Let’s be candid: pregnancy can turn even the most relaxed woman into a mom-ster. All things considered, your gynae probably has to put up with a lot – and, given that she (or he) is a skilled professional, she can handle most of it.
There are some things, though, that she wishes you’d just plain stop. Here they are:
Consulting Dr Google
We’ve all done it: run a search on our symptoms (keeping one eye shut because we’re scared to see what results turn up). And, invariably, the innocent whitlow we wanted to find out more about turns out to be an early marker for some dreaded disease. This is why gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Lesego Sefanyetso wishes his patients would stop checking in with Google before consulting him. “Often, self-diagnosis leads to unnecessary anxiety,” he points out. His advice? Ask your doctor first, and then read up once you have the right information in hand.
“My best friend says…”
Actually, your best friend/sister-in-law/Mandi from accounts doesn’t have that much more insight than Dr Google. “Patients often listen to friends and family who have no medical background which, again, can lead to misinformation,” says Dr Lesego. And again, rather than getting advice from someone’s aunt or neighbour’s hairdresser, discuss the cause of your concern directly with your gynae.
Back away from the scale
Let’s get this straight, once and for all: You’re not fat, you’re pregnant. Ok, so you no longer have a thigh gap and it’s been a while since you saw your toes. It doesn’t matter. Dr Lesego points out that you’ll be gaining at least 7 or 8 kilos over the next 9 months, and this isn’t the time to try and budge them. Relax, and eat the banana bread. The weight will start to drop without any effort if you breastfeed, and you can start exercising again 6-12 weeks after delivery.
“My baby’s not getting enough nutrition!”
When you’ve said goodbye to your breakfast, and the meal you ate to replace it, and even the ginger biscuits you resorted to in an effort to settle your stomach, it’s easy to imagine that all your baby’s precious vitamins have been flushed down the loo. But, says Dr Lesego, baby gets first dibs on nutrition, so even if morning sickness has you feeling really low, you can be confident she’s getting what she needs.
“I absolutely have to have [insert preferred method of delivery here]”
You may have everything about your baby’s birthday figured out in your head, but Dr Lesego warns that things might not go according to plan. “Some patients are fixated by the idea of having a vaginal delivery. But, although most women are able to deliver this way, the mode of delivery is dictated by obstetric indications, and there may be indications that a C-section would be best. If this is the case, you need to understand that the procedure is being undertaken in your best interest and, of course, that of your baby. You have to trust that your obstetrician is making the right decisions for both of you.”
More about the expert:
Dr Lesego Sefanyetso is an obstetrician and gynaecologist based at Olivedale Hospital. He has a special interest in endoscopy and general gynaecologist surgery. Learn more about Dr. Lesego Sefanyetso here.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.