Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not answered by reading the website, please do not hesitate to contact me or to discuss this during your consultation. If the same question keeps occurring then I will add it to the list below.

Is it safe to get the Flu Vaccine during pregnancy?

Vaccination against influenza has been shown to be safe in pregnancy. In fact, it is recommended for patients who are at high risk of acquiring influenza in pregnancy, such as women with underlying medical disorders or healthcare providers.

And the vaccine against Whooping cough?

Recent evidence has shown a link between ‘cot death’ (sudden infant death syndrome) and Whooping cough. It appears that the vaccinations that are given during childhood do not give adults immunity and so mothers cannot pass on ‘protective’ antibodies to their baby. Most developed countires including Belgium advise vaccinating mothers to  protect their baby. If this is done in the third trimester it is safe and the maternal antibodies cross to the baby protecting him until he receives his vaccine at the age of 2 months. Further information can be found on the NHS website for this vaccine in pregnancy.

How can I tell if I am in labour?

  • Regular uterine contractions (Remember ’30-5-30′. Contractions lasting 30 seconds every 5 minutes and continuing for at least 30 minutes)
  • Your waters breaking
  • If you have painful contractions and the waters have broken then things can happen quickly and you should take yourself to hospital without delay.

How do you know when it is not Braxton Hicks and time to go (to the hospital)?

Braxton Hicks contractions are also known as false labor. They usually begin sometime after the 20th week of pregnancy. Sometimes they are felt earlier and are more intense in women who have had a previous pregnancy. Although it is difficult to be specific, women can tell when the contractions change and labour starts – if you are in doubt then it is probably not established labour!

How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

The average recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 12 – 14kg.

How soon after delivery can I have intercourse?

It takes approximately 6 weeks for your uterus, cervix, and vaginal tissues to return to their normal pre-pregnant state. In practice most women wait until their vaginal bleeding stops and often wait until their postnatal check at 6 weeks.

I am 14 weeks pregnant. Can I go to the dentist? What if I need dental work done?

Dental work such as anaesthetics, antibiotics, dental x-rays and extractions are safe during pregnancy – just inform your dentist that you are pregnant.

I am 16 weeks pregnant. I am having pain in both sides of my lower abdomen. Is this normal?

Although there are many reasons for abdominal pain during pregnancy, the most common condition is round ligament pain. The round ligaments are connective tissue ligaments that run from the upper aspect of the uterus down to the groin. As pregnancy progresses these ligaments enlarge and become stretched, and can cause pain. The pain sensation that women often feel involves both sides of the lower abdomen and sometimes the back. The pain is sharp in nature and certain movements may exacerbate the pain.

Round ligament pain has not been associated with any adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Medications often do not alleviate symptoms.

I am 30 weeks pregnant and having a lot of sciatic pain. What can I do? Is this common during pregnancy?

Sciatica is a very common condition that usually occurs late in pregnancy and resolves after delivery. Visiting an osteopath often helps or even cures the pain and is safe in pregnancy.

I am at the beginning of my pregnancy and I’m cramping a lot. Is that bad?

Many women have cramping during early pregnancy. However, if you have persistent cramping, especially if it is associated with bleeding or spotting, it is important that you seek help immediately.

I have had two miscarriages, what are my chances of having another one? Do I need any special testing?

If you have a prior liveborn infant, the risk of recurrent miscarriage is 20% to 25% after one miscarriage, 25% after two miscarriages, and 30% after three miscarriages. Special testing for causes of ‘recurrent miscarriage’ are carried out after three consecutive miscarriages.

Is it safe to travel by air during pregnancy?

Flying in airplanes is safe during pregnancy and there is no indication that it causes complications. You should get to the airport on time, stay hydrated and move around the plane regularly in order to help your circulation. It is not wise to get on a plane if you have complications such as vaginal bleeding without first asking my advice.

Is the Consumption of Fish Dangerous During Pregnancy?

Healthcare officials have issued a new advisory on the dangers of eating fish. Healthcare officials are concerned that the level of mercury in fish might pose certain risks to a developing fetus. This is probably only of concern if you eat significant quantities.

What are your chances of being pregnant and still having a period?

From a physiological standpoint it is not possible to continue having a period while you are pregnant but some women have an ‘implantation’ bleed around the time of their ‘missed’ period that can cause confusion.