Dr Chong Yew Luen Christopher
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
While you wait in anticipation and excitement for the special day your baby is born, there will be many other first experiences along the way. Check out our maternity guide as you step into parenthood.
It is important to attend regular medical appointments to ensure the ongoing health of you and your baby and to monitor your baby's development in the womb. These visits will also provide the necessary education you need, as well as counselling and support. They also give you the chance to raise the many questions that will arise over the next 8 – 9 months.
Here are 6 key things you can expect to do in your journey as you prepare to welcome your new baby into the world.
If you suspect you are pregnant, or your pregnancy test kit tells you so, you should book an appointment to see an obstetrician. On this first visit, you can expect to answer some questions to help your obstetrician to understand your state of health, medical background and other information that may have an impact on your pregnancy.
This will include:
You should also use this consultation to ask any questions you may have.
Here are a few questions to use as a checklist to make sure you are fully informed about how you should be looking after yourself and your unborn baby. Your obstetrician will provide more detailed information about the birth as your delivery date draws nearer.
After your first visit with your obstetrician, follow-up appointments will be made to ensure yours and your baby's health are monitored regularly. You are encouraged not to miss any of these appointments.
An ultrasound scan from week 6 onwards should be able to detect your baby's heartbeat, and your doctor should be able to give you an expected due date.
Scans are often done at antenatal visits. Important periods for scans include:
You also have the option of an amniocentesis test to test for Down syndrome. Your doctor may recommend this for mothers who have a higher risk for anomalies. Non-invasive prenatal blood tests are available to assess foetal chromosomes with high accuracy.
Make an appointment with an obstetrician at Gleneagles Hospital.
You are encouraged to attend antenatal classes during your second trimester. It is recommended you attend these as a couple so that your spouse can better understand and support your needs. These classes aim to offer useful information such as:
At Gleneagles' ParentCraft Centre, you have the option of a private one-to-one session or a group session.
You can book a free maternity tour to explore the maternity ward and get familiar with the process on your big day.
During the tour, you can visit the room that you are staying at, the delivery suite where you will be welcoming your baby, what services you can expect. Most importantly, be assured that you are in good hands during your entire length of stay.
Some hospitals, like Gleneagles Hospital, also provide you a simple tasting session to sample the confinement food offered to all mummies!
When the big day finally arrives, it is important to know when to go to hospital. Check with your obstetrician if you are beginning to experience the first signs of labour. You may be told to wait until the contraction frequency increases, or visit the hospital when you experience any of the following:
Your body will usually provide warning signs that your baby is on its way. Here are 8 signs to look out for so you can better prepare yourself for giving birth:
Pack a bag ready with what you will need around a month before the due date. This way, in the event that you need to visit the hospital immediately, you can just grab and go.
When your baby is born, the medical team will conduct some tests. This is done to establish that your baby is in good health or alert your doctor to any medical problems immediately.
These tests include:
After delivery, you can expect lactation consultants to visit you in your room to guide you in the initial breastfeeding process. Breastfeeding classes and daily bath demonstrations are also provided at the ward. The process of breastfeeding can be stressful, especially for first-time mothers, so having a professional to guide and support you is very helpful.
After discharge from the hospital, the lactation consultants will follow-up with a phone call to check on how you are coping.
If you have any concerns at all about your pregnancy, or what to expect in the days leading up to childbirth, always consult your doctor.
Most importantly, as you prepare yourself during your pregnancy, don't forget to embrace all the small moments.
Advises Dr Chong: "Pregnancy is special and wonderful, so remember to enjoy the journey!"