a special place in a special time

There is no ideal time to get pregnant; the advantages and disadvantages at any age will depend on your state of health, work situation, and relationship. Young women may not be as psychologically and emotionally prepared for pregnancy and the demands of...

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You will almost certainly feel guilty and also possibly angry after a miscarriage, even though it is unlikely that you or your partner were in any way responsible for the miscarriage. These feelings are very understandable. Ask your professional carers to explain...

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Relationships change in many ways when you have a baby. Your partner is no longer just your lover- he is also your companion in parenthood. Sex can become a problem in the first few months after the birth, and this can make you both feel low.

The best time...

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Bonding is a term used to describe the initial building of a relationship between you and your new baby. Many people perceive it to be something that is instant and spontaneous. For some new parents it is, but for most, it will take time. You may feel that there...

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Doppler and Nuchal scans are both painless and non-invasive special ultrasound scans that are used to detect specific problems . Both types of scan are relatively new and they are available only at certain hospitals.

A Doppler scan is used to examine the blood flow in the baby or in the placenta. It is used to check babies who are small in relation to their due date or not growing as fast as expected. The test may also identify women at risk of developing high blood pressure. It uses a different form of high-frequency sound waves, which are processed to show special wave forms. These sound waves reflect off moving objects,...

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A scanner probe is placed on your skin and very high frequency sound waves that are inaudible to the human ear are passed into your body. As the sound waves pass over objects in fluid, they produce a pattern of echoes . These echoes are converted into electrical signals, which are processed and displayed on a screen as a two-dimensional image.

As the scanner probe is guided over your abdomen, you will feel only the cold plastic. If the pregnancy is at a very early stage, you may need to have a full bladder for the scan to be effective; this may cause slight discomfort. You shouldn't feel forced into having a scan. Scans have been...

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There is normally no reason why you can't fly, unless of course you have developed a medical condition such as preeclampsia. Most airlines set a "cut off" time of around 32 weeks (this varies with each airline) after which they will not allow you to travel. This is because of the (albeit remote) risk of you going into labor on board the airplane. Also, long haul flights are extremely uncomfortable after about 24 weeks.

Infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. Chickenpox, rubella (German measles), and herpes are caused by viruses. They cannot be treated by antibiotics. Bacteria are live organisms that can infect your body by multiplying in tissue and in the bloodstream....

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If you know you're HIV positive but are otherwise healthy, your pregnancy should not be affected, and there is no evidence to suggest that pregnancy increases the risk of developing full-blown AIDS. Any infections should be treated at once, and by taking iron and...

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