Commonly Asked Questions

Pregnancy is an exciting, though sometimes daunting experience. We want you to know that you can always contact us with any queries you may have. Please find below some commonly asked questions.

What are some of the early signs of pregnancy? 

Some of the early signs of pregnancy can include fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea, aversions to some foods you may normally like and a missed period. Home pregnancy tests are very accurate and if this is positive you don’t normally need a blood test. The next step is to book an appointment with your GP and obtain a referral.

Is it safe to have sex while i’m pregnant? 

Yes! It is  safe to have sex while you are pregnant. Spotting after intercourse is quite common in pregnancy due to hormone changes but please give us a call if you notice this.

Should I be taking antenatal vitamins? 

Iodine is an essential nutrient the body uses to produce thyroid hormones which are vital for the normal development of the brain and nervous system before birth. The recommended intake for pregnant women is 150µg per day which is difficult to achieve through food intake alone. It is advisable to check any supplements you take contain the recommended dose (and through potassium iodide, not kelp). See www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications for more information.

Folic acid is also recommended in pregnancy and we suggest taking this 1 month prior to conception up until you are 12 weeks pregnant. Pregnancy multivitamins contain the recommended doses in pregnancy however both Iodine and Folic acid can be purchased individually from a pharmacy.

Is it normal to have some spotting during pregnancy? 

Every pregnant woman’s nightmare. Not all bleeding heralds doom: there are many other factors involved. The amount of bleeding (heavy or light), the colour of the blood (dark or bright) and whether there are associated pains are all important. Having said this, cramping in early pregnancy is very common and is usually due to ligaments stretching. An ultrasound is useful from six weeks onward to detect if the pregnancy is continuing on well, before this a blood test to measure the level of hCG (pregnancy hormone level) is usually more appropriate. Please call the rooms if you have any bleeding that concerns you and one of midwives will be able to advise you on the right course of action. It is important to know your blood group in cases of bleeding in pregnancy and we can arrange this for you if you don’t know.

Are there any foods that I should avoid? 

It is recommended that pregnant women avoid foods such as soft cheeses, raw seafood and cold meats, please visit www.foodstandards.gov.au for more detailed information on nutrition.

Can I still exercise while i’m pregnant? 

It is safe to exercise while you are pregnant and if you already have a regular exercise regime we encourage you to continue with this, as with anything in pregnancy through- if it doesn’t feel right, stop and seek advice. Be aware through that a maximum heart rate of around 140bpm is advised during pregnancy so you may need to slow it down just a little. Exercise such as yoga, pilates and aqua aerobics can be very beneficial in alleviating common pregnancy aches and pains.

Can I still drink coffee? 

Yes, it is safe to drink coffee in moderation while you are pregnant.

What can I take for nausea? 

Otherwise known as morning sickness – but as many women will tell you it is not always in the morning! Around half of all pregnant women will experience moderate degrees of nausea and vomiting although only a small percentage have such severed vomiting that they require admission to hospital. Six to twelve weeks is the commonest time for morning sickness but sometimes it takes a little longer to settle and very occasionally it is a problem for the entire pregnancy.

The most important thing is to listen to your body, eat only when you feel able (not necessarily the usual breakfast, lunch and tea) and eat what you feel like eating (obviously not just donuts! – but the baby is not going to suffer in the early stages if you are not eating from all five food groups). Small amounts of fluid frequently are better than large volumes and snacking or grazing with food is also often better.

If you are still struggling, Vitamin B6 and ginger are natural remedies that are often useful and are available in a “morning sickness” preparation from the chemist. There are also prescription medications that are available and safe to take in the first trimester so please feel free to call the rooms before your first appointment if you are not coping.

What can I take for pain relief?

There has been some contentious information about paracetamol recently. It serves to remind us that you should never take any medicine in pregnancy unless it is necessary. However of all the over the counter medications paracetamol is still the safest and sometimes may need to be taken eg, fever, strain and ligament pains etc. it is NOT safe to take an anti inflammatory such as Nurofen (ibuprofen) or Voltaren (diclofenac). Please call the rooms if you have any questions or alternatively call the WCH drugs in pregnancy line on (08) 8161 7222 – this is an excellent point of contact about medications in pregnancy and breast feeding.

Can I dye my hair or get a spray tan? 

Yes. It is safe to do both!

Who can I call if I need some advice?

There are midwives available in the rooms to answer your quirkiest of questions from 9:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday.
After this please call the midwives at Burnside Hospital Maternity on  (08) 8202 7219. This applies even if you are less than 34 weeks. You don’t ever need to call the Women’s and Children’s hospital.
If you think you are in labour or your waters have broken then call the hospital, rather than the rooms, first. If it’s an emergency call 000 like you normally would.

Should my partner come with me to the antenatal visits?

Partners are always welcome to each and every appointment that the pregnant woman attends. This is both in the rooms at Attunga as well as in the hospital. Having said that, it is obviously sometimes difficult for partners to get frequent time off. So do what works for you as a couple and please ask us for what visits we think it’s important to try to make if you can’t get too them all.

Can my other children come to my visits?

We absolutely welcome the involvement of your children in your antenatal visits. It can be a very special bonding time for your child to be able to hear their unborn siblings heart beat.

Who will deliver my baby?
If you book with Dr Karen Chandler for your pregnancy, the intention is that Dr Chandler will deliver your baby. This is whether it’s a normal delivery or a caesarean and irrespective of the time of day (yes even 3am). With very few exceptions (ie emergencies) Dr Chandler’s holidays are booked more than 9 months in advance so you will know if there are any holidays close to your due date when you call us to book in.
There is however clear and established evidence that tired and unrested medical practitioners (in any field of medicine) do not provide very good medical care. At best they may just be cranky and not their usual selves, at worst it can be dangerous. This is particularly important if the area of private obstetrics. To ensure that Dr Chandler is well rested and  able to provide you with the highest level of obstetric care, she participates in a weekend roster system and holiday cover with Dr Tracey Bradbury.