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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q Is it safe to take antibiotics during pregnancy?
A Antibiotics are sometimes required, for example, if you are having a urinary tract infection, Group B streptococcus infection, bacterial tonsillitis, and so on.
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.
What should I expect from my first check-up after delivery?
Your doctor will usually ask to see you between two and six weeks after you give birth, depending on whether you had a Caesarean section or natural delivery.
During the postpartum check-up, she will assess how well you’re healing, including the stitches if you had an episiotomy or tear during a vaginal delivery, or Caesarean-section wound.
She will also do a vaginal examination to check if your uterus has contracted appropriately after the delivery, as well as a Pap smear if you had not taken the screening test in the past 12 months.
Take this chance to talk about problems you may have encountered, such as breastfeeding or coping with your newborn. Sometimes, new mums get postnatal blues. It is important that you share your state of well-being and seek help.
Ask your doctor when you can resume normal activities, such as exercise or sexual intercourse again.
If you’re not planning for another baby soon, she can recommend the appropriate birth-control methods as well. Fertility can return as quickly as six weeks after delivery, particularly if you are not nursing.
If you’re breastfeeding exclusively and your period has not returned, ovulation – and, in turn, conception – is unlikely to occur within six months of your baby’s birth.