Pregnancy is a totally unique and exciting experience and one that will definitely bring up a lot of doubts for you (and your partner alike). According to OB-GYNs, there are some discussions you should definitely bring up with your doctor when you're expecting.
Here are the most common questions doctors gets from their patients during the nine months leading up to labour, and the answers to them.
1. Are cramping and some bleeding normal?
Some spotting or cramping is okay during the first trimester, as a fertilised egg implants and starts to grow inside the uterus. However, if the cramping and/or bleeding is persistent, you should contact your doctor, as it might be a case of a vaginal or uterine infection or, very rarely, something a bit more serious like an ectopic pregnancy.
2. How is much weight gain acceptable during pregnancy?
The weight gain allowed during pregnancy is usually calculated using your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), which includes your weight and height. Your doctor should provide you with a range depending on the trimester when it comes to weight and should check your weight during appointments. However, here's the general breakdown of weight gain by BMI:
Underweight (BMI less than 18.5):
12 to 18 kg
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9):
11 to 15 kg
Overweight (BMI 25.0 to 29.9):
6 to 11 kg
Obese (BMI ≥ 30.0):
4 to 9 kg
3. What kind of exercises are allowed during pregnancy?
Staying active during pregnancy is necessary to keep both you and your baby healthy, and helps alleviate pregnancy symptoms from anxiety to water retention. Many fitness activities including walking, swimming and yoga are safe during pregnancy, but you'll need to take a little extra care. Avoid rough exercises where the likelihood of you falling is more or strenuous core exercises like crunches, especially during the second half of your pregnancy.
4. How long can I work for during pregnancy?
This depends on the nature of your job, but you'll probably be able to keep at it up until your last month. Though, if your work demands a lot of physically strenuous activities or pregnancy complications, it's recommended that some restrictions be put for your safety and your that of your baby's. Also, the emotional stress you may experience at work should not be neglected. If you're unable to cope, it's time to take that much deserved leave.
5. Can we discuss my birth plan?
While a birth plan isn't required (and obviously when the day arrives, you may not end up following it), a lot of women tend to make one to familiarise themselves with the delivery process and labour to make sure everyone involved is informed about their personal preferences. Reviewing your birth plan with your doctor before going into labour gives you a chance to discuss situations, especially if there's a possibility of you having a high-risk pregnancy, and review concerns you may have regarding your experience.
6. What should I expect during my delivery?
Depending on where you deliver, at a hospital, birthing centre or home, your labour and delivery can vary a lot. A nurse or doctor will perform cervical checks intermittently to confirm cervical dilation and effacement. He or she may also make some recommended interventions for your and/or your baby's well-being, including electronic fetal monitoring and IV. Needless to say, the mother is taken care of once under the supervision of medical staff and doesn't need to worry.
7. What's the likelihood I'll need a Cesarean?
About 1 in 3 women experience delivery by C-section currently, and it's worth talking about with your doctor, especially if you're hoping (like every mother) for a natural birth. Reviewing your personal risks with your doctor prior to labour helps guide your expectations. While the answer is unique in each case, hoping for the best is all a mother can do.