ago now and after two or three weeks I started my periods again then it only seemed like a few weeks after that I was on my period again. Then I went 28 days until my next period and I am now 11 days over my next due period. I have been diagnosed with post natal depression and I am currently taking medication but before that I was taking Nytol to help me sleep. Could this affect why I am so late for my next period as I am now worried?
    All depends on whether you are breastfeeding. If not, the cycle should settle down, and most antidepressants do no affect the cycle. You should do a pregnancy test if late!
    Size of foetus?

    We are getting married and now my wife is pregnant about 3 months. Dealing with your article the foetus is 9 cm length and 48 grams. Nonetheless, my baby is just 7.3 cm. Is it normal?
    If you know the length of your baby, I assume you have had a scan. If the person doing the scan was not happy with the size of the foetus, I am sure they would have told you. If you are still concerned, do not hesitate to ask your midwife.

    Is spina bifida hereditary?

    I am 37 and my husband and I have decided to try for a baby starting next month. One question we have is my husband had a brother who was born with Spina Bifida and died aged 14. Is Spina Bifida hereditary and will it mean that we will have a high risk of having a baby with Spina Bifida, especially due to my age as well?

    Most cases of spina bifida are due to spontaneous abnormalities in the baby and are not hereditary. General thinking recommends starting to take folic acid before pregnancy and you should think about consulting your hospital service as soon as your pregnancy test is positive with a view to having a nuchal translucency test at 11 to 14 weeks.

    And you'll be glad to know that under 40 isn't considered old to have a baby!
    Will it be difficult for me to conceive?

    Please can you tell me if my age (I turned 30 in February) affects my chances of conceiving greatly? People keep saying that once you turn 30 your fertility drops right off.

    Also I have always had irregular periods, and often its 8 weeks between cycles. Can I have help on the NHS without waiting the standard one year of trying to conceive?

    I have been trying to conceive for 3 months and am concerned that I will be 31 before being offered help and I hear that it takes another 6-8 months before getting a first appointment.

    Finally, my husband takes St. Johns Wort and Zotrim, will these affect his sperm count/quality? He also cycles for an hour 5 nights a week, so does this affect it too?
    Your chances of conceiving are not greatly affected until you are about 40, which gives you another ten years.

    Three months is really not very long to try to conceive, especially if, as I suspect, you are worrying about it - stress is a great contraceptive.

    You should consult your GP about your husband's medication. Regular cycling should not affect your husband's fertility, as long as he doesn't do it to excess. Regular exercise is very good for sperm potency.
    Is a Doppler safe for home use?

    I have just bought a Doppler, is it safe to use? Obviously I will use it more often than a midwife would use on me?
    There is a small association with high frequency Doppler ultrasound machines and the development of left handedness in babies! However the Doppler you are talking about is not high frequency and should be completely safe. You should really check with your midwife so she knows you are doing and can allay any related fears you might have about foetal heartbeat.
    Conceiving after stopping the pill

    I took my last pill (Mercillon) 4 weeks ago this weekend - is my fertility likely to return immediately? When will the best time to conceive be or is there no way of telling until my cycle becomes more regular?
    Being fertile is indicated by ovulating, rather than by having regular periods (which, after all, is the womb lining being expelled!)

    It can take up to a year for ovulation to return to normal, so don't panic. There are ovulation predictor tests you can buy (in the supermarket) if you want to keep track of your cycles.
    Periods too irregular for pregnancy?

    I have been trying to get pregnant for the last 3 months. My problem, is that I do have irregular periods, sometimes my periods come after 34, 30, 29 and even 36 days!

    My last period was on 30 days after my last period. My husband and I are really keen to be "lucky" this month for various personal reasons, what can I do to increase my chances of getting pregnant this month?
    The normal period interval is 21-35 days so your cycle is not that irregular. Regular intercourse around the fertile period (see article) should help.

    And don't get too stressed - this prevents you from conceiving!
    What's in a name?

    Can Jade be used as a boy's name?
    Although the most famous Jade around nowadays is Jade Jagger (32), there is also Jade Jones of Damage (21), best-known for being Emma Bunton's boyfriend. So yes!
    Are long cycles normal?

    We are getting married and want to start trying for a baby as soon as possible after the day but looking back, on average I have a 45 day cycle. I tried to calculate on the ovulation predictor but that only goes up to 35 days.

    I'm very worried that this is not normal. Could you help me please?
    Long cycles might be due to hormonal imbalance (don't panic!). You should discuss this with your GP, and, if necessary, a gynaecologist.
    All questions are answered in good faith but Babyguide cannot take any responsibility for inaccuracies/differencies of opinion.

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