Oligohydramnios is the condition of having too little amniotic fluid. About 8 per cent of all pregnant women are found to have low amniotic fluid at some point, usually in their third trimester. Among those still pregnant two weeks past their due date, 12 per cent have this condition. Amniotic fluid provides the fetus with fluid and nutrients, protects the fetus from trauma, has antibacterial properties and is necessary for the development of a healthy fetus. Studies have suggested that dramatic changes in amniotic fluid volumes can be a reflection of abnormalities in maternal or fetal status increasing the risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality.  Continue reading


Polyhydramnious or hydramnious is as an abnormally large volume of amniotic fluid. There is a range of ‘normal’ fluid volumes and an abnormally large volume may raise suspicion of a problem with the pregnancy. Greater deviations from the norm are more strongly associated with abnormality. The definition of “too much” is generally considered to be more than 2 liters; the average amount is about 1 liter, see “Assessment of amniotic fluid volume”.). Most cases of polyhydramnios are mild and involve less than 3 liters of amniotic fluid. So, in many cases, a diagnosis of polyhydramnios means that you’re on the high side of normal for amount of amniotic fluid and presents only minor secondary concerns. Continue reading


Meconium comes from the Greek word “meconi” which means poppi juice or opium. Meconuim is composed of all the substances that have built up in the baby’s gut during pregnancy. Meconuim is a sterile compound and is mostly water (70-80% and a number of other interesting ingredients: small bile pigment, bile acids, residue of intestinal secretions, mucus glycoprotein’s, lips and proteases etc. About 15% of babies are born with meconuim stained liquor (MAS).  Continue reading

Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds the fetus. Amniotic fluid is 98% water and 2% salts and cells from the baby. A pregnant woman carries about 500-1000 ml of amniotic fluid. Until the fetal kidneys started working during month four, amniotic fluid is made by the mother’s body. But after month 4, the foetus started to make his/her contribution to the amniotic fluid by urinating into it. Successful pregnancy requires the accumulation of significant amounts of water, both to support fetal growth and to allow for maternal physiologic changes. Continue reading

Artificial Rupture of Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly yellowish liquid that surrounds the foetus during pregnancy. It is contained in the amniotic sac. The purpose of the amniotic sac is to protect the foetus from infection to cushion the foetus in the womb, a medium for foetus to grow in and thrive by maintaining a constant temperature, allowing movement to aid muscle development, protecting against infection – the membranes provide a barrier- the fluid contains antimicrobial peptides, assisting lung development, baby breathes fluid in and out of the lungs, and also plays an important part in developing many of the baby’s vital internal organs, such as the lungs, kidneys and gut. Continue reading

Private or Independent Midwives in South Africa

A Registered Midwife in South Africa is someone with a diploma or degree in nursing. Nurse midwives work in public hospitals or clinics while others work in private hospitals as obstetrics nurses not as midwives because all births are in the hands of obstetricians. It is so sad that when deciding whether to go public or private, a pregnant woman need to weigh up what she want out of the birthing experience, as well as what you can afford and if their medical aid cover will absorb the costs of going private. Continue reading

Caesarian Sections aren’t always best for preterm babies

Doctors have long assumed that Caesarean sections might be the best choice for babies that will be born preterm. But a new study shows that C-sections are no safer than vaginal delivery for the most fragile of infants, those who are born early and who are small for their age. In fact, C-sections might actually lead to a greater risk of respiratory problems and other complications in these infants, according to a report presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Continue reading

Support in Labour Important

The birth of a baby represents a profound and permanent life change for the parents and other family members. After nine months of pregnancy and the stresses of labour and birth, a family is born. For new parents, the challenges are numerous: recovery from childbirth, total responsibility for a tiny, dependent newborn, sleeplessness, emotional adjustment, mastery of breastfeeding, understanding of and adjustment to parenthood and household organization. Sometimes the mental health of the new mother or baby is compromised and the new parents need more help than they had expected. Continue reading

Advantages of nitrous oxide

Pain relief doesn’t necessarily mean taking drugs. Fear – of not knowing what’s happening or what to expect – can make pain feel worse than it actually is. Learning to relax can make a big difference, as can feeling in control. Midwives should support women in their choice of using entenox and answer their questions. Continue reading

History of Entenox/Nitrous Oxide

Childbirth is not easy. Many women suffer during childbirth. Childbirth is meant to be hard, long, and painful – but women are strong and our bodies are made to handle a lot during this difficult time. Thousands of women have been giving birth in spite of the labour pain. Unfortunately many women do not cope well with labour pain. For some, the pain can be overwhelming. Continue reading