Health and wellbeing blogs

The top four most common pregnancy questions answered

Obstetrician Dr Joo P Teoh answers the top four questions most commonly asked by pregnant patients, such as can you fly when pregnant?

9 May 2018

How far into my pregnancy can I still fly on a plane?

We usually recommend not flying after 37 weeks pregnancy, which is endorsed by most airlines.

The reason for this is fairly straightforward – we don’t want you going into labour while in the air. Some airlines even impose restrictions during earlier stages of pregnancy, so it is worthwhile checking this out with your airline.

Air travel during pregnancy, particularly on long haul flights, increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs and pelvis. You can reduce your risk by keeping hydrated and choosing an aisle seat if possible – this way you can get up and move around or carry out some seat exercises.

Please also check you have adequate travel insurance.

St John of God Health Care maternity care obstetrician questions

How much alcohol can I drink during pregnancy?

Advice on alcohol consumption during pregnancy is always the same – there is no safe amount, no safe time and no safe type of alcohol during pregnancy.

Scientific research shows that alcohol can cause birth defects, miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth and low birth weight.

St John of God Health Care maternity care obstetrician questions

How often should I feel my baby moving?

The frequency of baby movements is different for each pregnancy and it is difficult to say exactly how many movements you should expect.

You may start noticing your baby’s movements at about 18 to 20 weeks into your pregnancy. The number of movements tends to increase until 32 weeks, after that time the number of movements stays mostly the same.

It is usually not necessary to calculate the specific number of movements, as when you are active and busy you may not be as aware of movements. Over time, you should be familiar with and monitor the pattern of your baby’s movement.

If at any stage you feel there is a reduction or change in your baby’s movement, please contact your midwife or obstetrician.

How frequently should I exercise during pregnancy?

Exercise is a good way to maintain a healthy pregnancy, however there are times that mums-to-be are advised to relax their exercise schedule – such as if there is a risk of pre-term labour or a low-lying placenta.

We advise against contact sports of any kind and anything that requires intensive or fast-paced training. Activities we recommend include taking a brisk walk and modified yoga and pilates.

It is recommended that pregnant women aim for about 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week (that’s a bit over 20 minutes a day) and to keep well hydrated and avoid overheating.

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Dr Joo Teoh Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

About the Author

Dr Joo Teoh has extensive experience as a Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in the UK. He is also a UK subspecialist in reproductive medicine and surgery. While in the UK, Dr Teoh was also the chairperson for the national trainees in reproductive medicine and surgery.

Dr Teoh has experience in reproductive medicine biomedical research; his research in reproductive immunology has led to the award of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Glasgow. He has presented internationally, and has won several prizes for his research work. He also has a Master of Science in Clinical Trials from the University of London.

Dr Teoh has a special interest in looking after and delivering obstetrics patients, especially for women who have complicated obstetric histories such as miscarriages or polycystic ovarian syndrome. He prides himself on providing patient-centric care and support throughout treatment or pregnancy, and feels strongly about giving each of his patients the time and attention they require.