Some frequent questions asked!

Q: I’m pregnant, when should I see the Doctor?

Once you have a positive pregnancy test you can ring to make an appointment, you do not need a referral from your GP as we will liaise and contact them following your initial visit; there is no need to have any bloods or scans done prior to seeing us. It is best to ring early and book an appointment time as we do get booked out. We like to see you and confirm your pregnancy and due date with a dating scan between 8-10 weeks as before this gestation your pregnancy is too small to measure accurately. If is too early, we simply arrange to scan you again.
If you are experiencing any increasing abdominal pain or bleeding prior to 8 weeks you will need to be seen earlier to ensure the pregnancy is not ectopic (inside the fallopian tube).

Q: How do I know when I am due?

We work out your estimated due date from the first day of your last menstrual period. If your period is regular e.g. every 28 days then this is the most accurate method; however if your cycle is irregular then the scan dates will be the most accurate.
Find out when you are due on this helpful site: Due Date Calculator

Q: How often should I be seen by the Doctor / Midwife?

We like to see you monthly until 32 weeks and then fortnightly until 36 weeks. From 36 weeks your visits will be weekly. If necessary your visits will be more or less frequent to suit your pregnancy requirements.

Q: Can I drink alcohol during pregnancy?

As we do not know what a safe level of alcohol is during pregnancy, less alcohol is better, but no alcohol is the safest choice. Heavy drinking during the first 3 months can cause babies to be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
Read more on Health Direct Organisation

Q: What is an acceptable weight gain during pregnancy?

The ideal weight gain during pregnancy is 10-12kg. Your diet should be balanced with a good intake of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and fruit.
To work out your expected weight gain during pregnancy check out this site: Kid Spot

Q: What if I am overweight when I fall pregnant?

If you are overweight, no weight gain is recommended during pregnancy, we can arrange an appointment with a dietician if required. You will need to increase your intake of folic acid to 5 mg daily prior to falling pregnant until 14 weeks and take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D supplementation daily during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Your BMI (Body Mean Index) will be calculated at your booking visit. BMI is a simple index of weight-for-height and is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres (kg/m2).
There are three different classes of obesity:
BMI 30.0–34.9 (Class I)
BMI 35.0–39.9 (Class 2)
BMI 40 and over (Class 3)
If you are in the Class 2 BMI range you will require an anaesthetic consult prior to delivering at either PHC or RDH.
If your BMI falls into class 3, you will need to deliver at KEMH. We will need to monitor you and your baby closely as you are at higher risk of developing complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and blood clots.
You may also require a caesarean section and may need specialist anaesthetic requirements. Therefore to provide a safer option for you and your baby we will need to share care with KEMH. We will arrange this for you.
Find out what KEMH offers: KEMH
Calculate your BMI, visit: Baby Centre

Q: Why do I need Folic acid?

Folic acid is one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida.
It is recommended that every woman who is planning a pregnancy should have an additional 400mcg of folic acid daily. A lot of our food today contains added folic acid, although, it is recommended to take additional amounts of folic acid in tablet form; for at least one month before and three months after conception, to reduce the chance of any neural tube defects in your baby.
Women who are at higher risk of having a child with a neural tube disability or who are on certain medications that may inhibit the absorption of folic acid will be required to take a much higher dose of 5mg daily of folic acid.
If unsure; Dr Thng, Dr Low or the Midwives will be able to assist you in this area. Read more: Why I need Folic Acid

Q: Why are iron rich foods necessary in pregnancy?

Iron is a mineral that makes up an important part of haemoglobin, the substance in blood that carries oxygen throughout the body. Iron helps increase your resistance to stress and disease.
The body absorbs iron more efficiently during pregnancy; therefore it is important to consume more iron while you are pregnant to ensure that you and your baby are getting enough oxygen. Iron will also help you avoid symptoms of tiredness, weakness, irritability, and depression.
The best sources of iron include grains, lean meat, poultry, fish, and leafy green vegetables. An iron supplement may be required during pregnancy, we will check your iron stores when checking your blood tests.
For more information on iron and diet have a look at this site: Why I need Iron

Q: Morning sickness, helpful hints!

Morning sickness usually settles by 14 weeks although it can come and go during your pregnancy. It is not harmful to your baby. Try small frequent meals instead of 3 large meals, snacking during the night and day is helpful. Never allow yourself to get hungry. You may find dry ginger- ale, Ginger tea or ginger and Vitamin B6 supplements helpful. Some women have found acupuncture beneficial, your physio or chiropractor may-be able to assist in this area. There are prescription medicines available if your vomiting becomes persistent and debilitating.

Q: When should I start to wear a maternity bra?

The ideal time to be fitted for a maternity bra is around your 16th week ( 4 months). Underwire bras are best avoided as they may put pressure on the developing breast. Pressure can lead to blocked milk ducts or mastitis during the antenatal and postnatal period.
For more information about breast feeding go to: Breast Feeding Association

Q: Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Maintaining or increasing your fitness level will give you more energy to deal with pregnancy and labour. Exercise releases beta endorphins which give a sense of well-being, lifting mood and also helping to ease lower back pain, headaches and ligament discomfort.
A minimum of 15 minutes of activity 3 or more times per week is beneficial during pregnancy. If you have been attending regular exercise or aerobic sessions you can continue to attend these sessions, speak to your fitness instructor so they are aware you are pregnant.
Exercise in water or pregnancy yoga is also very beneficial, check out your local sports centre to see what is available.
Visit this site for more information: The pregnancy Centre

Q: Is the flu vaccine safe in pregnant?

The seasonal flu vaccine is recommended in all stages of pregnancy as pregnant women have an increased risk of complications because their immune system is naturally suppressed. Inactivated influenza vaccine is safe to give during pregnancy; the vaccine has been given safely to millions of women across the world. Studies looking at the effects of pregnant women receiving the seasonal flu vaccination indicate no negative effects on pregnant women or their babies.

Q: Why does my baby cry so much? Is it normal?

The Period of PURPLE Crying begins at about 2 weeks of age and continues until about 3-4 months. All babies go through this Period it is just that during this time some can cry a lot, some far less, but they all do go through it. This concept helps explain that crying is a normal phase and it will come to an end. You will need to rule out any illness by getting your child checked by a child health nurse and or GP.
Check out this informative site for more info, it’s a new way to understand your baby’s crying: Purple Crying