Questions you’ll ask when you’re expecting

Answers to essential questions you’ll want to put to your ob-gyn when you find out that you’re pregnant.

Yay, you’re pregnant! Now what? Pregnancy is a new phase and many changes will take place happening in the next few months. If you are a first-time mum, your uncertainty and amount of information you have to absorb within this period can be quite frightening.

While you can easily check the Internet or ask your friends and family for answers, your gynaecologist is the best person to get advice from.

So that you and your baby have a safe pregnancy, we list essential questions to ask your doctor. These range from the foods you can eat and the products to use, to what type of activities to continue doing and which to stay away from.

Are my current medications safe to take while I’m pregnant? What about my beauty products?

Ask your doctor about the safety of all of the medications, supplements or nutrients you are taking. In terms of beauty products, avoid anything that contains retinols, retinoid or salicylic acids. Get your doctor’s advice if you are uncertain about certain products.

Can I continue to exercise during my pregnancy?

The quick answer is yes. However, you may need to change your exercise plan in order to adapt to your pregnancy. Make sure you’re getting enough calories and drink plenty of water. You should also avoid lying flat on your back in your second and third trimester, and try not to exercise in high heat or humidity.

Now that you are eating for two, your body requires higher amounts of nutrients including iron, calcium, protein, choline, folate and DHA.

What are the best foods to eat during my pregnancy?

Now that you are eating for two, your body requires higher amounts of nutrients including iron, calcium, protein, choline, folate and DHA.

According to HealthHub Singapore, a pregnant woman requires 67g of protein, 19mg of iron and 1,000mg of calcium per day.

Iron is important for the body to make red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body. If you are low in iron, this could lead to anaemia and pregnancy complications such as premature birth, low birthweight and postpartum depression. Lean red meat, poultry and fish are good sources of iron. If you are a vegetarian, you can still get your iron from certain vegetables and plant sources such as dark green vegetables and legumes, as well as enriched grains, nuts and seeds.

Protein helps baby’s growth, so make sure you eat plenty of protein-rich foods. This nutrient is found in lean meat, eggs, whole grains, beans and legumes, soy products, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. A balanced vegetarian diet with adequate calories will likely meet your pregnant body’s protein needs.

 

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Increase your choline intake during pregnancy and when you’re breastfeeding. When you’re expecting, choline contributes to your baby’s brain and spinal cord development. However, since the foetus absorbs choline by depleting the mother’s supply of choline, mums-to-be to drink choline-rich milk to replenish their supply of this nutrient. Pregnant mums should consume 450mg of choline per day while breastfeeding mums should get 550 mg per day. Eggs, fish and dark green vegetables, brussel sprouts and broccoli are good sources of choline.

The first four weeks is also a key time for pregnant women to increase their folate levels. Folate helps development of the brain, spine and skull of the baby and prevent neural tube defects. Women who are trying to become pregnant should add lentils, okra, asparagus and spinach in their diet to increase their folate levels.

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid which helps with brain development during pregnancy. A pregnant mum requires 300 mg of DHA daily. However, this may be difficult to achieve from just consuming DHA-rich food. So, many pregnant women take supplements, such as PROMAMAÒ to make sure they are getting enough DHA for their baby’s development.

Natural techniques of coping with the pain of contractions include massage and breathing exercises.

What are the different ways in which I can manage pain during delivery?

Pain is inevitable during labour. You will need to discuss the various pain relief options with your doctor and birth partner as part of your birth plan.

Natural techniques of coping with the pain of contractions include massage and breathing exercises. Some women even choose to give birth at home as they find the familiar setting comforting and less stressful.

How do I swaddle my newborn?

Swaddling a baby can help to keep the baby warm and calm. Some mums even find swaddling helpful in ensuring that their babies sleep longer. It is important to learn how to swaddle a baby correctly as an improper swaddle around the legs can damage your baby’s soft cartilage.

Ask one of the nurses to go through the process with you several times until you have mastered the art of swaddling.

What if I struggle to breastfeed my baby?

While all mothers would love to breastfeed their newborns, some may face challenges in this regard. If you find yourself in a situation like this, the hospital can set you up with a lactation consultant, a professional who will teach new mums how to feed their newborns. A lactation consultant is also able to help with breastfeeding issues including latching difficulties, low milk production or painful nursing.

Get all the essential nutrients your pregnancy needs with Wyeth Nutrition’s maternal milk supplement PROMAMA®. It helps expectant women reach their nutrient requirements and supports appropriate weight gain.

Get a complimentary Promama® Pregnancy Gift when you sign up here.

Photos: iStock

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