Congratulations on your pregnancy!
As parents-to-be, you and your partner may be unsure what will happen next, or be confused by the barrage of ( well-meaning ) advice which parents, relatives and friends will no doubt bombard you with. We hope this handout will help to clarify some of your doubts as well as ease some of the anxiety you may face in the coming weeks before your appointment with the obstetrician.
What to expect?
Once your urine pregnancy test has been confirmed, we will attempt to calculate your baby’s expected delivery date based on the first day of your last menstruation cycle. Some of the common symptoms of pregnancy are:-
- nausea / vomiting ( ‘morning sickness’ )
- breast tenderness
- pelvic fullness / bloatedness / cramps
- fatigue or tiredness
- frequent urination
If your symptoms are excessive or severe, do seek a review with your doctor.
If you have previous pregnancies with poor outcome, previous surgeries, or any health / medical problems, or any family history of diabetes, multiple pregnancies or abnormal babies, please highlight it to your doctor.Click here to learn more about Vaginal Bleeding during Early Pregnancy
Otherwise, the next step is to book an appointment with an obstetrician, who will usually proceed to do an ultrasound scan for you.
This bedside ultrasound scan is called the ‘dating scan’ because we will use it to confirm the gestation age and delivery date of your baby. At the same time, the obstetrician will look out for the heart beat of the baby, check for presence of more than 1 baby ( you might be having twins or triplets, for example ) and ascertain that the baby is indeed within the womb ( rather than in the Fallopian tubes or even outside the womb ).
If all is well, then your next appointments with the obstetrician is likely to be every 4 weeks in the 1st half of the pregnancy, every 2-3 weeks in the 2nd half and every 1-2 weeks once you are at term. Subsequent blood tests which will be required include tests for anemia, blood typing, rubella, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B and diabetes. Urine tests will also be required. Your obstetrician will discuss the need for these, and other tests with you.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do continue your folic acid tablets throughout the pregnancy unless otherwise advised by your obstetrician.
- Do start on calcium and iron supplements during the 2nd half of the pregnancy or earlier as advised by your obstetrician.
- Do let any treating physician know your gestation age as well as any allergies or other medical conditions you have. Remember – even medications which you have been taking regularly before the pregnancy may be unsuitable now so DO clear all medications with your doctor.\
- Routine dental work can be continued as required.
- Unless absolutely essential, all X-rays should be postponed until after the baby is born.
- Don’t consume raw or half-cooked foods, including half-boiled eggs, unpasteurised cheese and sashimi.
- Don’t consume alcohol.
- Don’t consume more than 2 cups of coffee ( or equivalent caffeine ) per day.
- Do take more fruits, vegetables and fish. There is no basis for avoiding certain fruits totally, like pineapples or watermelon.
- Vitamins and supplements other than folic acid, calcium and iron are usually not required but if you are taking supplements, do ensure that your total vitamin A intake does not exceed 3000 IU/day.
- Don’t smoke; Do avoid smokers and second hand smoke.
- Do continue with up to 30mins of light or moderate amounts of exercise per session, but be mindful to take large amounts of water, avoid exercising during the times when the sun is strongest and wear suitable light clothing. As you enter second and third trimesters, your tummy will get bigger and heavier. As that happens, tail down the level and intensity of exercise and never persist when it becomes uncomfortable or painful.
- Don’t expose your baby to excessive heat from spas, hot tubs or saunas.
- Do avoid close contact with animals, especially cats and birds, as there is a small risk of transmitting parasites or viruses which may affect the baby.
- Do be mindful of people who may be ill with chicken pox or measles or rubella especially in the first trimester as such infections during pregnancy may affect the baby.
- Do avoid or limit your exposure to paints, thinners and other solvents, insecticides and pesticides as far as possible.
- Sex during pregnancy is safe for most women, unless otherwise advised by your doctor. The position of greatest comfort to you should be adopted.
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