Now For The Science Bit…

There’s a real lack of good quality research into high BMI pregnancies. There are few studies done specifically on the topic. Those that do exist are often with very small sample sizes, conflate being overweight with medical conditions, or have flawed methodology.

Yet we’re supposed to accept recommendations based on their results?

Pregnant Woman in front of windowEven given the state of some of it, I definitely prefer recommendations based on evidence! All too often we’re told we should do something while pregnant because it’s ‘policy’, yet when you start unpicking the advice, it turns out to be based on nothing more than a hunch – e.g.taking an an increased dose of Folic Acid.

And then there’s the problem with finding the evidence that applies to our circumstances when it does exist. Many Big Birthas out there, myself included, have found that it’s best not to assume that your healthcare professionals are experts in whatever course of action they’re proposing, and often have no idea of the evidence base (or lack of it) to support their advice, and so we have to do the research ourselves to ensure we’re making fully informed decisions!

Well, I can announce some exciting news.

Parenting Science Gang is a user-led citizen science project funded by Wellcome, and one of the new groups for 2018 is a Big Birthas Parenting Science Gang! This is an amazing opportunity to get involved in looking at issues faced by mothers and mothers-to-be with a high BMI.

You don’t need to be a scientist – I’m not! You just need to want more information and help us find it! We will look for evidence-based answers to the questions that us bigger mums want to know, and where we find gaps, we’ll design and run our own research studies to discover and publish our own scientific results and add to the body of knowledge available.

We’ll get advice from professional scientists along the way – but the group will be in charge of the experiments.

We’ll also have regular online Q&A sessions with experts. They will help us in designing our experiments, and maybe even point us in the direction of equipment and resources.

So far we’ve already talked about weight management in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, use of blood thinners in pregnancy, fat vaginas and more! And we’ve had Q&A sessions with yours truly and Clare Murphy of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

Come along and find out more, ask your questions, and maybe even help us to find the answers! You can give as little or as much time as you choose. It’s a closed Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1955647771354577/)  and there are also some meet-ups being organised across the country for people in the different Parenting Science Gangs to get together and discuss the issues in March and April.

We’d love to have you on board!

 

Online Q&A with Big Birtha Thurs 9th Nov 9pm!

Good Morning Britain Big Birthas Tweet

Would you like the opportunity to take part in an online Q&A with the founder of Big Birthas, Amber Marshall?

Do mums with a higher BMI get a raw deal from health professionals? Parenting Science Gang members will be asking me about the experiences that we sometimes experience, and what the research really says. Do mums with higher BMI have more problems during pregnancy and birth, or is this just a perception of some health care providers?
Parenting Science Gang is a Wellcome-funded citizen science programme where parents are looking for evidence-based answers to the parenting questions that affect their lives. You can find out more on their website: http://parentingsciencegang.org.uk
If you are a larger mum or mum-to-be, or you are just interested in the topic, you’re welcome to come along and share your experiences and hear about what research has been done.
On Thursday 9th November at 9pm, Parenting Science Gang will be chatting to me using a closed Facebook group set up expressly for the purpose, which they’ll delete afterwards. If you do not use Facebook, rest assured that setting up an account just for this session is not time consuming, and it is easy to delete your account afterwards.
This is a text-based session, so you just need to be able to read and type to get involved. Just join the event FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/190504264828426, and turn up on Thursday 9th November at 9pm to chat! I’ll do my best to answer as many questions as possible!

Useful website on medicines in pregnancy

Are you on any medications while trying to conceive and concerned about whether they’re safe? Worried about over the counter remedies and what is safe during pregnancy?

I’ve just discovered this rather helpful site run by UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS) called BUMPS: Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy. http://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/

UKTIS is a not-for-profit organisation funded by Public Health England on behalf of the UK Health Departments (it was previously called the National Teratology Information Service or NTIS) and has been providing information since 1983 on the effects that use of medicines, recreational drugs and chemicals during pregnancy may have on the unborn baby.

They have a large number of leaflets on different medications, and also a form to request information if the drug or medicine you’re looking for isn’t currently covered.

Information on the use of medicines in human pregnancy is generally sparce, especially for new or rarely used products. Pregnant women taking medications are asked to report their details to UKTIS directly so that this information is available to other pregnant women who may need to consider whether or not to take a certain medicine in the future, using your own password protected ‘my bump’s record’. The information entered into these records is stored by UKTIS and reviewed periodically to help better understand how the medicines, a woman’s lifestyle or the illness for which she was taking the medicine, may affect her baby’s development in the womb.

They also post information about studies looking for participants. e.g. at the moment there is a study in the North West and North East of England and Northern Ireland looking for women with epilepsy who are in their first or second trimester of pregnancy. If this applies to you, and you’re interested you can contact contact the NaME study team on Name.Study@cmft.nhs.uk or call them on 0161 701 9136 to find out more.

http://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/About-Us/

All in all, a really handy find! Shame they couldn’t find any geniuinely pregant women for their cover photo, but I guess you can’t have everything!

And The Winner IS…

Congratulations to Sherri Hough who chose the beautiful Gorsenia Marine Balconette Lingerie Set in Turquoise!

Gorsenia Balconette Bra

Gorsenia Marine Balconette Bra and Briefs Currently £22.95 + £11.95 in the Brastop Sale – sizes up to 42FF

Sherri, we will be in touch this week to organise getting your prize to you.

Commiserations to all of you who entered but weren’t lucky enough to win. But all is not lost! Keep a lookout in the inbox of the email address you supplied for your exclusive brastop.com discount code!

x

Big Birtha