Antenatal care Perth
Why is antenatal care important?
Antenatal care gives you the opportunity to ensure that you and your baby are well. At each appointment we will check your blood pressure and as the pregnancy progresses test a urine sample for early signs of pre-eclampsia.
With these regular checks we will be in a position to pick up any concerns or problems early and therefore we will be able to treat or manage any complications in the best way possible for the best outcome for yourself and your baby.
Of course if problems arise between appointments it is very important that you contact us. This will let us add extra appointments and make sure all is clear or make an adapted plan if problems are developing.
From experience we know that this is not just about organising these routine tests. It’s also about keeping all information in one place so you know that we keep the overview for you, should you have any concerns.
The midwifery care offered by our practice midwife Marie complements the care you receive from Anna. Seeing your midwife adds an extra level of care, and an opportunity to listen to your baby’s heartbeat, with a fetal monitor.
The midwife will also be more than happy to answer your questions. Even if at some point you think a question may be a silly one. We believe that you deserve an opportunity to discuss all aspects of your pregnancy and Marie brings her broad experience to every situation, to help and reassure.
Our patients tell us that Marie is also that calm, friendly voice on the phone, making a difference when you want to talk to someone and discuss any concerns that you may have.
We believe that having access to an experienced obstetrician and an experienced midwife in the same practice and offering integrated antenatal care makes a big difference as you move through the stages of your pregnancy.
Ultrasounds with your private obstetrician
Monitoring your baby’s growth via ultrasound is a key source of information for your obstetrician. Anna uses the important information obtained from every pregnancy scan, to assess how your baby is doing.
Changes to growth patterns can predict potential problems. This is why, when you see Anna here in her rooms she will regularly monitor your baby’s growth. Having the ultrasounds with your private obstetrician means that you often need less trips to the hospital or to a third party provider.
Murdoch antenatal care
Timeline for ultrasounds and midwifery care
As you look at the weeks and months ahead, you may want to know more about the timeline for your pregnancy scans, your midwife appointments and your appointments with the obstetrician for your antenatal care.
- 4-8 weeks
Contact our rooms and organise a booking with our obstetrician. Speak to our practice midwife and ensure that you clearly understand all tests and investigations, and that you take action to organise or request them.
- 10-14 weeks
Your initial antenatal appointment with Dr Anna Holmes. The timing depends on any early testing that is relevant for you, and on the screening options that you may have had. We will try to have the relevant scans organised on the day of your initial appointment with Anna. It means that you then don’t need to take as much time off work, so you can cover your scan and your appointment with one trip to the hospital.
- 16-17 weeks
Antenatal appointment with midwife Marie. Here she will check your blood pressure and listen to your baby’s heartbeat. At this appointment you will have plenty of time to ask any questions you may have, to discuss your pregnancy to date, and to organise the requests for other tests or scans that may be required.
- 20-21 weeks
This appointment with Anna is usually following your main fetal anatomy scan. We will do our best to organise your scan with a provider at St John of God Murdoch Hospital, so you can minimise the time spent running from one appointment to another.
- 24 weeks
Your regular check up is once again with Marie. In case there are any complications with your pregnancy, you will see Anna as your obstetrician.
- 28 weeks
This appointment with Anna comes right after your gestational diabetes screening. Anna can give you the results and discuss any issues that may arise from the test. At 28 weeks Anna performs a formal growth scan. As a qualified obstetric ultrasonographer Anna will be able to perform this in the rooms. This means that there is no additional cost compared to having this scan done by a third party provider, and it means that your obstetrician has direct access to the most essential information, to update you on your baby’s growth at this stage.
- 30-41 weeks
As your pregnancy progresses, your appointments will alternate: midwife appointments or obstetrician appointments. The schedule will evolve from a fortnightly pattern to a weekly pattern, assuming there are no other contributing factors requiring closer monitoring. At every appointment with Anna she will perform a growth scan, so you can rest assured that your baby is closely monitored.
Blood tests and early risk screening
Routine Blood tests
There are a lot of routine blood tests that are done at the start of your pregnancy. Organising the tests, collecting the results and discussing them with you, is part of our roles as your obstetrician or your midwife.
The routine tests pick up any potential problems, so we can take action at the right time. Another benefit of routine blood tests is that they give us valuable information, as a baseline, if anything needs to be compared or retested.
Usually your GP would organise the referrals for the routine tests and Marie will then collate and check the results to make sure everything is completed and okay prior to your first appointment with Anna.
Later in the pregnancy, usually at around 28 weeks some of these tests will be renewed to ensure that there are no significant changes and to plan action steps or treatment should that be required.
We believe that you deserve clarity at every stage of your antenatal care journey. That’s why we always take the time to discuss test results with you, so you know what you are being tested for and why this matters.
First Trimester Screening, NIPT/Non Invasive Prenatal Testing or Nothing?
You will have the opportunity of doing early risk screening for chromosomal abnormalities such as ‘Downs Syndrome’ (Trisomy 21).. Which test, if indeed any, you choose to have is entirely up to you as the patient. We will be here to discuss these tests and provide information so you can make an informed decision.
Non Invasive Prenatal Testing
You may have heard about the NIPT test as one of the available tests during pregnancy.
This is how it works: After 10 weeks of pregnancy, fetal DNA can be isolated in maternal blood.
NIPT testing involves a sample of blood taken from the mother that is then sent to a laboratory. The sample is spun to separate the maternal and the fetal DNA. The fetal DNA is then analysed to determine chromosomal abnormalities to identify Trisomy 13,18 and 21.
First Trimester Screening is an alternative test that can be offered to patients. A scan is performed at approximately 11 to 13 weeks and information from this is combined with results from a specific blood test. This will also give you a risk assessment of any potential increased risk of a chromosomal abnormality.
No Prenatal Testing
You may also choose not to have any prenatal screening, everyone is different and all have different opinions and whether to have these screenings is entirely up to you. We will just ensure you have all information available to help you make your decision.
If your GP has discussed this with you they may have organised the request forms if appropriate. If not, when you speak with Marie she will discuss this with you and provide written information so you can make a well-informed decision.