X-rays during pregnancy are considered safe, however for cautionary measures they are to be avoided wherever possible, especially in the first trimester. X-rays should only be taken when the benefits outweigh the risks. If they can be avoided until after your baby is born, that is the recommended treatment plan.
Arms, legs, head, teeth or chest areas being x-rayed, do not expose the foetus to direct x-ray beams. If an x-ray of these areas is essential, a lead apron is placed over the stomach to shield your baby.
Lower abdomen, stomach, pelvis or kidney areas do expose the foetus to direct beams, however the levels of radiation the foetus receives is not of concern. Of course an x-ray of this nature would only be performed if completely necessary.
There are many diagnostic alternatives to x-ray, such as ultrasound and an MRI.
Ultrasounds are harmless and can provide a lot of information. If a more detailed scan is needed, MRI is completely safe during pregnancy.
About the Author:
Written for Nourish Baby by Dr Grant Saffer
Dr Grant Saffer is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist consulting at the Epworth-Freemasons in East Melbourne. Grant specialises in complicated and high-risk pregnancies and ensures his patients are always given an exception level of care. Grant keeps his patients up-to-date with relevant information about their condition which enables them to make informed decisions about their pregnancy and delivery, taking into consideration their beliefs and therapeutic preferences.
Most women are fertile two weeks before their period starts. However, breastfeeding can delay the return of periods, making it hard for women to know with any confidence when their ‘fertile window’ may be. This is why some women conceive again before their periods have come back.
An epidural is an anaesthetic procedure, where a local anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space near the spinal cord. An epidural anaesthetic numbs the nerves so pain cannot be felt in certain areas of the body.
An epidural during labour helps to block pain signals from contractions. If birth intervention is needed, e.g., caesarean or forceps, an epidural is a common form of anaesthetic.