Common Pregnancy Questions
1. When should I have my first visit?
It is recommended that you see an Obstetrician early - your GP will recommend the most suitable timing depending on your personal circumstances. In the first visit, combined with a Midwife, we explore your past medical/family history and previous pregnancies to identify any potential risks factors that may occur during your pregnancy.
This visit is typically the first time you will see your baby via an ultrasound scan which will confirm your due date.
Today is when reality hits!
Partners are very welcome and encouraged to attend this and any visits during your pregnancy.
2. How often will I need to see you?
After the visit you will be seen:
- monthly until approximately 28 weeks,
- then every two weeks until 36 weeks, and
- then weekly until the birth of your baby.
3. What if I have other questions or concerns along the way?
Our Obstetricians have experienced Midwives that see patients and can answer many questions over the phone or email. Always feel free to contact them with any questions or concerns you may have.
4. Do I need to organise Antenatal Classes?
We strongly recommend antenatal classes and breastfeeding classes. Please book your classes in our antenatal clinic on (07) 5598 9040.
5. What if something happens after hours?
Pregnancy problems often occur in the middle of the night! John Flynn Private Hospital provides 24 hour / 7 days a week obstetric cover for emergencies. In normal office hours, phone your doctors rooms and ask for advice. After hours and on weekends, please phone John Flynn Private Hospital on (07) 5598 9040.
6. Do I need to organise my hospital stay?
Please book in to John Flynn Private Hospital online at approximately 14-16 weeks. This is important so that when you present to the hospital we are able to solely concentrate on the birthing process. Please phone the Maternity Unit on (07) 5598 9040 so that the hospital is prepared for your arrival.
7. What if my Doctor is not available?
While your maternity Doctor is responsible for your care in pregnancy, to provide the optimum service, our Doctors belong to a group of Obstetricians. One Doctor each day is responsible solely for patient management and emergencies.
By providing these services on a rostered basis, the Doctors will deliver to you the highest quality medical care. While another Doctor from the group may be involved in the delivery of your baby, they will use our birthing management plan/ preferences as documented, and will continue to care for you while in hospital.
8. How do I know what is expected during pregnancy?
The changes of pregnancy are numerous and every woman has different experiences. It is recommended that any concerns or questions are discussed at your visits. It is helpful to make a list before each visit.
9. What if I am not feeling foetal movement?
Most women recognise movement between 18-22 weeks.
If you are concerned that foetal movement is not present it is recommended to call your obstetrician or hospital (depending on time of day).
10. Am I in labour?
It is recommended to time your contraction pains. At any time you are concerned after 20 weeks it is recommended to notify John Flynn Private Hospital on (07) 5598 9040 if contractions become regular or if there is any bleeding or possible leakage of fluid.
11. Is bleeding in pregnancy normal?
Your Obstetrician should evaluate any bleeding in pregnancy. Usually an ultrasound can determine a miscarriage if bleeding occurs before 20 weeks. Abnormalities of the placenta can result in bleeding and should be evaluated after 20 weeks. If you experience bleeding, call your Obstetrician, avoid intercourse, and limit physical exertion until the cause can be determined. If bleeding is moderate after 20 weeks phone John Flynn Private Hospital Maternity Unit on (07) 5598 9040.
12. Can I have dental work done during pregnancy?
13. Can I travel during pregnancy?
Travel throughout most of the pregnancy is likely to be safe, but it is not advised during the last 4 weeks of your pregnancy. If you haveto travel, please consult with your Obstetrician first.
No matter what stage in the pregnancy, it is important that you not sit for extended periods of times. Our recommendation is that if you will be sitting for an extended period of time, either in an airplane or in the car, you should get up to walk every hour in an effort to decrease the risk of blood clot development. The use of support stockings and keeping well hydrated is very important.
14. May I colour or perm my hair during pregnancy?
Often pregnant women have concerns about the safety of hair dyes and permanents during pregnancy. There is no scientific data on this question, but it seems unlikely that these types of exposures are harmful.
15. Are saunas, spas, very hot baths and tanning booths safe during pregnancy?
These are all not recommended in pregnancy.
16. What can I do for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy?
Keep track of when you feel nausea and what causes it. It is very important to keep hydrated with an oral fluid intake even if you are not eating solids. Some hints include ginger tablets, sports drinks and acupuncture. In some cases when no fluids are taken in you may have to go to John Flynn Private Hospital Accident and Emergency for a drip and intravenous fluids. Most nausea improves at approximately 14 weeks.
17. Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
Exercise can help strengthen muscles and lessen some of the discomforts of pregnancy. It may give you more energy and make you feel better.
The type of exercise you can do during pregnancy depends on your health and how active you were before you became pregnant. This is not a good time to take up a new, hard sport. If you were active before, you can continue to be within reason.
If, for example, you play tennis, you can still play unless you have special problems or feel very tired. A good "rule of thumb" is to limit exertion to about 2/3 of what you could do before pregnancy.
18. Should I continue to work during pregnancy?
Most of the time, a healthy woman with no complications in her pregnancy can keep working until the end of her pregnancy. Some may need to make some changes. If you are experiencing problems that you feel may be related to your job, please discuss this at one of your appointments.
19. Is it normal for swelling to occur?
A certain amount of swelling is normal during pregnancy. It occurs most often in the legs. Elevating the legs usually makes the swelling less by the next morning. Swelling can begin during the last few months of pregnancy, and it may occur more often in the summer. Never take medications for swelling unless they have been prescribed for you.
20. What can I do for headaches during pregnancy?
Headaches are common during pregnancy. Usually headaches do not signal a serious problem. How often they occur and how bad they are may vary. It is important to discuss with your health care team which medications you can use for the headache. Paracetamol has no complications with pregnancy but check with you doctor or a pharmacy prior to having any other medications
You should contact your doctor or John Flynn Maternity Unit if your headache does not go away, returns very often, is very severe, causes blurry vision or spots in front of your eyes, or is accompanied by nausea.
21 What can I do to relieve constipation?
Atleast half of all pregnant women seem to have problems with constipation. One reason for this may be changes in hormones that slow the movement of food through the digestive tract. Sometimes iron supplements may also cause constipation. During the last part of pregnancy, pressure on your rectum from your uterus may add to the problem.
Drink plenty of liquids – at least 6-8 glasses of water each day, including 1-2 glasses of fruit juice such as prune juice. Other liquids (such as coffee, tea and colas) should not be drunk. They will tend to create a dehydrating effect on your body.
Eat food high in fibre, such as raw fruits and vegetables and bran cereals.
Exercise daily - walking is a good form of exercise.
22. Are leg cramps normal?
In the last three months of pregnancy you may find that you have more leg cramps. This happens as a result of fluid retention and is not helped by any medications. It always happens at night so ask your partner to rub your calves.
24. Is it safe to continue to have sexual intercourse during pregnancy?
Some people worry about having intercourse during pregnancy. They may be afraid it will cause a miscarriage.
For a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy, intercourse is safe into the last weeks of pregnancy. For your comfort, you and your partner may want to try different positions. Your doctor or midwife may advise you to limit or avoid sex if there are signs of problems in your pregnancy.
25. What medical costs can I expect throughout my pregnancy?
Your Obstetric costs will differ depending on a variety of factors, such as your Health Fund and status of your Medicare Safety Net / threshold. A full schedule of our Obstetric costs will be provided at your first visit. Other costs, in addition to Obstetrics, include items such as Pathology (blood tests), Radiology (scans), Paediatrician, Antenatal Classes, and Anaesthetics. Costs for these can be obtained from each of the respective service providers you choose.
It is important to check with your health fund that you have family cover, and not just singles cover. So as to ensure your baby is covered by health insurance while in hospital.
26. Is it important to attend the 34 week pre-admission interview?
Yes. This is an excellent time to discuss birth plans/preferences prior to admission. This is also a good time to meet the John Flynn Midwives.