Here are a few answers to some frequently-asked pregnancy questions.
Can I request a Caesarean Section?

In the absence of a medical indication for caesarean section, most evidence would favour a vaginal birth as being safest for both mother and baby. I encourage all women wherever possible to have normal births to reduce the small risks both during and after the caesarean section as well as in the next pregnancy. I am happy to discuss all the pros and cons of elective caesarean section vs a normal birth with you. In the end the final decision is yours.

Can I have a vaginal birth after a previous Caesarean Section or with twins?

Each situation is unique, but generally speaking I support most women to have a normal birth after one previous caesarean section or in a twin pregnancy.

What should I do if the baby is in breech position close to term?

My preferred option is to turn the baby to head-first position in order to avoid a caesarean section. I do this for public and private patients once a fortnight in the fetal monitoring unit at Monash Medical Centre.

If this is unsuccessful, a caesarean section is lower risk than a vaginal breech birth, however, I am happy to support a woman to attempt a vaginal breech birth after discussing the risks.

Can I exercise during pregnancy?

I encourage women to exercise within reason during pregnancy. Maintaining fitness is important and most of the time, your body will tell you if you are overdoing it. Swimming is often the easiest form of exercise particularly in late pregnancy. There are also many well known pregnancy exercises classes that may interest you if you have the time.

Should I change my diet during pregnancy?

There are certain foods that should be avoided to further reduce the very low risk of a listeria infection. The following link has some further information.

How much weight should I put on during pregnancy?

The combined weight of the baby, fluid, placenta, as well as increased size of the womb and breasts adds up to an average of 12Kg so a weight gain of 10-18Kg should be expected.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

Unless you have been diagnosed with a low placenta, or have ruptured membranes, sex is a safe and normal part of pregnancy.

What about folate and vitamin D?

Folate should be taken by all women at a dose of 0.5mg per day, although some women at higher risk will be asked to take 5mg per day. This has been shown to reduce certain defects of the spine and nervous system.

Vitamin D levels are insufficient in most Australian women, and it has been shown that very low levels are associated with some pregnancy complications. So far there is no evidence that supplements are useful at preventing disease but further trials are underway. It seems prudent and safe to take 1000U of Vit D per day if you are deficient.

What happens if I have bleeding?

Please contact me.

In the first third of pregnancy, bleeding may be the result of a miscarriage, but often it is nothing to be concerned about. I will organise to see you and perform an ultrasound, which will confirm quickly whether or not the baby is all right.

Heavy bleeding later in pregnancy can be due to separation of the placenta, which may be an emergency situation for the baby.

What do I do if the baby stops moving?

Please contact me.

Most women start to notice movements around 18 weeks. These should continue regularly and frequently until the baby is born. A sudden change in pattern may be a sign of a problem, but almost always everything is fine.

If you notice reduced movements and are over 28 weeks gestation, you will be asked to attend the hospital for a fetal heart rate monitor (CTG), and I would normally check the baby’s growth and fluid on ultrasound in my rooms.