As an obstetrician at St Vincent’s Private Hospital for over 23 years, Dr Peter England has answered a lot of questions during his time. He shares some of the most common questions he gets asked from women preparing during their pregnancy.

Can I lie on my back when I sleep?

In the first half of pregnancy when your uterus is still relatively small there is no issue with sleeping on your back. After 20 weeks gestation, your uterus becomes noticeably larger each week and lying flat on your back may not be comfortable. Your blood pressure may drop a bit and make you feel faint and or nauseated as the big blood vessels in your body are compressed a little by the enlarged uterus. It’s recommended from 30 weeks that you are best to sleep on your side. Of course, you will toss and turn during the night, and if you wake on your back just re-position yourself to your side.

Can I use hair dye during my pregnancy?

Yes you can. Hair is dead keratinised material that is grown outward from the scalp. Thus, there is no absorption of hair dye into your circulation. It is uncommon to see a woman who does not colour her hair during pregnancy and this has been the case for a long time.

Can I wax, have laser hair removal or get a spray tan during pregnancy? 

You can continue with your usual waxing or hair removal choices. Personally, I prefer patients not to use spray tan in general as it covers the whole body and there is absorption of the product through the skin to some degree. It is not known to be harmful but probably best avoided, especially in the first trimester.

May I visit the dentist? 

Dental care is very important in pregnancy and I encourage you to have a check-up with your dentist. Should you need a filling during your pregnancy it is safe to do so, and so is local anaesthetic used by dentists. Dental cavities deteriorate more quickly in pregnancy so don’t ignore your dentist’s advice.

Can I fly when I am pregnant? 

You may fly interstate until 36 weeks gestation in an uncomplicated pregnancy. For overseas travel most carriers will not allow you to fly after 34 weeks gestation.

Airlines will usually require you to carry a letter from the doctor saying you are fit to fly, especially once your bump is visible. Feel free to discuss your travel plans with me as sometimes the advice will vary depending on your individual medical history.

Follow @StVincentsPrivateBaby on Facebook and Instagram today. St Vincent’s Private Baby is much more than a social media platform. Sharing real experiences and unpacking the tricky topics, St Vincent’s Private Baby is a community.

St Vincent’s Private Baby is an initiative of St Vincent’s Private Hospital’s in Fitzroy and Werribee. For information on both sites maternity facilities visit: Werribee or Fitzroy.

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