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These questions were answered by Dr Goh Shen Li, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in S L Goh Women’s Clinic at Mount Alvernia Medical Centre D. Got a question? E-mail us at

Q. Is it true that durian is a pregnancy superfood?

A. Antibiotics are sometimes required, for example, if you are having a urinary tract infection, Group B streptococcus infection, bacterial tonsillitis, etc. There are many antibiotics that are safe to take during pregnancy, including common ones such as those in the penicillin family or erythromycin. Trust your doctor – take them as prescribed, especially if your baby’s health or yours could potentially be affected with an untreated severe infection.

That said, there are other antibiotics that may cause fetal abnormalities. If your pregnancy isn’t yet confirmed or you’re planning for a family, let your doctor know, just in case.

Q. Can I colour my hair when I’m expecting?

A. Most research indicates that the chemicals in hair dyes are not highly toxic. Only small amounts of the dye may be absorbed by the skin, and even less into the blood stream, which could reach your unborn baby. As such, it isn’t considered harmful.

If you are still concerned, wait till the second trimester. You can also do just highlights, rather than dyeing your entire head. This decreases the risk as the dye is placed on some strands of hair and does not touch the scalp. Another alternative is to use pure vegetable dyes, including henna.

If you’re planning to use a DIY hair colour kit, leave a few millimetres of hair untreated instead of applying the dye to the roots. Stick to the recommended time needed to treat your hair, nothing longer.

Q. Is it true that durian is a pregnancy superfood?

A. There is no scientific proof of this. Go ahead and enjoy it, but exercise moderation. That’s because durians are high in sugar and carbohydrates – just three medium-sized seeds contain about 160 calories, more than a 330ml can of Coca-Cola, which has 140 calories.

However, if you have gestational diabetes, avoid it.