News / Blog Innermost Secrets News / Blog Clinic is the first to offer test which could save a baby’s life <p><a href="" title="Clcik here to find out more about the Full Term Fetal Fibronectin Test"><img style="float: left;" alt="Full Term Fetal Fibronectin Test" src="" /></a></p> <p> </p> <h3> <p>New Test For Preterm Labour and Late Miscarriage</p> </h3> <p> </p> <p> </p> <h1>Clinic is the first to offer test which could save a baby’s life </h1> <p> </p> <p class="article-date"><a href="" title="Find all articles published on Aug 30 2010 to the Wales News section" class="i-date"><span style="color: #005689;">Aug 30 2010</span></a> by <a href="" class="i-author"><span style="color: #005689;">Madeleine Brindley</span></a>, Western Mail </p> <p class="article-date"> </p> <p class="article-date">A SIMPLE test could tell whether a pregnant woman is at risk of giving birth to her child prematurely. <br /> <br /> A South Wales clinic has become the first in the country to commission the test, which could help reduce the number of babies who die because they are born too soon. <br /> <br /> Innermost Secrets, which is based at the Spire Hospital, in Cardiff, will offer the fortnightly test, which can identify those women at risk of having a premature birth. <br /> <br /> The results could ensure women receive medication to reduce the risk of an early delivery or drugs to help the baby’s lungs develop to increase its chances of survival. <br /> <br /> Bryan Beattie, director of Innermost Secrets, said: “Prematurity is a leading cause of death and handicap in the UK and many women – with risk factors like being pregnant with twins; having had IVF or a previous premature birth or late miscarriage – have little warning until it is too late. <br /> <br /> “This new test will reliably identify which women need admission to hospital and treatment to try to prevent premature delivery and steroids to prevent breathing difficulties in the baby. For most women however, it will reliably identify those who can be reassured that it won’t happen so that they can enjoy their pregnancy.” <br /> <br /> The swab test, which can be carried out from 22 weeks, looks for the presence of a protein called foetal fibronectin – a “glue-like” substance that bonds the developing baby to the uterus. <br /> <br /> Foetal fibronectin is detectable in vaginal secretions in the very beginning of pregnancy, when the bond is first forming, and again at the end when the body is getting ready to deliver the baby. <br /> <br /> A positive result indicates an increased risk of a premature birth, indicating that intervention measures are needed. <br /> <br /> The test is widely used in the US. Dr Daniel Eller, who practises in Atlanta, Georgia, said of one of his patients who had the test: “I know she appreciated being home with her family, and she said the negative results gave her a sense of security.” <br /> <br /> Dr Luan Pessall, who lives in Cardiff, is hoping the test will give her vital reassurance about her unborn baby when she conceives again. <br /> <br /> The 36-year-old clinical psychologist suffered a miscarriage 18 months ago and just three months ago she lost twin boys when they were stillborn at 20 weeks. <br /> <br /> She said: “When I became pregnant with the twins the first 12 to 13 weeks were a very anxious time and I was delighted to get to the 14-week mark. You think that you’re safe at that point and there was no reason to think that everything wouldn’t be OK.” <br /> <br /> But at around 18 weeks into her pregnancy, Dr Pessall was admitted to hospital for 10 days for bed rest – her cervix had begun to open and she was suffering mild contractions. <br /> <br /> “Three days before the twins were born, it looked like everything was going to be OK but unfortunately the following night the boys were ready to come out – I was one day off 20 weeks,” she said. <br /> <br /> “They were perfectly formed and if they had been able to grow more they would have been fine – they needed another four weeks’ minimum for any chance of surviving.” <br /> <br /> Dr Pessall added: “This hasn’t diminished my desire to have children and I will carry on trying but I have to get through the first 12 to 13 weeks and the risk of miscarriage and then get to 24 to 28 weeks before I’ll have any sense of security. <br /> <br /> ’The level of fear I’m likely to have to live with is quite difficult to get your head around.” <br /> <br /> She said she hopes to have the foetal fibronectin test if she becomes pregnant again, because it will give her extra reassurance that everything is normal. <br /> <br /> “It will be an extra layer of reassurance,” said Dr Pessall. <br /> <br /> For more information about the foetal fibronectin test, contact Innermost Secrets on 0345 230 3386 or click <a href="" title="Clcik here to find out more about the Fetal Fibronectin Test">here</a></p>’s_life.aspx Madeleine Brindley 4a05831a-3b37-4d4b-907b-b60b8e013d6a Mon, 30 Aug 2010 13:29:17 GMT Keeping a record could help with cancer battle <p>WOMEN are being urged to keep a diary to record how often they suffer symptoms that could be linked to ovarian cancer.</p> <p>The diary will provide GPs with a snapshot record of a woman’s health and could lead to the earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The disease is the most common form of gynaecological cancer but awareness of symptoms remains low.</p> <p>Few women are aware that persistent stomach pain, increased abdominal size and persistent bloating, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, could be the signs of ovarian cancer.</p> <p>The common symptoms alongside needing to urinate more frequently, a change in bowel habits, back <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink0"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">pain</span></span></a> and extreme fatigue are often confused with less serious and more common conditions, such as <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink1"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">irritable </span><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">bowel </span><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">syndrome</span></span></a> or the menopause.</p> <p>Bryan Beattie, founder of Innermost Secrets, said: “Women over 50 should keep a symptom diary for a month once a year.</p> <p>“Ideally women should be screened for ovarian cancer but until that becomes widely available, for financial and other reasons, this is a cheaper way that will pick up some women early.</p> <p>“The diary will give a snapshot of symptoms but, more importantly, people will be more aware that these symptoms are important.”</p> <p>Mr Beattie, a foetal medicine consultant, has become an advocate for ovarian cancer following the death of his mother-in-law Elizabeth from the disease. His sister-in-law was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year.</p> <p>“Although it likely that these symptoms will not be ovarian cancer, it is important that anybody experiencing them on most days discusses any concerns with their GP,” he said.</p> <p>More than 6,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK – 18 every day – and a staggering 4,400 women die from the disease every year.</p> <p>Fewer than 40% of women survive more than five years after diagnosis.</p> <p>The survival rates from ovarian cancer in the UK are the worst in Europe and are closely linked to delays in diagnosis – most women present late after the disease has spread.</p> <p>But an awareness of the key symptoms increases the chances of detecting it at an earlier stage and improving survival rates.</p> <p>The diary should also be used by women who experience stomach or pelvic pain; persistent abdominal bloating and difficulty eating on most days every month.</p> <p>Innermost Secrets, which is based at the Spire Hospital in Cardiff and provides private ovarian cancer screening, has also sent 5,000 diaries to GPs across Wales to help heighten awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms.</p> <p>The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance in the US recommends the use of a symptom diary, stating: “Using this diary will help your doctor understand your symptoms and whether ovarian cancer should be considered in your diagnosis.</p> <p>“Remember that ovarian cancer is not common but neither is it rare. Women are advised to remember that the presence of symptoms may not indicate ovarian cancer but the persistency of symptoms requires closer investigation.</p> <p>“However early diagnosis improves your chances for a positive outcome so it is important that you tell your doctor if symptoms are persistent and different from what is normal for you.”</p> <p>Ovarian Cancer Action has launched an online campaign – What Every Woman Should Remember – to increase awareness about the disease’s symptoms. For more information about symptoms visit</p> <p>To download a copy of the ovarian cancer symptom diary and for information about screening visit</p> Madeleine Brindley b46f8e14-416b-443d-aec0-bd510fd4a70f Mon, 22 Mar 2010 11:09:00 GMT Do pregnant women face growing expectations to be 'perfect' mothers? <p><strong>Health Editor Madeleine Brindley asks whether society and the media are putting too much pressure on pregnant women to become perfect <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink0"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">mothers</span></span></a></strong></p> <p>PRIVATE classes have been set up to teach expectant mothers and fathers about parenting.</p> <p>The small “parentcraft” classes, for between five and 10 couples, are being run by Innermost Secrets and aim to prepare couples for both the birth of their <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink1"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">child</span></span></a> and life after.</p> <p>There will also be special men-only sessions to address fathers’ concerns.</p> <p>Bryan Beattie, director of Innermost Secrets, said: “Many couples have complained that hospital antenatal clinics are busy and overcrowded with couples of different ages and from different backgrounds, such that they felt the classes did not actually meet their individual needs.</p> <p>“Other couples have found it useful to attend NCT classes but found that while catering well for normal childbirth, medical information about screening tests, pregnancy scans, epidural and spinal anaesthesia, instrumental delivery and caesarean section was limited. </p> <p>“For this reason many couples didn’t attend any parentcraft classes and lost out on the many benefits they provide.”</p> <p>The classes will provide one midwife for every five couples and will be held at the Village Hotel, in Cardiff, every Monday evening.</p> <p>Mr Beattie added: “There is also considerable emphasis on life after birth for both the woman and her partner and the importance of&nbsp; maintaining their relationship as a couple as well as becoming mums and dads. </p> <p>“Often the demands of a new baby leave many women feeling their only role is as a mother to their new baby and many dads feeling they have lost their partner as part of a couple. </p> <p>“This breakdown in the relationship as a couple can contribute to postnatal depression and further stress and anxiety for new mums and dads.</p> <p>“Understanding each other’s perspective, sharing the workload, supporting each other and taking time out together are key parts of a successful, happy, integrated family unit.”</p> <p>For more information on private parentcraft classes visit <a href="../../"></a> or call 0345 230 3386.</p> Madeleine Brindley 710d90e9-6a0c-4c3a-8c6f-0463a69b2a99 Mon, 08 Mar 2010 11:11:00 GMT Florence Nightingale Symposium - Wed 12th May 2010 <p><img src="" alt="Mother Breastfeeding Baby" style="width: 218px; height: 300px; float: left; " /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 19px; ">Breastfeeding and Biological Nurturing</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Innermost Secrets are proud to sponsor the first annual “Florence Nightingale Birthday Symposium” and to invite healthcare professionals to an evening devoted to breastfeeding and biological nurturing. Admission is free to midwives, student midwives, health visitors, hospital doctors, GPs and other healthcare professionals subject to registration. <br /> <br /> The evening will start with a chocolate fountain to welcome our guests at the Village Hotel in Cardiff and following a short birthday tribute to Florence Nightingale there will be a two part educational symposium by national experts on breast feeding and biological nurturing.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: normal; "></span><span style="font-weight: normal; "><strong>Wednesday 12th May 6:30-10:00pm, <span style="font-weight: normal; "><strong>Village Hotel, Coryton, Cardiff</strong></span></strong></span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: 32px; "></span> <br /> </strong></p> <p><strong><br /> </strong></p> <p><strong><br /> </strong></p> <p><strong><br /> </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 24px; ">PROGRAMME</span></p> <h2> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: normal; ">6:30pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Registration and Chocolate Fountain <br /> <br /> 7:00pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Birthday Tribute to Florence Nightingale<br /> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Dr Bryan Beattie MD FRCOG, Director of Innermost Secrets<br /> <br /> 7:10pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Breast Feeding – The First Week<br /> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Sue Saunders, Lactation Consultant<br /> <br /> 7:40pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Baby Friendly<br /> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Karen Evans, Breast Feeding Professional Officer for Wales<br /> <br /> 8:10pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Interval<br /> <br /> 8:40pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Breast Feeding – Keeping It Going<br /> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Carol Walton, Lactation Consultant<br /> <br /> 9:10pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Biological Nurturing<br /> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Dr Suzanne Colson, Lactation Consultant<br /> <br /> 9:50pm <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>Close<span style="font-size: medium; "><span style="font-size: 32px; "><span style="font-size: 24px; "><br /> </span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: normal; "><br /> </span></strong></p> </h2> <p><strong><span style="font-weight: normal; "> Suitable for inclusion in nursing and midwifery CPD portfolios and CME portfolios for doctors<br /> <br /> Register online to book your place now!<br /><br /> <br /> Innermost Secrets Ltd.<br /> Tel: 0345 2303386<br /> Email:<br /> </span><br /> </strong></p> <h3></h3> Bryan Beattie 17a26077-da16-4f87-9511-2b65ae29da83 Fri, 26 Feb 2010 21:15:36 GMT Body Clock testing can help women take control of their fertility <strong>Increasing numbers of women are delaying motherhood until later in life but there are no guarantees they will be able to conceive. As a new body clock test is developed to measure a woman’s ovarian reserve, consultant Bryan Beattie explains why every woman over 30 should have a regular fertility ‘MoT’</strong> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Q Does the quality of eggs also decline with age?</strong></p> <p>A Yes. During a woman’s normal cycle the body selects the best eggs to ripen for fertilisation. So, each month, at least one healthy egg is passed during menstruation.</p> <p>Unless a woman conceives, the best eggs are gradually discarded by the body. Those that remain have grown older and are possibly of a lower quality, which makes them less likely to become fertilised and develop into a healthy baby.</p> <p>Although an older egg can sometimes become fertilised, there is a greater risk of miscarriage or birth abnormalities due to chromosomal defects.</p> <p>It may be that the reduced fertility seen with aging is therefore part of the body’s natural safety mechanism.</p> <p><strong>Q How can I find out what ovarian reserve I have and how reliable are the tests?</strong></p> <p>A The most commonly-used test to assess ovarian reserve is the day-two-to-six FSH – follicle-stimulating hormone – test. This blood test determines the level of FSH between days two and six in a woman’s cycle.</p> <p>Generally FSH levels are expected to be below 10 miu/ml in women with normal reproductive potential (levels of 10-15 miu/ml are considered borderline).</p> <p>But there is little warning about when ovarian reserve is likely to be exhausted and by the time FSH levels climb rapidly to above 40miu/ml it is usually too late for either natural attempts to become <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink0"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">pregnant</span></span></a> or for infertility treatment.</p> <p>Another means is to test Inhibin-B levels. Inhibin-B is mainly produced by the granulosa cells in growing follicles and offers a more immediate assessment of ovarian reserve activity than other serum tests.</p> <p>A fall in day three inhibin-B levels may predict poor ovarian reserve but this is still considered unreliable. The anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is produced by the granulosa cells of the recruited follicles until they become sensitive to FSH.</p> <p>AMH levels have been found to decline with advancing female age and AMH has been suggested as the best predictor of ovarian response.</p> <p>Although kits that measure AMF are available over the internet and from some chemist shops, in the absence of a proper assessment of the ovaries, they may give misleading reassurance to those who use them who may then miss the boat.</p> <p>This is particularly true for women with polycystic ovary syndrome when misleadingly high levels of AMF are often present.</p> <p>The body clock test is a combination of an un-timed blood test to measure AMF levels and a transvaginal ultrasound scan to assess the ovaries and their follicles.</p> <p>This method can help predict how long a woman can delay her decision to try for a pregnancy or tell her whether she should start trying soon or freeze some of her eggs.</p> <p>The Body Clock Network, is a network of centres which is being set up across the UK to give women who are concerned about their ovarian reserve and future fertility easy access to women to the body clock test.</p> <p><strong>Q How can I preserve my eggs if I choose to delay trying for a baby and how successful are the methods?</strong></p> <p>A Two of Britain’s leading fertility clinics launched egg freezing – egg vitrification – programmes in September 2007 for women who wished to postpone motherhood to pursue a career or find the right partner.</p> <p>This has been made possible by a breakthrough in freezing technology, which almost eliminates the risk of damage to eggs.</p> <p>The technique involves removing water from the eggs then freezing them at high speed in liquid nitrogen to prevent any damaging crystals from forming.</p> <p>Until recently, egg freezing has largely been restricted to cancer <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink1"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">patients</span></span></a> left infertile by chemotherapy. Clinics believed the success rates of the technology were so low that it was unethical to advise healthy women to use egg freezing for social reasons. Doctors feared the women would sacrifice their chance of conceiving naturally and later discover their frozen eggs were too damaged to use.</p> <p>In Japan, where vitrification techniques were first developed, scientists have now shown that 90% to 95% of eggs can survive the new freezing method compared with 50% to 60% using conventional methods.</p> <p>The eggs frozen through vitrification emerge from years in storage in almost the same condition as when they were released from the ovaries.</p> <p>Vitrification has shown pregnancy rates of 30% to 40%, which is comparable to the use of fresh eggs.</p> <p>Egg freezing costs between £2,500 and £3,000 per cycle.</p> <p>It is likely that with the availability of more successful methods of assessing ovarian reserve and freezing eggs that many British women over the next five years will have decided that it is time to take control and will undergo ovarian reserve testing with a view to planning natural conception or freezing their eggs to postpone starting a family until it is more convenient.</p> <p>* Bryan Beattie is a consultant in foetal medicine at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff, and a director of Innermost Secrets, which provides medical and diagnostic services for women at the Spire Hospital, in Cardiff. More information about the body clock test and the network of clinics is available from Innermost Secrets by calling 0345 230 3386 or visiting <a href="../../"></a> </p> luan pessall 2fa5977c-4d85-48be-b0fa-4c3efc686b7c Mon, 14 Sep 2009 11:07:00 GMT Test kit for sex infections <p>A PRIVATE health clinic has launched a new at-home screening service to test for up to seven of the most common sexually-transmitted infections.</p> <p>The kits are available online from Innermost Living, a division of Innermost Secrets, based at the Spire Hospital, in Cardiff. The packs allow people to be tested for a range of STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and the herpes virus, without visiting a clinic.</p> <p>After posting off a sample, the results are either returned by e-mail or a confidential text message.</p> <p>If the tests are positive a private referral can be arranged or the <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink0"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">patient</span></span></a> can make their own arrangements to visit their GP or local NHS sexual health clinic.</p> <p>But the packs do not test for HIV, syphilis or hepatitis.</p> <p>The move comes as figures suggest that as many as one in three women and one in five men may have a “silent” sexually-transmitted infection. Left untreated, chlamydia can have serious long-term consequences, especially in women – it is a well-established cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, and infertility.</p> <p>And one in three men infected with chlamydia will have three times the normal number of sperm with genetic damage, although this will improve following treatment.</p> <p>Bryan Beattie, a consultant in foetal medicine at the University Hospital of Wales and a founder of Innermost Secrets, said: “Many couples present to us with fertility problems that are later found to be due to damaged tubes from silent infections such as chlamydia.</p> <p>“Now men and women can easily screen for chlamydia and get early treatment to prevent damage</p> <p>“Sexually-transmitted disease and infections such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia are much more common than most people realise and infections such as syphilis are more recently on the rise. All couples entering a new relationship should consider self-screening and getting themselves checked out as a matter of responsibility and consideration for their new partners.</p> <p>“You don’t have to have slept around to get a sexually transmitted infection – just having sex once with one partner, who might not even know they have an STI themselves.</p> <p>“Many people don’t access sexual health services because of worries about attracting unfavour- able attention or being seen by a friend or neighbour, but now people can get home sampling kits over the internet and don’t have to go to a clinic.</p> <p>“Women under 25 and sexually active have a one in 10 chance of having chlamydia, so it is worth getting tested. The risk is even higher if they are under 20 and have had unprotected sex, or are over 25 and have had two partners within a year, or recently changed partner.</p> <p>“Every young person who is sexually active should look in the mirror and ask themselves who might be carrying a silent sexually transmitted infection – the answer will be looking back at them.”</p> <p>Kit packs cost from £25 to £160, at</p> Madeleine Brindley a27dbd34-bb9a-496d-abd8-35cca58348f8 Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:02:00 GMT Pioneering Sling Operation <p><strong>A new procedure performed under local anaesthetic is revolutionising incontinence surgery, as Bryan Beattie, an NHS consultant and director of the private service Innermost Secrets, explains</strong></p> <p>MORE than 20 women in Cardiff have had a “mini sling” fitted in an attempt to help relieve the problem of incontinence.</p> <p>The surgery has been pioneered by consultant Kiron Bhal, who is part of the Innermost Secrets consortium in Cardiff.</p> <p>It is hoped the procedure, which is currently available privately, will be offered as part of an NHS clinical trial in the future.</p> <p>If successful, it could be offered on the NHS, under local anaesthesia and help to reduce long waiting lists. It would also be an option for many women who are unfit for major surgery.</p> <p>The main cause of stress incontinence, which causes leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing or even walking, is the loss of the natural support around the base of the bladder.</p> <p>The condition is more common after childbirth and is also made worse by smoking and advancing age.</p> <p>The treatment of stress incontinence was revolutionised in the late 1990s by the introduction of the mid-urethral tape procedure – also known as tension-free vaginal tape.</p> <p>But despite its relative safety, the original procedures required the blind passage of needles through two small incisions in the abdomen just above the pubic bone in the groin area.</p> <p>The space behind the pubic bone that the needle has to pass through to get to these abdominal incisions has a very rich blood supply, with the potential for injury to large blood vessels in the pelvis and heavy bleeding at the time of surgery.</p> <p>And it also carries the risk of injury to the bladder, intestines, or nerves in the pelvis.</p> <p>In a bid to minimise the risks, a new procedure – the transobturator sling – was developed, which involved passing needles through the groin to place the sling. But it can still cause groin <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink0"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">pain</span></span></a>.</p> <p>In the past two years a new procedure called the single-incision midurethral tape – or mini-sling – has been developed. It is currently available at the Spire Hospital, Cardiff.</p> <p>It involves only one vaginal incision, no incisions in the abdomen or groin and no needles passing through the abdomen or the groin, further reducing the risk of injury to the surrounding organs.</p> <p>The sling is passed into the pelvic sidewall and the mesh is kept in place immediately upon placement until tissue in-growth occurs and it basically becomes a new ligament.</p> <p>Since there is no need for needle passage through the groin or abdomen, the procedure can be done under local anaesthesia in an outpatient setting and also it decreases the risk of post-op groin pain.</p> <p>It is also safer for older women or those with significant <a href="" style="text-decoration: underline ! important; position: static;" class="kLink" target="undefined" id="KonaLink1"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: static;"><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">health </span><span style="color: blue ! important; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-weight: 400; font-size: 13px; position: relative;" class="kLink">problems</span></span></a> who would be otherwise unfit for surgery and remain untreated.</p> <p>For more information about the procedure and Innermost Secrets, visit or</p> luan pessall ac9c521e-e8bd-47d1-9a08-d8f3aaa97914 Mon, 27 Oct 2008 11:05:00 GMT Just Giving <p>Another inspiring story from a Mum who didn't get to take her baby home just reached us here at Innermost Secrets.&nbsp; She experienced reduced movements later in her pregnancy (she was actually overdue) and sadly her little boy was stillborn.&nbsp; Dr Beattie is the patron of <a href="">Count The Kicks</a>, a charity encouraging mothers to monitor their baby's movements and seek help if they feel something is amiss.&nbsp; It was too late for this Mum but she has taken the brave step of raising awareness and raising funds at the same time for SANDS who research causes and support parents who have suffered a loss.</p> <p>Sam and her colleagues and friends are going to walk 17 miles on 17th May 2012 in memory of her little boy and the countless others as we know that 17 babies are stillborn every day.&nbsp; Check out her fundraising page at <a href=""></a> and the work of SANDS <a href="">locally</a> and <a href="">nationally</a>.&nbsp; And if you're a mum to be, Count the Kicks!! </p> Innermost Secrets a90ca5e5-ce00-49f0-b9f2-86d8a5bf93a0 Wed, 09 May 2012 19:16:45 GMT Get knitted! (or crochet if you prefer) <p>Any of you who have attended one of our Parentcraft classes is likely to have met Libby, our midwife.&nbsp; She also works at UHW and is trying to promote skin to skin contact or kangaroo care after birth to help bonding with baby and breastfeeding.&nbsp; BUT she needs your help!</p> <p>Any of you who knit or crochet (or know someone who can) could help us!&nbsp; Just make a baby hat in newborn size and bring it into clinic.&nbsp; The hats will be used to keep babies warm whilst they have a lovely cuddle with their Mum or Dad.&nbsp; Just mark it for the attention of Libby and she will make sure it gets to the right place and is used well.</p> <p>If you've already had your baby, have a sort out when the time comes and see if you have any hats that you no longer need as those would be welcome too.</p> <p>Ready, get knitting!&nbsp; (By the way if you don't know how but would like to learn then there are classes at Big Knitters on Wellfield Road in both knitting and crochet.&nbsp; Free patterns are available at </p> Innermost Secrets a253af7a-2026-480e-b4d2-006647aa763a Sun, 15 Apr 2012 11:15:46 GMT Book review <p>This blog has been a bit neglected lately as life got in the way of cyber postings but gathering dust on my bookshelf sat a book that Dr Beattie had asked me to review many moons ago.&nbsp; It didn't sit there because it's no good- it sat there because my babies were safely delivered, by emergency C section and I didn't need to look at it anymore.&nbsp; I'm glad that I had read it though.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The book is '<a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1331838375&amp;sr=1-1-spell">Caesarean Birth: A positive approach to preparation and recovery</a>' by Leigh East and I imagine it is often only picked up by women who know for sure that they will need a C section for a variety of reasons.&nbsp; The truth is though that even with the best birth plan and the most straightforward pregnancy sometimes a C section becomes a necessity and many women are therefore unprepared.&nbsp; This book looks at all the options including NOT to have a section and is a useful guide to the procedure both before and after.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is a huge set of appendices giving information of terminology, questions to ask your doctor and information to help you weigh up your options about different types of birth.&nbsp; In some ways it is a shame that the title suggests that the book is only about caesarean sections as it contains really useful information about lots of aspects of birth and the hospital procedures around delivery and recovering at home afterwards.&nbsp; It is easy to read and it laid out in a way that means you can dip in and out as you need to.&nbsp;&nbsp; Overall, a good read for the later stages of your pregnancy!</p> Innermost Secrets 1afe2a57-f857-4380-8374-80f73188d37b Thu, 15 Mar 2012 19:05:28 GMT Seasons Greetings <p style="text-align: center;">Wishing all our patients, past and present, a very Happy Christmas and warm wishes for a wonderful new year in 2012</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="" /></p> Innermost Secrets ec97c2e3-c313-43c2-a69d-ce93816a64fc Mon, 19 Dec 2011 06:37:00 GMT Coffee break <p>Before you reach for 'just the one' coffee to keep you going whilst doing your Christmas shopping, it might be worth looking at a new study and then deciding on decaf if you are pregnant.</p> <p>Researchers <a href="">tested the caffeine level</a> in cups of espresso coffee (which is also used to make cappucino and latte drinks as well as others) and found that caffeine levels varied widely depending on which coffee shop was selling them.&nbsp; Pregnant women are currently recommended to limit their caffeine intake to no more than 200mg per day.&nbsp; Some drinks were found to contain more than this in a single shot!</p> <p>Take heart though, most standard coffee drinks contain around 50mg of caffeine but if your favourite chain sells what you think is 'strong' coffee then it might be worth giving it a miss until your little one is safely with you (and you really will need coffee!!)</p> <p></p> Innermost Secrets 4578b423-30aa-4105-9ab5-a68a622d10d1 Mon, 05 Dec 2011 09:00:00 GMT Birthplace study <p>A new study of where babies are born was recently conducted - and they didn't mean whether it was in Cardiff or Swansea, but whether they were born in hospital, a midwife led unit or at home.&nbsp; Many of the findings have hit the news and the best part is that giving birth is generally safe (despite the many horror stories you might hear!)</p> <p>The biggest take home finding though seems to be for first time Mums.&nbsp; It seems that for them, a planned home birth increases the risks for the baby.&nbsp; For women having a first baby, there is a fairly high probability of transferring to an obstetric unit during labour or immediately after the birth.</p> <p>If you are having your first child and want to think about a home birth this is an important consideration and should you decide to go ahead then there are some steps you can take to make this as safe as possible for your baby.&nbsp; Dr Beattie recommends that mums to be should <a href="">read the study</a> and make an informed decision and have a 'ready for birth' scan at 36 weeks to ensure that the baby is healthy, well grown and head first if you are planning a vaginal delivery at home or in a midwife led unit.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> Innermost Secrets de7151f7-6f3f-4cca-8cc1-dca7d44f5f88 Wed, 30 Nov 2011 09:38:49 GMT Pamper time (in time for Christmas gifts!) <p>The blogmaster was delighted to receive the wonderful <a href="">Elemis Mother to Be gift set</a> recently and had the hard task of reviewing it for our blog readers.&nbsp; It took some time to fully test the products and many hard working hours were spent in the bathroom checking out the bath milk, and the massage oil had to be checked thoroughly to make sure that it is as good as I thought.</p> <p>The set includes <a href="">japanese camelia oil</a> which is safe in pregancy, whilst breastfeeding and can also be used for your baby later (if you're willing to share), <a href="">skin nourishing milk bath</a>,<a href="">instant refreshing gel</a>, and <a href="">exotic moisturising mask</a>.&nbsp; These treats are designed to relax and rejuvenate you and give your skin gentle and nurturing care during and after pregnancy and I can vouch for the fact that they do just that.</p> <p>If you are a mum to be in need of TLC then this is the set for you. Buy it for yourself as an essential pregnancy purchase or add it to your Christmas wish list (if you can wait that long!).&nbsp; For those of you stuck for a gift idea for a baby shower, birthday or Christmas present for a pregnant lady then look no further- and it even includes a teddy bear for baby! </p> Innermost Secrets 16c1768c-ac96-4ba4-ac60-9502639fc8ea Mon, 21 Nov 2011 09:00:00 GMT Helping with aches and pains <p>Most pregnant women discover that at some point during their pregnancy the extra bump weight and their changing shape cause some aches and pains but when you are not able to take many standard pain medications, or do your usual exercise routine to help relieve things, it is difficult to know how to ease some of these issues.&nbsp; </p> <p>Local practitioner Mark McWilliam is an osteopath with experience of treating pregnant women and helping them deal with the new strains on their body.&nbsp; He is an osteopath and the treatment involves very gentle manipulation of problem areas, massage and sometimes recommended gentle movements to maintain the improvements he is able to trigger.&nbsp; One patient of&nbsp; Innermost Secrets who carried a very large twin bump went to Mark for treatment and commented 'The osteopathy sessions really helped my back and hip pain which developed later in the pregnancy.&nbsp; After seeing mark I slept for a whole night which hadn't happened for months!&nbsp; I really appreciated the advice on staying comfortable and I have been back since my babies were 'born to help with my 'new mum' aches and pains from running around all day!"</p> <p>For more information see the <a href="">Cathedral Road Clinic website</a>.</p> Innermost Secrets 8494ca83-5dc9-45e5-a482-066cd497c434 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:00:00 GMT More beautiful bumps <p>Some of you might have seen our recent blog about Dr Beattie viewing lots of lovely bump photos for a 'calendar girls' style competition to raise funds for <a href="" title="">Count the Kicks</a>.&nbsp; You can buy your copy of the final calendar <a href="">here</a> (fabulous Christmas present!).</p> <p>Local photographer <a href="">Sarah Stone</a> is also a supporter of the charity and specialises in bump and baby photography.&nbsp; They always say 'never work with children or animals' but Sarah chose to do just this and the results are wonderful.&nbsp; Sarah will visit you at home and make sure you are relaxed and comfortable whether recording your blooming bump days or snapping your new baby and family.&nbsp; Sessions with Sarah are full of giggles (you) and funny faces (her!).</p> <p>Check out her <a href="">website</a> for examples of her work or <a href="">contact Sarah</a> here. </p> Innermost Secrets 2c00c6cb-a7ab-4666-a26c-ef17b00f887a Mon, 07 Nov 2011 09:00:00 GMT New guidelines on Caesarean Section births <p>The <a href=";d-16544-o=1&amp;d-16544-p=1">National Institue for Clinical Excellence</a> (NICE) have issued new guidance on C section procedures within the NHS sparking great debate within the press about the concept of being 'too posh to push' and the move away from natural delivery 'as nature intended' versus those who argue that Caesarean sections often provide a safer mode of delivery for babies and mothers alike in some circumstances and can provide a less traumatic experince for some pregnant women when their babies are born.</p> <p>Dr Beattie was part of drawing up the original guidelines in 2004 and welcomes the changes. He would tell you that in most uncomplicated, singleton pregnancies vaginal delivery is best for both Mum and baby but there are many times when a C Section may be the better option.  He has been widely quoted this week in the national press including news and opinion pieces in <a href="">Marie Claire</a>, <a href="">The Mirror</a>, <a href="">The Sun</a>, <a href="">The Daily Mail</a> and <a href="">The Telegraph</a> who also published an <a href="">opinion piece</a>.  </p> <p>Hopefully the new guidelines will mean that whatever their final choice about their baby's birth, Mums to be will be given comprehensive information about the pros and cons and be able to make an informed choice about their health and that of their new bundle of joy.</p> Innermost Secrets e0ef1f14-855a-4f57-9792-153bde49f83f Thu, 03 Nov 2011 21:39:56 GMT Baby Loss Awareness Day <p>Today is baby loss awareness day, designed to highlight the issues around losing a baby during pregnancy or just after birth. Whilst the majority of pregnancies are carried successfully and happily to term, some women lose their babies for a multitude of reasons.&nbsp; The awareness day is designed to help people learn about the causes of baby loss and raise funds for the charities who support people grieving their loss and researching ways to prevent future losses.</p> <p>Dr Beattie has worked with many women over the years who have suffered a loss or who are trying to conceive, or carry a further pregnancy following the loss of a baby.&nbsp; He has developed services at Innermost Secrets to offer the best chance to women, couples and families of a good outcome through offering various scans and screening tests which might help diagnose or detect any problems early, or simply offer reassurance during a stressful pregnancy.&nbsp; Such services are repeated wellbeing scans during higher risk pregnancies, the early scan package for women who have suffered previous miscarriages, fetal fibronectin testing for women at risk of pre-term labour (or those wanting reassurance about their chances of going into labour within the next fortnight), and the new service of neonatal oxygen level screening to detect cardiac issues in newborns (as well as the cardiac scans which can be offered whilst the baby is still in the womb).</p> <p>Innermost Secrets staff always work hard to support women in pregnancy and help them get to the day when they hold their healthy baby.</p> <p></p> Innermost Secrets 2c37a528-e20c-40c9-b0ce-071ef19fa5bd Sat, 15 Oct 2011 03:01:00 GMT Newborn cardiac screening Innermost Secrets are now offering screening of the oxygen levels in the blood of newborn babies, which might help to detect undiagnosed cardiac problems.&nbsp; The pulse oximetry test is simple to do and was featured in the <a href="">Western Mail recently</a>. Innermost Secrets 7054087a-794d-4db1-90e0-c787b30176e8 Tue, 11 Oct 2011 03:24:09 GMT Beautiful Bumps!! <p>Dr Beattie travelled all the way to London recently to view photos of pregnant mums bumps!</p> <p>It was all in a good cause as he was one of a panel of judges of the <a href="">Count The Kicks bump calendar competition</a> (the mums to be had all submitted photos of their pregnant bellys in the hope of being in the calendar).</p> <p>So now the judging is all done and we can all wait expectantly for the calendar to be printed - Christmas present idea perhaps?</p> Innermost Secrets 8616d10e-cdb0-469c-a8a6-eda613c175f8 Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:42:58 GMT Cake for charity? I rarely need an excuse to eat cake but recently tried some fabulous cupcakes that looked too good to eat. Stunningly beautiful, sparkly and as it turned out, amazingly delicious too from&nbsp;<a href="">Baked By Mel</a>. <div><br /> </div> <div>So, if you are having a baby shower, celebration or want to support&nbsp;<a href="">The World's Biggest Coffee Morning</a>&nbsp;on 30th September the order some cupcakes now!</div> Innermost Secrets 9e1b0324-a3ff-4ed7-87b1-895783167b91 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 09:00:00 GMT Dig out the camera Hurry! You've jut about got time to enter the bump calendar competition for <a href="">Count The Kicks</a>. They are asking for imaginative bump photos 'calendar girl' style and entries need to be in by 1 September so get snapping! Innermost Secrets 0f1aa229-dc5b-4d7d-8fcd-a24cdb2d8249 Thu, 25 Aug 2011 09:00:00 GMT