Mother and Baby

Dr Hilary Jones Answers Your Questions

Missed our Wednesday Lunch Club with ITV’s Dr Hilary Jones? Don’t worry, you can read all of the advice he shared here

Every week at Mother&Baby we bring you the Wednesday Lunch Club – a chance to get brilliant advice for your fertility, pregnancy and parenting questions from a top expert. 

This week, GP, TV presenter and author Dr Hilary Jones was on hand to answer your questions.

Since qualifying in 1976, Dr Hilary has helped treat people all over the world and has been a Principal in General Practice and a GP trainer for over 30 years. He’s most recognised for his on screen presenting work and is currently the Health Editor for ITV’s Breakfast television.

Dr Hilary’s also currently supporting the Lights by TENA campaign and helping to share the importance of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and post-birth.

If you missed the chat, here’s what happened…

My seven-year-old son constantly gets nosebleeds – usually in the middle of the night but sometimes during the day, too.  He doesn't have a cold. Will this pass or should we take him to the doctor?

Dr Hilary: This is called epistaxis and will be caused by an area of weak blood vessels on the inside of the nose on the partition between the nostrils. Since it has been persistent I would advise a simple cautery procedure which a Ear Nose and Throat specialist can quickly perform to stop it happening.

My son has eczema.  We use lots of different creams that his doctor suggests, but he constantly scratches. I think it's now a bad habit. How can I stop this? He's nearly six months old and has been scratching since he was about 12 weeks old.

A soothing moisturiser is essential for eczema

Dr Hilary: It’s distressing to witness the scratching and unfortunately any scratching leads to the release of chemicals, which promote further irritation. It is called the itch-scratch cycle. Adjustment of the creams or ointments may help as well as putting mitts on your baby's hands and a soothing moisturiser is essential as well.

I'm pregnant with my fourth child and not having a very good time this time around. I'm seven months at the moment and still getting morning sickness and need to go to the loo constantly. Any tips on helping stop the morning sickness and constant toilet trips? It's getting embarrassing!

Dr Hilary: You are one of the unlucky ones if you still have nausea at seven months. Try ginger or mint two natural remedies and Gaviscon is safe if reflux is a problem. There will be pressure on your bladder from your growing baby but get the midwife to check that there is no urine infection.

I've been diagnosed with preeclampsia and want to take it easy but still be healthy. What can I do?

Dr Hilary: Have frequent checks on your blood pressure urine for protein and any swelling of the hands and feet. Eat healthily reduce salt intake and exercise gently and regularly as normal. If the blood pressure rises you may need some medication or bed rest to control it.

My eight month old is covered in chicken pox, including around his eyes, which he's constantly rubbing. What can I try to help alleviate the itching for him, particularly in this delicate area?

Dr Hilary: Unfortunately the chicken pox rash will be itchy even after the blisters have popped and become drier. With your doctor's guidance it will be safe to use antihistamine syrup. Gentle bathing of the skin with an emollient in the bath water is also soothing. If the eye becomes sticky and antibiotic ointment may be useful.

Gentle bathing of the skin with an emollient in the bath water is soothing for eczema

I had a caesarean a week ago and my stitches are itchy. Is that normal?

Dr Hilary: Absolutely. Itching is a good sign of healing. Try not to scratch as this could slow the normal healing process – it won’t last long!

How many times a week should I do pelvic floor exercises?

Dr Hilary: Much depends on the severity of your symptoms. Start by doing exercises 15 to 20 times while sitting three or four times a day and increase or decrease in frequency depending on results. A good guide to pelvic floor training is available as a free app through Apple or Android stores called My PFF app by lights by TENA.

I'm eight weeks pregnant with my second baby and I am still carrying baby weight from my first pregnancy. I was already overweight when I fell pregnant the first time! I have been following slimming world and doing Davina's Fit In 15 exercise DVD daily and so far lost one stone. but I've stopped the DVD since I found out I was pregnant. Am I ok to carry on with the DVD and is it ok to lose weight when I'm pregnant?

Dr Hilary: You do not need to gain weight at this stage at all and probably not until you are over 20 weeks if you are already over your ideal weight. Normal weight gain would be between 22 and 28lbs in a pregnancy but less in your case if you are over your ideal starting weight. Continue to exercise as everything except high impact exercises is healthy for mother and baby.

Normal weight gain would be between 22 and 28lbs in a pregnancy

My 13 month old suffers pretty badly with eczema all over her body. The main issue is that she scratches it really badly any tips on what we can do to help relieve the need to itch.

Dr Hilary: Seek your GP's help with diet and emollients for your baby and if needed a mild hydrocortisone cream may be appropriate. Putting cotton mitts on baby at night can prevent damage from scratching.

What topics would you like covered in our Wednesday Lunch Club? Let us know in the comments box below.


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