Pregnancy Q&A

Whether you’re a first-time mommy or on your third baby, pregnancy can be a very overwhelming experience. With all the information available online and advice from family and friends, you can end up feeling very confused. Here are some of the most common pregnancy questions I receive, answered.

Question: What are the early signs of pregnancy?

Early pregnancy signs differ from woman to woman. The main sign is a missed period (however, not always). Other signs include headaches, tender breasts, nausea, and pain in your lower back. If you recently had unprotected sex and begin experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best that you take a home pregnancy test (available at your local pharmacy) or visit your local clinic.

Question: When should I first visit the clinic?

The sooner the better, but you should book an appointment at your clinic no later than 14 weeks for your prenatal care. Prenatal care is important during pregnancy- it helps to monitor your baby’s development, to ensure a healthy and safe delivery. Visiting the clinic for prenatal care is also important for identifying any challenges to you or to your baby early enough to be able to reduce the risk for both of you.

Question: When will I feel the baby kick?

Women don’t feel the baby kick until 16 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. You might feel this later if it’s your first pregnancy. If no movement is felt post 22 weeks, I recommend speaking to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Question: Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

If you’re comfortable, it’s okay to have sex during pregnancy. It’s important to use a condom each time you have sex as there’s still a risk of HIV/STI transmission, which can affect the health of the baby. Remember to treat all sexually transmitted infection (STI) signs immediately.

Question: I’m 40 weeks pregnant, and I’m still not in labour…

It’s normal for you to give birth between 36 weeks and 42 weeks. Most healthcare providers consider inducing the pregnancy or consider C-section, 10 days after the estimated date. Your healthcare provider will advise you on the best procedure to follow.

Question: What food should I eat?

A pregnant woman should eat at least 3 three balanced meals daily. These food includes, starch, fruits and vegetables, oil and protein products under the guidance of your healthcare provider. Foods that are high in folic and iron are a must and it’s vital to take the vitamins you get from your healthcare provider. Check in with your healthcare provider for any changes in your diet.

Question: What food and drinks should I avoid during pregnancy?

Alcohol and excessive caffeine should be avoided as this can affect the health and the development of the baby. It’s recommended to avoid uncooked meat and seafood. Remember to wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption.

Question: What exercises and lifestyle habits are safe during pregnancy?

Most exercise (if not strenuous), can be considered safe. However, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider about your exercise habits or sporting activities to make sure that it’s safe for you at all stages of your pregnancy.

Smoking cigarettes or hookah (hubbly bubbly) are not safe during pregnancy as they can have negative impacts on your health and your unborn baby.

Pregnancy can be a very overwhelming time for any mother, but it’s important to take care of yourself and the baby by being informed. If you have any other pregnancy related questions, you can chat to me.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).