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Dr Ann Tan

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

About

Dr Ann Tan is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a passion for helping couples achieve their dream of having healthy babies. With more than 20 years of specialised experience, she has extensive expertise in handling complex and high-risk conceptions and pregnancies. Her passion has led her to journey with couples and share in their joy of parenthood, which till today remains the key driver in her medical practice.

That same dedication to her patients applies to her commitment to society and the community. Dr Ann Tan currently serves as a Board Member of Halogen Foundation Singapore, Council Member of Families for Life Council and Women’s Health Committee with Health Promotion Board. She was also the past President of Perinatal Society of Singapore, Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations as well as Association of Women Doctors Singapore.

At the centre of her professional life and public service is the foundation she holds dear. Dr Ann Tan and her husband are proud parents of three lovely daughters who fill her with the joys of motherhood and the comfort of family.

https://www.anntan.com.sg/

Qualifications

MBBS (Singapore), FRCOG (London), M Med (O & G) FAM (Singapore)
Specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist‎

Member, College of O & G Singapore
Member, O & G Society, Singapore
Member, International Society of Ultrasound in O & G
Member, American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Featured Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in This Quarterly

Philosophy

Dr Tan believes that couples should be empowered with knowledge, and fertility should be approached as a purposeful journey, one to be well-prepared for. She has a holistic approach to fertility and stresses the importance of adopting good lifestyle habits and of having healthy parents-to-be.

Led by her strong passion for women’s health, she continues to invest her time in serving at the Women’s Health Committee under the Health Promotion Board as well as the Families for Life Council.

Social Causes & Outreach

Clinical work aside, Dr Tan is actively involved in social organizations as well. She is a Past President of Singapore’s Council of Women’s Organisations where she sought to address women’s diverse needs. Subsequently, she was awarded the Public Service Medal for her efforts in the SCWO.

As a strong voice for education and empowerment in Singapore, Dr Tan also serves on the board of Halogen Foundation, an IPC charity that supports youth engagement through leadership training and equipping youth with the skills needed to become entrepreneurs.

An advocate for open discussion and public education on fertility, Dr Tan regularly contributes to health programmes and talk shows, where she shares her insight on fertility and pregnancy issues.

Q&A

Early Pregnancy

I just missed my period. When should I make my first appointment with the gynecologist?

If your menses are regular 28 -30 days and you have missed your next menses, please do a home urine pregnancy test early in the morning to get a concentrated urine sample. If the test is positive, do call the clinic for an appointment 2 weeks later if you have no prior history of any miscarriages or medical disorders or are not having any abnormal pains or bleeding. If the answers to the three factors is affirmative, you should ask for an appointment as soon as possible as the past issues could impact the current pregnancy negatively if no support is given.

Do I need any further testing at this stage?

If you have no prior medical disorder and no previous gynaecological disorder, you may not need any specific testing the minute you conceive. However, if you do have previous losses or previous gynecological disorders, then your OBGYN will determine what extra tests are needed.

Do I need to change my diet?

When you know you are expecting, please remember to eat safe to protect your developing child. i.e. no raw foods, no cured or uncooked meats, no unpasteurised cheeses, and no alcohol as much as possible. The main thing is to avoid having a bad tummy upset which would affect the stability of the uterus and excessive alcohol could adversely affect the fetal development.

Be careful with long term medications as well, do check whether they are pregnancy safe.

What level of exercise is safe during pregnancy?

In the first trimester of pregnancy, there is a huge change in   your   hormones every week as evidenced by the rapid growth of the fetus inside your womb. As such, you will generally feel more tired and maybe nauseous and bloated. Allow your body to adapt and as the pregnancy is not very stable in the first trimester, l urge mums to be to listen to their body and check with your doctor to what extent you can exercise and what forms of exercise are suitable.

How can I tell if the symptoms I’m having are normal?

Check with your OBGYN if you feel your symptoms are excessive, ie if you feel really tired and breathless, you cannot retain much food or drinks, your abdomen is overly bloated, you are passing urine way too often or you are constipated for more than 2-3 days. These are obviously not normal and you will need some help with handling these issues.

Are cramps normal in the first trimester?

Occasional menstrual like cramps are commonly felt during the first trimester. The frequency and intensity are important. The more intense the cramps, the higher the risk of bleeding as cramps means the uterus is contracting against the developing sac, and excessive shearing forces and lead to internal bleeding.

Can stress cause miscarriage?

Stress is a useful term to blame for miscarriages and there are various types of stressors, Work? Physical discomfort? Emotional? Stress causes one to function less optimally which may indirectly trigger undesirable events.

Is Morning sickness common. When should it start?

Nausea is a common symptom and it can occur as quickly as when the pregnancy test turns positive or can occur more commonly at approximately 8 to 10 weeks or for some more fortunate women, none at all.

Can I continue taking medications I am currently prescribed?

If you are planning to conceive , please ensure that all long term medications for medical conditions are safe for the developing fetus. Eg thyroid disease, diabetes , SLE etc . As the correct thing to do is to continue to ensure that your medical conditions are under control

When can I drink and not drink alcohol during my pregnancy?

Preferably not but if you really did, consume in small amounts after the first trimester. No known quantum on a regular basis is proven to be safe.

Can I have coffee or tea?

Perhaps one a day is what I usualy say. One could always use decaf to reduce the caffeine in the coffee and try non caffeinated teas

What are pre natal vitamins? What do I really need?

PRENATAL vitamins are meant to be taken PRIOR to pregnancy. Folate, Iron, Vit D and Zinc and Omega3 oils are good supplements prior conception and to be taken into the pregnancy

2nd Trimester

When can I have and not have sex during my pregnancy?

If all is well with the pregnancy, one can generally safely have intercourse after the first trimester. Semen contains prostaglandins which can cause uterine contractions some patients maybe more sensitive to both the extra physcial stimulus and the hormonal stimulation to cause contractions and potentially lead to bleeding in early pregnancy. Once you are in second trimester, the pregnancy is usually more calm so you could have intercourse but do observe for any signs of pelvic discomfort or bleeding.

When Will I Feel My Baby Move?

Most mothers can feel their baby move by 20 weeks gestation but it is variable as when there is an anterior placenta it will reduce the sensation until the fetus grown up at 20 weeks

What Is The Diabetes Test?

This is a sugar challenge test to determine if the mother has developed Gestational Diabetes . She drinks a 75g of glucose and her blood is drawn at 0 h, 1 h and 2 h. If the levels in the first and/or second hour are above the threshold, she is deemed to have Gestataional DM

How can I tell if the symptoms I’m having are normal?

Check with your OBGYN if you feel your symptoms are excessive, ie if you feel really tired and breathless, you cannot retain much food or drinks, your abdomen is overly bloated, you are passing urine way too often or you are constipated for more than 2-3 days. These are obviously not normal and you will need some help with handling these issues.

Is Spotting Normal In Second Trimester

No bleeding in pregnancy is normal and care must be taken to determine where it is from and why. It could be due to vaginal infections, or worse a sign of preterm labour / shortening of the cervix

How Can I Get More Rest At Night?

Reduce the risk of heart burn and reduce the amount of fluids you drink just before you sleep.

Is the swelling of my hands and feet normal?

Deficiency in iron and proteins will commonly lead to swelling of hands and feet.

Are there any symptoms I should be looking for?

Every pregnant women should be wary of feeling excessive pressure within the vagina as if there is something something trying to drop out as there is commonly a physical reason.

Should I be taking prenatal classes?

Having knowledge to enrichen your experience is a good thing, however, excessive thoughts into every situation may have the opposite effect of making you highly anxious and the reduce the joy of the pregnancy.

I can’t reach my toes anymore, any tips on cutting my toe nails?

Enjoy having a pedicure.

I am vain and lazy. What skincare can I use during pregnancy without harming me or my baby?

plant based, natural oils are always safer. If you are using any particular treatments, please check with your doctor on the contents.

3nd Trimester

When do I start discussing my birth plan? Do I need to consult a Doula for birth plan?

There are many templates for a birth plan from the web. You could use these as a guide for you and your partner to draw up one for yourselves. Involve your obstetrician in the plan as the safest mode of delivery for you would be their greatest concern. You may engage a Doula if you wish to have another voice for you.

When can I schedule my repeat caesarean section?

A repeat caesarean section is best performed between 38 -39 weeks to allow the fetus to attain good maturity

What are the signs of going into labor? When do I call with labor symptoms?

Observe the frequency and intensity of uterine contractions. Contractions may present as lower abdominal pressure or low back aches , the urge to pass urine or motion but nothing really is coming out. If these tightening are getting increasingly frequent and intense and it is getting difficult to walk then you probably are in true labour and you should make your way to the labour ward.

When can I get my epidural? What other pain management options are there while I wait?

Pain management options

  1. music
  2. massage
  3. warm bath tub
  4. Entonox
  5. Intramuscular Injection of Pethidine
  6. Epidural

Do I shave or not shave before I deliver?

Shaving the pubic hair makes it passage clearer to see the baby’s head but not essential. Shaving of the pubic hair makes the area easier to clean

How will I recognise the ‘show'?

It’s a sticky dark red brown blood and mucus mix and is associated with the dilation of the cervix

My back is seriously aching. Apart from pre-natal massage, how can I alleviate the aches?

Belly support bands, warm but not hot baths, cat and cow yoga poses, command your husband to massage.

I am terrified of incontinence and unsatisfying sex after baby, how to prevent that?

Detailed description of kegel necessary as most people don’t get it.