Having your baby

When you will have your baby

Your pregnancy doctor (obstetrician) and cancer doctor will talk to you about the best time to have your baby and the type of delivery. It may feel as if the cancer and its treatment have overtaken your pregnancy, but this is about you and your baby.

You and your midwife will talk about your birth plan. It is important for you to be as involved as you can.

Many women carry their baby to full term and have a normal birth. In some situations, the baby may be delivered earlier to allow you to start treatment. If you need an early delivery, you may need injections of drugs called steroids before the birth. This helps reduce the chance of the baby having breathing problems.

The further along you are in your pregnancy, the safer it is for your baby. Most babies born from 32 weeks do well and do not have any long-term problems. They are cared for in specialised neonatal units by expert nurses and doctors.

After the birth

You will still need support from your cancer team, midwives, and pregnancy doctor (obstetrician) after the baby is born. You may be continuing with treatment or starting a new treatment. There are lots of demands at this time, not least having a newborn baby to care for.

Family, friends and your partner, if you have one, can often offer a lot of support. Tell people what kind of help and support would be best for you. You can decide what you want to focus on. This may be spending time being with your baby. Talking to a social worker may be helpful as they may be able to arrange extra support, especially if you have other children.

Taking care of your well-being is important to help you to cope with caring for your baby and your treatment.

I managed to deliver our baby girl naturally. She weighed just 4lb 9oz but she’s perfect. We named her Darcey. She went straight to neonatal and needed oxygen support.

Kimberley

When I finally held him, it was incredible. I hadn’t let myself imagine what it could be like. Now, here he was. He’d survived it all. My little miracle.

Polly