PREGNANCY & OBSTETRICS - Frequently Asked Questions

“a little of everything and not too much of one thing…”

What can or can’t I do?

The most sensible approach is to keep everything in moderation. If you feel you are overdoing it then you are probably right. For example daily gym visits is probably a little much and cutting down to twice weekly and minimizing activities to a less impact routine is very reasonable. The same can be said about food. Not too much of one particular type of food; a little of everything and not too much of one thing is good general advice. If you are feeling overworked or too stressed then it is time to take a little break, a mini holiday.

What can’t I eat?

Its probably good advice to avoid raw foods. Best to avoid soft cheeses and imported processed meats. Salads should be fresh and thorough washed. Handle food minimally with bare hands and keep a generally clean environment. Common sense stuff really. Most important to enjoy your meals and have a little of everything. If you are not sure, just ask your obstetrician.

How much alcohol is safe?

The answer is simple, NONE. If you happened to have a little prior to realizing you were pregnant, do not worry, just stop having any alcohol now.

How much coffee or tea?

1 to 2 cups a day is safe and should be enough to keep your sanity?

What medications are safe?

Generally I tell my patients to avoid all medications if possible unless it is likely to make things worse in pregnancy if stopped. For example if you are on medications for epilepsy then you should continue as having a fit in pregnancy is dangerous for you and your baby, however a safe alternative medication should be considered and a higher dose of folate is required. Best to discuss this with your obstetrician or your GP prior to falling pregnant.

Can I travel?

The main concerns about traveling is that if a pregnancy related issue occurred on the plane or overseas it may be potentially complicated to seek appropriate medical care. However it is best to avoid traveling in the last trimester (from 28 weeks). If you must travel, a few good tips to avoid etting DVT or clotting in the legs. Ensure good hydration with drinking water regularly such as a 250ml cup every 2 hours, compression leg stockings may be bought from the chemist, keep mobile while on the plane /bus /car by exercising your legs.

May I dye my hair?

My general advice about things like this is that if you do not have to do it then avoid it. I am not sure what toxins are in some hair dye so if you must, try natural products.

When should I stop working?

It does depend on what work you do. However my general advice is to work till you feel you should stop. Most of my patients work till 36 weeks and then stop. I think it is good to keep occupied and if you are in a workplace that is understanding and will give you less duties and accept that you may have to go home early sometimes particularly as you reach term, then going to work till you deliver is OK. Best to save all your leave for after having your baby!