Pregnancy - Do's and Don'ts

December 21, 2012

Hi congratulations if you are pregnant or just delivered and wish you best of luck if you are trying to conceive.

I would like just share a few tips on common issues which you should know during this period. Hopefully it will be helpful for you.

  1. See your Doctor early in fact the best time to see is during pre-pregnancy period. The doctor will look at your present state of health and do some basic examinations. Continue regular checks during pregnancy up to delivery and post-partum 6 weeks.
  2. Start Folic Acid as soon as you planned to get pregnant as this 5mg tablet can prevent skull and spine defects in baby.
  3. Eat healthy and balanced diet-consume adequate amount of water, take enough vegetables, fruits along with your routine meal.
  4. Please take pregnancy supplements as per your care provider’s advice. These supplements are given to meet the increase demand during your pregnancy especially iron, calcium ,Vitamin C, B complex etc. Please do not take iron and calcium with milk/tea/coffee as the certain ingredients in this reduce their absorption. Try to take it before bed time or early morning 1/2-1hr before breakfast.
  5. Continue exercises at moderate levels. Stretching exercises like yoga are very useful during pregnancy and they are many centers offering Yoga during pregnancy in Malaysia.
  6. You can climb stairs and continue to do routine activities in early pregnancy. None of these activities will cause miscarriage as you fear. Your pregnancy is well protected and it is shocks prove as long it’s a healthy pregnancy.
  7. You can travel by car, air and ship during pregnancy as long as you are fine. Air travel is restricted maximum up to 36 weeks (except for mom’s who had premature delivery previously up to 28weeks) and be cautious to go in the ship if you have severe morning sickness in early pregnancy as sea sickness will aggravate the condition.
  8. Certain common medications like panadol/paracetamol/flu medicine like piriton/certain antibiotics are classified as relatively safe and can be taken if in need. So please do not hesitate to take if your doctor prescribes for you. However self-medication is not recommended at all during pregnancy.
  9. You can continue to work during pregnancy. Certain work conditions like working in X-ray departments, Chemical factories, cement factories and physically strenuous and challenging works are prohibited.
  10. Driving is allowed and please wear seat belt all the time. It’s advisable to have chauffeur, car pool yourself or use public transport in late third trimester.

  1. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, too much of caffeine during pregnancy all of these are related with untoward effects in pregnancy.
  2. No self-medication without consulting your doctor. Especially in first 3 months of pregnancy as your baby's organs are forming now. Even your supplements like multi-vitamins, iron and calcium is recommended after 2 months.
  3. Please be careful with your herbal products like herbs, herbal teas, ginseng, and other stuff during pregnancy. Similar to most of the allopathic drugs, even these herbal products do not have proper evidence or proof of safety during pregnancy. In fact some moms who have taken these products tend to bleed excessively during delivery.
  4. Avoid Stress and tension. This is one of the main culprits which attack your physical body in surprising ways. For example, in pregnant women, stress can cause variety of pains, insomnia, and even lead to preterm or low birth weight. Not only will it cause a lot of stress in you but also on the people surrounding you. So please be relaxed and enjoy your pregnancy.
  5. Do not handle cat or cat litters as the cat might transmit Toxoplasmosis which causes birth defect to your fetus.
  6. Please be careful with food like nasi lemak, nasi kandar, roti canai, fast foods or any rich food like too much of chocolate/cheese etc. All these food can cause indigestion, bloatedness, reflux and gastritis as your digestion is slower during pregnancy.
  7. No raw food, no raw egg, be careful of certain fish like shark, mackerel, tuna and etc which may contain high levels of mercury.
  8. Please avoid all the extra supplements like spirulina and others. Not enough is known about the use of blue-green algae during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid. Please stick to your doctor’s recommendation. Look for FDA aproval or ministry of health approval for pregnancy in any herbal supplements.
  9. Please do not take excessive levels of 'ikan haruan essence’ or other products like 'gamat', etc. for healing purposes, some of them create bad keloids. Please maintain in moderations.
  10. Consumption of herbal alcohol products like Dome/Yomeishu during post-partum period is not recommended but some of the traditional old folks will insist during confinement period. As a general rule, it takes 2 hours for an average woman to get rid of the alcohol from 1 standard alcoholic drink. So remember stick to 1 standard glass ~ 30ml and drink immediately after breast feeding and next feeding should be after 3-4 hrs. Another way is to express your milk and keep for next subsequent feedings before taking these drinks.
.....and before I end, a small quote for moms who are going to deliver soon..

Just as a woman's heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth. -Virginia Di Orio…..Wish you best of luck..

Dr. Rama Krishna Kumar
Consultant Obstretics and Gynecologist
Columbia Asia Hospital-Bukit Rimau