Antenatal FAQs

What is the normal weight gain during pregnancy?

The recommended weight gain for am singleton pregnancy is between 11 and 15kgs. However, for multiple pregnancies such as twin pregnancies, the weight gain can be up to 19kgs. Mothers who may be obese before pregnancy are advised to control weight gain during pregnancy.

Can I get vaccinations during pregnancy?Image

Tetanus vaccine is given routinely during pregnancy. However, before getting any other vaccines it is advisable to discuss this with your obstetrician since most vaccines are not recommended during pregnancy.

Can I use over-the-counter medication for minor illnesses?

There are many drugs commonly used for minor illnesses that should not be used in pregnancy. It is therefore not advisable to buy medication over-the-counter without consulting your doctor. It is preferable to only use prescribed drugs. The same applies for vitamins and herbal products; they should only be used consulting your doctor.

Can I travel during pregnancy?

Travel is allowed during pregnancy but flying may be restricted by airlines after 37 weeks. The concern in this case is the preparation to handle with an emergency in-flight such as labor. In addition, sitting for long periods during pregnancy is not advised since it increases the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis (blood clots within the veins usually in the legs). If its unavoidable, then discuss the travel plans with your obstetrician.

Are seatbelts safe during pregnancy?

Seatbelts should be worn anytime one travels. The belt should pass between the breasts to the hip, and the lower belt should pass below the uterus.

Is sex safe in pregnancy?

Sex is safe throughout pregnancy. However, couples should choose sexual positions that are comfortable for the mother. Discuss this openly with your partner.

Can I continue with physical activity like household chores and exercise?

It is advisable to continue being physically active during pregnancy. However, care should be taken to avoid over-exertion. Exercise should also be chosen to avoid any risky regimens. Before embarking on any exercise program, discuss it with your obstetrician to ensure that it is safe during pregnancy.

Is use of steam baths and sauna safe in pregnancy?

The use of steam baths and saunas during pregnancy is not advisable. However, there are some who believe that they can be used but the sessions must be limited to a maximum of 5 minutes.

Are there any foods I should avoid during pregnancy?

Any food can be eaten during pregnancy, as long as it is done in moderation. However, the amount of fish, caffeine and vitamin A should be regulated during pregnancy. In addition, alcohol and smoking should be strictly restricted as they are associated with complications to the baby.

What are the danger signs I should look out for during pregnancy?

There are 5 main danger signs that any pregnant mother should look out for. If any of these occur, then it is advisable to visit your obstetrician or any other health care facility as soon as possible:

  • Vaginal bleeding – though this could be just spotting, it is advisable to visit your health care provider to ensure that there is no risk of a miscarriage.
  • Rupture of membranes – also known as breaking of waters. This occurs when there is drainage of amniotic fluid, which could indicate onset of labor or premature labor.
  • Contractions – this is described as pain that increases in frequency and intensity, and which may radiate to the back or to the inner thigh.
  • Reduction in the fetal movements – if the movements of the baby reduce noticeably or stop altogether, then an urgent review is advisable.
  • Headache with blurring of vision – this may be an indicator of elevated blood pressure, also referred to as pre-ecclampsia, which can rapidly progress to ecclampsia. These conditions are emergencies and thus the onset of headache with blurred vision should prompt am visit to the doctor.

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