COMMON QUESTIONS FROM EX-PATIENTS
01.When should I visit a gynae when I find out I am pregnant?
It is recommended that you see a gynae as soon as you discover that you are pregnant with a pregnancy test kit. Or at least you should start making an appointment to see one in case the waiting time is a long one, especially in a public restructured hospital. Ideally, your first appointment with your Gynae should be about 6-8 weeks into your pregnancy.
02.What can I expect on my first visit?
At your first visit, we will confirm your pregnancy with an ultrasound scan or, if necessary, a blood test for the pregnancy hormone, bHCG when your urine pregnancy test kit result is equivocal.
We will do an ultrasound scan either by the abdominal route (abdominal scan) or by vaginal route (intravaginal scan) to determine the location of the pregnancy development.
Most of the time, your pregnancy should be growing within your womb (ie Intra-uterine pregnancy). Very occasionally, your pregnancy might be developing outside your womb (ie Ectopic pregnancy), which can potentially be dangerous and life-threatening.
Many patients have asked me if it is necessary to do an intra-vaginal scan instead of an abdominal scan. As mentioned above, it is important to know where your pregnancy is growing during its early stage (6-8weeks). With an intra-vaginal ultrasound scan, we are able to locate your pregnancy with much more accuracy and clarity, when your pregnancy is 7 weeks or earlier.
At the time of the scanning, we can also help you determine the estimated due date (EDD) of your pregnancy.
03.Is there anything else that I can expect on my first visit?
We will screen through your medical history as well as your family history to determine any potential health / medical risks that might affect your pregnancy development. (eg blood disorders / genetic conditions like Down’s syndrome etc).
We will discuss with you about any pregnancy symptoms that you might be having or are expected to develop during the course of your pregnancy. We will help you differentiate symptoms which are “normal” from those “high risk” symptoms which you should seek medical attention.
I will also guide you through the list of food that you should avoid and those that you can take during your pregnancy to enhance the growth of your pregnancy.
I understand that pregnancy is a happy yet anxious and confusing experience for many. That is the reason why we try our best to answer any queries that you might have regarding your pregnancy.
At the end of your first visit, we want to make sure that you have the confidence to embark on this pregnancy journey with our personalised care.
04.What symptoms can I expect to have during my early pregnancy?
At the early stage of your pregnancy, you might experience some of the following common symptoms:
Tiredness / fatigue
Feeling of ingestion / “gastric” discomfort
Nausea / vomiting (see morning sickness in pregnancy)
Lower abdominal cramps
Abnormal vaginal spotting
As many of the symptoms are non-specific, it is advisable for you to visit your gynae if you have any of them so that he can ascertain if your pregnancy is healthy.
05.Should I take precautions regarding my physical activities?
It depends on your physical fitness level prior to your pregnancy and whether your pregnancy is stable.
If you have been physically active and your pregnancy is stable, you can continue with your routine physical activities (like walking, running, aerobic exercises etc) although extreme sports are discouraged.
However, if you are having bleeding/ spotting and lower abdominal cramps, then it is advisable to stop all levels of intensive physical activities till your pregnancy is stable and growing.
For our pregnant mothers, we advise and guide them through the level of physical activities that are suitable for them during the early stage of their pregnancy.
06.What changes in my lifestyle should I make during my pregnancy?
We will help our pregnant ladies identify and discourage any “undesirable” or unhealthy habits/routines in their lifestyle so as to optimise the growth of their baby during pregnancy.
We will then educate them on the proper nutrition (see Nutrition during pregnancy), type of exercise, types of medication that are suitable during their pregnancy.
We will also advise them on any travel plans that they might have during their pregnancy.
07.What antenatal tests will I need to do?
Depending on their personal and family medical history, we will advise our pregnant ladies on the necessary laboratory tests that will help us monitor and optimise the treatment of their medical conditions (e.g. thyroid, blood disorders).
In addition, based on their age group and family history, we will also discuss with the couple and advise them on the appropriate range of screening tests for their baby development (e.g. Down’s syndrome, physical structural anomaly scan). See Antenatal tests for your pregnancy.
08.What is your philosophy about childbirth? Are you pro-natural birth?
Many of my pregnant patients asked me if I am “pro-natural birth”. My answer is:
“Whether I am pro-natural or not is not important. The most important thing is guiding you to deliver a healthy baby and making sure that you and your baby have a SAFE outcome.”
Having said that, we will try our best to help you prepare and achieve a natural birth when your pregnancy condition allows. Where the risk of natural birth is expected to be high, I would discuss with the patient and her husband and help them understand that a safe delivery for both the baby and mother is still the most important.