Frequently Asked QuestionsBecause we know you'll have a lot of questions!
Do I need a Referral to see Dr Brown?
A referral enables claims to be made from Medicare. Referrals are valid for 12 months from a General Practitioner and 3 months from another specialist.
If I need an operation, where will it take place?
Dr Brown operates out of Newcastle Private Hospital.
What if i have my period on the day of my appointment?
Most appointments and examinations will not be affected by the onset of bleeding. An exception to this would be a Pap Smear. If you are concerned call the office to see if your appointment needs to be rescheduled. Please be assured that such situations will be catered for in a sensitive manner.
Will I be seen for a post-op check-up?
Yes it is routine to be seen for a post-operative check up after gynaecological surgery. This usually happens within six to ten weeks. People who have had advanced pelvic floor surgery are best seen longer after their operation so that the pelvic floor is allowed extra time to settle. For minor surgery a set follow-up appointment is not often necessary however it is always on offer if wished.
How soon after vaginal surgery can i drive?
With most vaginal surgeries you are able to drive two weeks after the surgery date although you should always check with your insurance company.
Is it safe to get the Flu Vaccination during pregnancy?
The flu vaccine has been shown to be safe during pregnancy and is recommended to those who are at a high risk of acquiring influenza throughout their pregnancy.
Do I need a Whooping Cough (Pertussis) vaccination during my pregnancy?
It is recommended that anyone spending significant time around your baby should have this vaccination.
Can i get dental treatment during my pregnancy?
Dental work during pregnancy is deemed safe.
Can I sleep on my back?
Generally yes – until roughly 34 weeks. The reason behind this is sleeping on your back is said to be unsafe is because of the weight of the pregnant uterus can compress the large vein (called the ‘inferior vena cava’) that runs along your spine as you lay on your back in late pregnancy. The effect of this compression can reduce the blood flow back to your heart and hence the blood flow forward towards your uterus and placenta. The good news is that it is very unlikely that this will occur under 34 weeks gestation. Even if it does, you will feel faint and unwell and therefore naturally change your position to lie on your side. Some women are more susceptible to this effect – especially women who are pregnant with twins. The effect is transient, does not harm your baby and simply changing your position will alleviate the problem. Certainly don’t worry if you wake up on your back. Even while sleeping, your body will be alerted to a drop in blood pressure and you will move in your sleep or wake feeling unwell and move. If you have any concerns in regards to this please contact me.
Can I dye my hair?
Can I use fake/ spray-on tan?
I would prefer you not use spray-on tans, however on the odd occasion this is okay. If necessary please use self tanning creams or lotions.
Can I have a bath/ sauna/ spa?
Yes, but make sure the temperature is warm, not hot. If you find the bath or spa causes you to feel quite hot and sweaty then it is too hot. Saunas are deemed unsafe for pregnant women.
Can I have sex while I am pregnant?
Yes in most pregnancies. There are some specific medical conditions in pregnancy that mean that intercourse is not safe. The most common of these is a low lying placenta or ‘placenta praevia’. This will be diagnosed after your ultrasound at 19-20 weeks. I will advise you if you have a low lying placenta and should not engage in intercourse. Also if you have any bleeding that occurs in pregnancy, even if you do not have a low lying placenta, I will recommend that you do not have sexual intercourse for at least a few days.
How much weight will I put on?
The average weight gain in pregnancy is 12-14 kg. This will depend on your starting weight and other factors. The healthy weight gain spectrum is from 5-20kg. It is important to look at the overall trend in weight gain rather than short term week by week losses or gains. Some women with healthy pregnancies may lose weight in first trimester whilst others will quickly put on 5kg. If you are concerned about too much or too little weight gain then speak to me about it.
When will I feel my baby move?
Women having their first baby will usually feel small movements from 16-20 weeks. Women having their second baby or more will feel movements by 14-18 weeks. At first the movements will be very subtle – like little flutters or taps. With every week that goes by the movements will feel more obvious. If you are working or otherwise busy you may not feel movements at all, especially in second trimester. By third trimester the movements are more vigourous and will distract you from any activity you are doing. If at any time you are concerned that your baby’s movements have reduced significantly I would recommend that you sit or lie quietly for an hour or two, have something to eat and drink and monitor the movements. If you still feel no movements or very little movements in comparison to your usual amount of movements then call delivery suite at your booked hospital. The midwife will give you further directions that may involve coming in for assessment. The midwife will let me know. During the day you are welcome to call my office and I will give you instructions that also may involve coming in to see me.