Prenatal visits at Melbourne Mothers
About antenatal care
If this is the first time you are pregnant, you may not be familiar with antenatal care at all. One of the first questions that expecting mums are facing is: Do I go public or private? And if you go private, how do you choose the best obstetrician in Melbourne for your precious journey?
Often your GP or family and friends will be able to point you to who the best obstetrician and best hospital might be for you. We generally try and see our patients for the first time around week 8 however many of our patients we will know even from before the time they are pregnant. This is because some we will have helped conceive and others we will know because we have looked after their sisters or even their mothers previously.
We are a family practice. If you want to bring a relative or a friend, that is perfectly fine. We understand that this is a big journey for you. You will have questions, and so will your partner who supports you during your pregnancy. By intentionally positioning our practices outside the hospital, even during the strictest lockdown conditions, we have been able to see our patients with their partners face to face throughout. Not only do we encourage patients to bring their partners but we believe that it is very important that all members of the family feel as involved as possible during the pregnancy journey.
We will talk about when to expect movement, what is possible in terms of antenatal classes around Melbourne, and the ideas you may already have for your delivery method.
You will find zillions of online conversations about both delivery options: Natural or vaginal birth versus c-section or Caesarean section.
Antenatal care is not an off-the-shelf scenario that works the same for every mum. Everything depends on the uniqueness of your pregnancy and your baby, your body and your health.
So when we tackle this topic, our mission is to listen. Then we share our experience so you are empowered to make a well-informed decision.
If somehow your choice is limited, we will help you understand the reasons why a certain delivery method might be advised. After all, we want your baby to come into this world in the safest and best possible way, also thinking about your wellbeing as a mother.
Ultrasounds and antenatal care Melbourne Mothers
What are the tests and ultrasounds I can expect?
An important part of antenatal care evolves around pregnancy ultrasounds. The routine tests we plan for you are essential to pick up anything that might indicate risks of complications.
A typical antenatal visit may start with a discussion of what we call the standard checks: we check your blood pressure and perform a urine test, to test for any signs of preeclampsia. We take the time to talk, and to discuss how everything is going.
I always tell expecting mums to take it one step at a time, but maybe you want to know what lies ahead. So here we go, let’s go over a rundown of a typical antenatal care journey here at Melbourne Mothers – but please bear in mind that everything is personalised. If you need information or a chat at any point during your pregnancy, if you have additional questions or you feel that something needs attention – you will know where to find us and how to reach us.
The typical milestones of your antenatal care visits include:
- 4 to 8 weeks: Organising your initial routine blood tests and carry out a dating scan
- After 10 weeks: NIPT (Non-invasive prenatal) test: The NIPT test defines your risk for Down syndrome (trisomy 21), and for trisomy 18, trisomy 13 (chromosome abnormalities). We can even find out the gender of the baby at this point!
- 13 weeks: Obstetric ultrasound with a focus on your baby’s anatomy.
- 14-20 weeks: If initial testing is abnormal we might carry out CVS or amnio tests
- 20 weeks: Main fetal anatomy scan. This is also an opportunity to discuss vaccines in pregnancy.
- 26 to 28 weeks: A diabetes screening (to check if you have pregnancy diabetes). We also check your blood levels and blood group. If your iron levels are low, we might arrange for an iron infusion.
- 28 and 34 weeks: Anti-D immunoglobulin if you are Rh-negative to prevent Rhesus disease.
- 32 weeks: Growth ultrasound.
- 36 weeks: Group B strep swab. Group B streptococcal infection is caused by bacteria. About 20% of women carry this bacteria without experiencing problems. It can cause infections in newborns and an antibiotic is used in labour to prevent that.
- 36 to 41 weeks: More frequent visits or ultrasounds if your pregnancy requires more monitoring.
Choosing a Melbourne obstetrician
At Melbourne Mothers, your obstetrician has your back
In your quest to find out who would be the best obstetrician for you in and around Melbourne, it’s good to take a moment to think about what is important to you.
We believe that it is not just about managing a calendar of routine tests. It’s about giving you the best experience during this special time in your life.
“We see all types of expecting mums: first time mums, mums with a previous stressful experience, athlete mums, working mums and older mums. Each expecting mum is unique.
At Melbourne Mothers, we are your sounding board and you should expect reliable expert information for your unique circumstances.”
If there is any reason for concern, we adapt the frequency of your antenatal visits. We look at anything that might indicate a higher level of risk, and we act accordingly.
Quite often we hear expecting or new mums chose Melbourne Mothers because they felt supported, informed and they loved that we could see them when they needed it.