Pregnancy Care & Family Planning

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It is our privilege to look after you throughout your pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond.

Our GP Obstetricians provide a comprehensive maternity and newborn service both from our rooms and at the Denmark Health Campus.

What can I expect from Family Planning (Pre-Pregnancy Care)?

If you’re thinking about trying to get pregnant, it’s a great idea to talk to your GP or book in with one of our GP Obstetricians for a pre-pregnancy health check first.

While you can’t plan for everything, looking after your own health is a great first step towards a healthy pregnancy.

At your pre-pregnancy health check, we’ll talk to you about:

  • Medical history
  • Health & STI screening
  • Immunisations
  • Contraceptive advice
  • Weight and diet management
  • Fertility testing and services

What can I expect from my first antenatal visit?

At your first antenatal visit, your GP will do a thorough check up and organise antenatal blood tests.

If you’re not already taking them, we’ll likely recommend that you start taking folic acid and iodine supplements. And, while it might seem a long way off, we’ll also chat to you about delivery options.

During your first visit, we’ll discuss the first trimester screen. Our goal is to help you understand your options and make an informed decision about whether you want to go ahead with this screening.

What is the first trimester screen?

The first trimester screen is a combination of a blood test and ultrasound scan performed between 9 and 12 weeks. It estimates a mother’s risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. It is not a diagnostic test.

If interested, women will have a blood test to measure amounts of certain hormones in the blood ideally at approximately 10 weeks.

They will also have an ultrasound scan done at approximately 12 weeks which measures the thickness behind the baby’s neck. This estimates the risk of having a baby with down syndrome and other rarer chromosomal abnormalities. The risk is worked out as a ratio e.g 1:1500 would be considered low risk, anything greater than 1:300 is considered high risk.

If the first trimester screen comes back as high risk, further testing is recommended for diagnosis.

How often will I need to see my GP Obstetrician during pregnancy?

The level of care you will need during pregnancy can depend on many factors. Our GP Obstetricians will discuss your circumstances with you at your first visit and will make a plan with you based on your individual needs.

If you know you are pregnant, please let our receptionist know when you are booking your first pregnancy consult. This will allow us to schedule some extra time with the doctor.

Some of the things that will be taken into consideration include:

  • Where you live
  • Previous pregnancies
  • If we are sharing your pregnancy care with your regular GP
  • Pre-existing medical conditions

Wellbeing in pregnancy

Expecting parents can go through a range of potentially conflicting feelings and emotions. There is joy, happiness and excitement, but also uncertainty and nervousness. On top of this, there are physical changes to get used to and other potentially stressful adjustments to be made. It can be a vulnerable time for many expecting mums and dads.

Antenatal anxiety and depression are common for both women and men during pregnancy.

If you are experiencing symptoms of antenatal anxiety or depression or you are confused about what you are feeling, it is important to seek help as early as you can. Remember, these feelings are normal and in most cases are easily treatable.

Some women and men are more vulnerable to antenatal anxiety and depression. Risk factors include:

  • Prior history of mental illness
  • Lack of support (including partner, family and broader social)
  • Past abuse or trauma
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Stressful events
  • Past conception/pregnancy complications
  • Absence of own mother
  • Pre-existing physical illness

Who will deliver my baby?

In most instances the GP Obstetrician who looks after you through your pregnancy will deliver your baby. In some instances this may not always be possible.

At Denmark Medical Centre we have a team of dedicated GP Obstetricians who provide cover for each other. This means that should your GP Obstetrician not be available you will still be cared for by one of our team.

I've had my baby, what's next?

This is a wonderful and often busy time when you and your loved ones get the opportunity to meet and get to know your baby. It is also important to be mindful that birth takes a physical toll on your body – it’s important to take the time to recover. Your body and your baby will benefit.

Your GP Obstetrician will continue to be available to provide care for you and your baby in the weeks following the birth. If all is going well, a routine follow up between 6-8 weeks is highly recommended.

What can I expect at the routine 6 week check up?

At this check up, your GP Obstetrician will want to check on your recovery and your baby’s progress. It’s a good opportunity to talk through your physical recovery and your emotions.

You may also still be dealing with some pregnancy or childbirth related aches and pains, or have questions about how your body has changed, breastfeeding, birth control, exercise, sex and work.

The 6-week check up for your baby is the perfect time to give them their first immunisations. The doctor will also give your baby a top to toe medical examination including:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Hip examination
  • Heart & lung check

When booking your 6-week check up, please let our receptionists know so they can allow sufficient time for this appointment.