The most frequently asked questions during pregnancy
When do I go to hospital?
Whether you have booked into a hospital, birth centre or midwifery based program, if you have any discomfort, any fluid leaking, anything that you feel that is not quite right, for example, any severe abdominal pain, any abnormal vaginal loss, e.g. bleeding, and particularly reduced foetal movements, you must contact your care provider.
My 5 mantras:
- Fetal movements -Any decrease or change in fetal movements! You and the baby are a team . If you notice your baby is “quiet “ contact your hospital /birth centre or midwife for monitoring.
- Contractions -This is a “period “ like discomfort in the lower pubic area +/- lower back with the uterus tightening. It will be in irregular or irregular time intervals .
- Ruptured membranes ( “water breaking”). “Water breaking “is not always like the “tsumani “ in movies! It can be a gush or a slow intermittent leak ( hind water leak ).It can be a clear ,pink (if contracting )or green (baby has done their first poo-meconium)in colour. Ruptured membranes can happen with or without contractions
- Vaginal bleeding with or without abdominal pain.
- If you feel unwell eg: fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, severe headache or abdominal pain.
How do I know I am in labour?
Mother nature has unfortunately given a discomfort when we are contracting. You will feel a dragging sensation, period light discomfort, regular or irregular. Again, if you are not sure, your place of birth will give you all the advice that you need. They are there 24/7.
Should I go public or private care?
Whether you choose public or private obstetric care, both facilities regardless of where you live, policies and care are through full evidence-based practice. Exactly the same support, advocacy and duty of care is provided. Both facilities will give you optimum care. It is a purely personal decision.
What will the discomfort of labour be?
Some people when you take a Band-Aid of them will yell loudly. Others will only have a slight flinch. Everyone has a different perception of discomfort. The discomfort can be likened to a very uncomfortable period aching. It will come in surges at regular and irregular intervals.
Will my baby be okay at birth?
When your baby is born, most babies will cry within the first minute. Sometimes babies do not always do what they are supposed to do. If this happens, you will have an incredible support team around you. Even though it can be quite scary, there will be someone there to inform you every step of the way.
How will I know I can breastfeed?
Your breasts will start changing from the end of the first trimester to the beginning of the second trimester. This is for the breasts starting to grow their capability to be able to feed your baby from birth. Once your baby is born and the placenta is delivered, hormones come in to produce colostrum (cream of the milk) for two to three days until your breast milk comes in after three to four days. You will be given support by your midwives following the birth of your baby and they will assist through this breastfeeding journey.
When breastfeeding, how do I know my baby is getting enough?
Once you have started your breastfeeding journey, the hardest thing about breastfeeding is knowing if your baby has had enough. A good rule of thumb is 6-8 breastfeeds a day, with 6-8 wet/poo-ey nappies, and an average weight gain, your baby is getting enough.
What if my baby is born pre-term?
We consider pre-term under 37 weeks. Baby’s breathing, temperature and glucose control and suck are formed after 37 weeks. If your baby is born prior to that period, all birth centres and hospitals have good support whether a level 2 or 3 nursery is provided. You will be given full support and care in this journey.
How will I know I will be a good parent?
Whether a pregnancy is planned or unplanned, it is very daunting to think that you are going to be responsible for another human being. Remember this is a journey of life. We are in fortunate to be in the Western world, to provide an environment for a child to prepare them for their next journey or life. Some days it is like a tough mudder course, some days you will put your foot in small potholes, other days you will step over. Some days there will be big brick walls, but with support you will get climb over that wall. Most important is that you will love this baby.
What antenatal classes should I attend?
Again, this is very personal. There are numerous options: hospital based, private one on one, calm birth and hypnobirthing.
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and COVID19 vaccination
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of being admitted to hospital if they are diagnosed with COVID19. Studies have shown the Pfizer vaccine is completely safe for women who are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant and those who are breastfeeding. Please talk to your doctor to ensure you and your baby's health during this time and for more information visit www.health.gov.au