Dr Ong Xiaohui, a mother and obstetrician, addresses some of the common questions and myths surrounding these issues

Pregnancy: What to Expect During Labour, Birth and Beyond

During the course of pregnancy, it is common for couples to have many questions regarding the baby's growth and childbirth. Dr Ong Xiaohui, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Thomson Medical Centre highlights the key issues to note.

Delivery Options

The management of pregnancy has to be individualised as every woman is unique. More often than not, the choice of delivery needs careful planning and discussion between the mother-to-be and her obstetrician. To aid you in this dialogue, I will highlight the pros and cons of vaginal delivery and caesarean section.

Recent trends of “natural labour” have been promoted widely on the media. However, not every woman is able to withstand the pain and stress of labour. Depending on her medical history and previous surgical operations, it may not always be safe for her to undergo “natural labour”. For first-time mothers, labour can sometimes take up to more than 12 hours. Hence, it is important to know your pain relief options way before delivery day. Epidural analgesia is a safe and effective option for most people, contrary to certain beliefs. For those who do not wish to have an epidural, there are also other safe and available pain relief options they can choose from.

Postnatal Recovery

The period immediately after delivery is as important as the pregnancy period. While this can be an exciting time filled with anticipation and joy, the postnatal stage can also prove to be a very stressful time for the couple who now have a new life to look after.

Breastfeeding brings about many benefits to both mother and child. First-time mothers may take some time to learn the correct technique in order to produce sufficient milk for the baby. While it is easy to get caught up in caring for her newborn, it is also important for the new mother to not neglect her own health during this crucial recovery period.

The article was based on the contribution of Dr Ong Xiaohui.

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