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Frequently Asked Questions on Maternity

Have Some Questions?
Professor Eugene has the Answers

Professor Eugene is a renowned private obstertician and gynaecologist in London. For over 30 years, he has taken on hundreds of pregnancy cases. Therefore, he has been asked almost every question related to gynaecology, obstetrics, delivery, and recovery. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions by patients and clients.

1. Am I Pregnant?

It’s not unusual for women with an active sex life to ponder if they’re pregnant, especially if they miss a period during their regular monthly cycle. This is the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy. However, if you need to be sure, you can follow the steps below:

  • Take an OTC Pregnancy Test
    The simplest step to finding out if you’re pregnant is to head to a local pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test. Ideally, you should do it from the first day you miss your period. Modern pregnancy tests are incredibly reliable. However, we still recommend heading to the pregnancy clinic just to be sure, in case you need to commence your antenatal care.
  • Look for Early Signs and Symptoms
    Many women feel no different for the first four weeks, even if they’re pregnant. However, others start noticing signs almost immediately, including fatigue, more frequent urination, breasts largement, darker of wide part around the nipple areola and even nausea with or with vomiting. Most pregnant women also experience spotting at the early stages of their Pregnancy.

It marks the completion of foetus implantation into the wall of the womb. Fortunately, this is a normal and painless process, so there’s no need for any treatment in most cases. However, you might feel sick at different times of the day and even have trouble keeping food down. In this case, you should consult an OB/GYN for treatment and medication.

Overall, every woman is different in terms of the signs and symptoms they notice. Other signs include:

  • Changing eating and drinking habits, including new cravings.
  • Increased vaginal discharge without irritation or soreness.
  • Having a strange, metallic taste in your mouth, etc.
2. How Much Weight Should I Gain in Pregnancy?

Weight gain is another aspect of pregnancy that varies from woman to woman. In most cases, it depends on your body mass index before you become pregnant. Statistically, most pregnant women gain up to 12.5 kilograms (26 pounds) during the three trimesters. However, most of the weight is put on after 20 weeks due to the baby’s growth.

During this period, your body will also accumulate and store more fat than before to produce breast milk after childbirth. Even though weight gain is natural, you should try to keep it under control to maintain your overall health. Professor Eugene can help you devise a simple and effective diet plan tailored to your preferences.

3. How Do I Stay Fit In Pregnancy?

Weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy. However, with regular exercise and an active routine, you can ensure the weight gain is healthy. Below are some expert tips by Professor Eugene:

Exercise Tips

  • Never start an exercise without warming up first.
  • Drink a lot of water during and after your exercise.
  • Skip laborious exercises, including powerlifting and HIIT sessions. Instead, opt for walking, aerobics, and yoga.
  • If you don’t have time for exercise, try becoming more active in your daily life by taking the stairs, doing chores, or going on long walks.

Activities to Avoid

  • Ideally, you should avoid any activity that risks you falling, such as cycling, gymnastics, and skiing.
  • You shouldn’t lie on your back for long periods when exercising or resting, especially during the second and third trimesters.
  • Finally, avoid contact sports like football, rugby, cricket, tennis, etc. All of these activities hurt you and your baby in different ways. For instance, a ball can hit your bump, or you could slip and fall.
4. How Should I Sleep in Pregnancy?

The only position you shouldn’t sleep in while pregnant is on your back, especially after the first trimester. The bigger your bump becomes over time, the more load you will put on it. Hence, if you have a habit of sleeping on your back, you should adjust quickly and start sleeping on your side. This is the safest position to sleep in and can drastically reduce the risk of stillbirth.

To improve the experience, try bending your knees to relieve backache while putting a pillow between your legs. As far as your routine goes, you should aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If your routine allows it, take daytime naps as well.

5. What Is the Difference Between the NHS and Private Maternity Care?

Professor Eugene has often been asked about the difference between the National Health Service (NHS) and private pregnancy care. To summarise, private maternity care provides a more personalised experience throughout your journey.

For instance, by opting for Professor Eugene’s pregnancy clinic in London, you’ll have a dedicated obstetrician and team of nurses/midwives to help you at every stage of your child’s development until you transition into motherhood.

6. When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

Pregnancy cravings can start at any time during any stage of your pregnancy. However, the feeling is different for every woman. Plus, you may not even have any special cravings. Most women that do have cravings usually start having them after five weeks into pregnancy. These feelings grow stronger until the end of the second trimester and stop during the third trimester.

Moreover, cravings vary significantly, depending on the lifestyle and diet. For instance, some women crave fast food and snacks like chips and crisps. Others crave ice cream, foods smothered in cheese, and unusual food combinations.

However, Professor Eugene recommends maintaining a healthy diet throughout and satisfying your cravings with healthy alternatives. For instance, eating a whole bowl of fresh fruits is much better for you and your baby than a bowl of ice cream.

7. Is Coffee Safe in Pregnancy?

Coffee and alcohol are the two main beverages doctors advise to stop consuming during pregnancy. Caffeine has several side effects that can increase the risk of miscarriage. Moreover, it can increase your baby’s heart rate as well since it mirrors your body’s functions. So, if you think you can’t get by without coffee, you should opt for decaffeinated options and limit your consumption.

8. What Pain Relief Is Safe in Pregnancy?

At any stage of your pregnancy, you can experience different issues, from simple headaches to cramps, sore knees, back pain, and early labour pains. Fortunately, you can take various types of medication to relieve the pain, including (but not limited to):

  • Paracetamol
    Aspirin, Panadol, and other OTC drugs primarily containing paracetamol are safe to consume due to no negative effects on your baby or pregnancy. However, you shouldn’t consume more than 1000mg every six hours.
  • Ibuprofen
    Ibuprofen is the most common nonsteroidal drug used to relieve pain and stop inflammation. Pregnant women can take it for up to 32 weeks in their pregnancy. If you experience pain after this period, you should see your doctor right away for proper treatment.
9. Is It Safe to Have Sex in Pregnancy?

There’s nothing wrong with having sexual intercourse during pregnancy. However, your OB/GYN can advise you not to have sex in special circumstances. For instance, you shouldn’t have sex if your water is broken, as it can lead to infections. Secondly, you should avoid sex if you have major placenta praevia or other structural issues.

Most expecting parents also ask about the impact of sex on labour. Yes, sex during the third trimester’s final weeks can accelerate the labour process. Unprotected sex can also help ripen the cervix and release oxytocin – a natural hormone that helps women stimulate contractions.

10. What Is a Birth Plan?

Having a birth plan is one of the most important aspects of consultant-led pregnancy care. It lets your doctor, midwife, and nurse know what you want to happen during labour and recovery. Even though things don’t always go according to plan, it’s highly recommended that you list down your needs so your midwife can make the best decision for you and your baby.

What to Include In Your Birth Plan

  • The place of delivery – home, hospital, or midwifery unit.
  • Any family member you want to be with you during labour – partner, mother, sister, etc.
  • Permission to allow nurses, midwives, and doctors in training to be present during delivery.
  • Pain relief preferences.
  • Contact with the baby right away after birth or during recovery, etc.

Request an Appointment with
Professor Eugene

Have more questions? Feel free to book an appointment with Professor Eugene online using the form below or contacting our clinic at 079 0866 8647:

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    About Us

    Professor Eugene and his team offers comprehensive private antenatal, delivery and postnatal care as part of The Westminster Suite at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital and Portland Hospital in London. We provide you with quality and affordable service from pregnancy to safe delivery.

    Our Locations

    St. Thomas’ Hospital
    Westminister Maternity Suite
    12th Floor, North Wing,
    St Thomas’ Hospital,
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London SE1 7EH

    Portland Hospital
    205-209 Great Portland Street
    W1W 5AH

    Get in Touch

    Monday – Friday: 8.00 – 18.00


    Copyright Prof. Eugene Oteng-Ntim. All rights reserved.

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    Copyright Dr Eugene Oteng-Ntim. All rights reserved.

    google reviews
    Doctify 5star