I’m pregnant! But I have so many questions…

Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane midwife, Stacy Jukes has been asked so many questions over the years as a midwife and lactation consultant—we asked her to create a list of FAQs.

Working as a midwife for over 20 years, and being a mum of two girls, I have heard it all! From patients, friends, and family; whenever someone finds out the exciting news that they’re expecting they are instantly filled with joy! But then the questions start… “What about antenatal classes? Will breastfeeding come to me naturally? How will I set up the nursery? Will I have a boy or a girl?”

Hopefully, some of the points below will help put your mind at ease. But if you get to the end of this article and still have a thought you’re pondering, know that Mater Mothers is here to help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us over Facebook or Instagram, to speak to one of our friendly midwives and lactation consultants. We love hearing from mummas (and mummas-to-be) in our community.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m pregnant, but what do I do now?

We know you’ll have so many questions about all the steps involved in your pregnancy journey. It’s an incredibly exciting time, but there is a lot to think about and consider. We’ve broken it down for you with this helpful pregnancy journey map.

How do I book into antenatal classes and where are they held?

At Mater Mothers we offer parent education classes to those booked into our hospitals for the birth of their baby. We have so many different classes available, so we’ll be able to help find the best class for you. You can find out more information on our class topics and when they’re offered by visiting our website.

I’m having trouble with breastfeeding. Is there any support available?

Mater Mothers has a team of lactation consultants available through our breastfeeding clinic. If you’re in Brisbane, we’re available to support you Monday to Friday through Mater Mothers’ Parenting Support Centre. Please call 07 3163 2229.

What should I pack in my hospital bag?

Are you unsure about what to pack for your hospital stay? We've created a super simple checklist for you and your baby, so you won't have to sweat the small stuff.

Can I have support people with me during labour and birth?

Support is encouraged from a known loved one, and having two support people with you is ideal during this wonderful (yet sometimes overwhelming) time. Please contact your local Mater Mothers hospital for more information.

How do I decide whether to birth publicly or privately?

There are so many things to think about when having a baby. Two of the most important decisions to make on this journey are whether to go privately or publicly and where to have your baby. This decision will mostly depend on whether you have private health insurance cover that includes obstetric care. There are benefits to both, but you can find out more information on the Mater Mothers website.

How do I find the right obstetrician for me?

If you have decided to birth privately, you’ll then need to find an obstetrician you feel comfortable with. They will provide you with continuity of care throughout your entire pregnancy journey. The Meet Our Obstetricians webpage allows you to meet all of the obstetricians who deliver at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, view their profile, and even watch a short video about them too.

How many babies are born at Mater Mothers every year?

We deliver over 12 000 babies every year across Brisbane, Redland, Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton.

Do I need to start a special diet while I’m pregnant and breastfeeding?

A balanced diet is essential during pregnancy, and taking supplements like iodine and folate are also recommended. During breastfeeding, mothers tend to snack more because of the increased demand from your little one. Eating more healthy snacks helps with your milk production too. If you’re looking for more tailored advice about your nutritional needs during pregnancy, please call Mater Mothers’ dietetics team on 07 3163 6000.

What do you provide in your birthing suites?

At Mater Mothers each delivery room is self-contained with professional medical support available, around the clock. You’ll also have access to a TV, linens, towels, birthing balls, showers, baths, bean bags, stools, mats, medical pain relief options and much more.

My friends have told me not to expect any sleep on night two or three after birth. Is this true and why?

Your baby will be alert and ready to breastfeed within the first hour after birth.  Uninterrupted skin-to-skin during this time is very important to give your baby this opportunity to feed and bond with you. Your baby will then have a long sleep, and you will both have time to recover from your BIG birthday together as a new family.

After this restful period, your baby will awake and start showing feeding cues—requesting lots of breastfeeds and cuddles. This time can be very chaotic and overwhelming; however, this is very normal newborn behaviour. Your baby will want to be held and to breastfeed frequently. In the first 0 to 48 hours it’s very interesting to know that your baby only requires 7 to 123 ml of colostrum over a day. After this time their requirements double, then babies have an average of 440 to 1220 ml of breastmilk by the end of the first week. Amazing!

No wonder baby is so wakeful for those first few days after birth—they’re working so hard to boost your milk supply.

What do I really need to buy for my baby?

Practical and emotional purchases need to be considered. Try not to overspend and keep receipts for exchange or returns of unwanted items.

There are of course the obvious items like nappies, comfortable clothing, safe-sleeping approved bedding, and some toys. Don't forget to invest in your relationship—a strong, supportive family will provide the best start to a newborn's life.

Where should I be seeking advice? There are so many books and websites to choose from!

Seek out nonbiased information to increase your confidence and realistic expectations on what a newborn baby is really like. Look into credible resources and courses that will give researched content. At Mater Mothers, we pride ourselves on providing clinically guided and evidence based information to support our maternity community. Other organisations we endorse are Red Nose, Australian Breastfeeding Association, and Beyond Blue.

I love to exercise; how soon can I get back into sports and the gym?

My husband is worried our baby won't bond with him, how can I help him when I've heard babies feed all the time?

Newborns will need to be fed frequently, but there are many opportunities for a father to be involved and to create a bond with their baby. Many new fathers take over the nappy changing responsibilities and are very good at settling a baby after a feed. Bath time is also a lovely time to spend together. Holding your baby in your arms, including skin-to-skin cuddles and simply talking to your baby will help them become familiar, comfortable and gain trust with their father.

If you still have questions about what to expect during your pregnancy journey, we encourage you to speak with your obstetrician or call Mater Mothers’ Parenting Support Centre on 07 3163 2229—we’re here to empower you during this very special time.

If you still have questions about what to expect during your pregnancy journey, we encourage you to speak with your obstetrician or call Mater Mothers’ Parenting Support Centre on 07 3163 2229—we’re here to empower you during this very special time.

Midwife Stacy

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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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