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Young Parents
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Things to know before and after pregnancy


I’m planning a holiday before my third trimester. Can I take a flu vaccine to protect against H1N1?

I’d say that it’s still safe to travel, but choose your destination carefully – avoid countries that have known human-to-human transmission. The vaccine for the H1N1 virus is not available yet, so you may want to take a normal seasonal fl u vaccine instead.

During the trip, pace yourself and plan ample rest stops to keep your immunity high. It helps to take some vitamin C supplements, too.


Both my husband and I have asthma. What can I do during pregnancy to lower the chance of our child inheriting it?

Asthma is a condition with numerous causes, one of which is genetic. I’m afraid there is very little you can do to lower the risks of asthma in your unborn child.

The best advice I can give you is to be in good health before planning for a baby, so that you can enjoy a smooth pregnancy.

Poorly-controlled asthma poses risks to both you and your unborn child.

If you need to use medication, you must follow your doctor’s instructions or visit him immediately if in doubt.


Am I losing blood when I get lochia after delivery? Will breastfeeding help to lessen the bleeding?

You are indeed losing some blood – and hence iron – in your lochia, or vaginal discharge, during the postpartum period. This may last from four to six weeks on average.
If it appears lumpy or smells fishy, do check with your doctor, because that may indicate an infection.

By breastfeeding on demand (that is, total breastfeeding), the lochia tends to lighten in amount faster. That way, you lose less blood. You can try taking iron supplements to replenish the body’s blood count, or eat more red meat, liver and eggs – all of which are iron-rich foods.

These questions were answered by consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Fong Yang of the Centre for Women and Fertility at Mount Alvernia Hospital.


Get a copy of the Sept 2009 issue of Young Parents for expert advice and local tips to make you a better mum or dad. Young Parents, published by SPH Magazines, is available at all newsstands now. Check out more stories at Young Parents online,

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