Ultrasounds with your private obstetrician
As your primary care provider I am delighted to be able to perform ultrasounds in my rooms at St John of God Murdoch Hospital. Prior to my career here in Perth, I completed the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Diploma in Ultrasound involving scanning in the Fetal Medicine unit at University College Hospital London and at other hospitals that I trained at. I am experienced in both singleton and twin pregnancies so you know that you are in the hands of a very experienced practitioner for your pregnancy ultrasounds.
Regular ultrasound scan is recommended throughout your pregnancy and is no longer limited to more formal anatomy scans that are conducted at 13-14 and 19-20 weeks. With no additional charge and the ability for me to complete your growth scan and fetal wellbeing scans here in our rooms, this will not only give you regular views of your baby as he or she grows, but also the convenience of not having to continue to use alternative radiology departments. Although it is not the reason for providing regular scans I am more than happy to press the print button to give you that ‘iconic’ image of your baby, if he or she decides to pose appropriately during your scan.
I believe that the monitoring of your baby’s growth is paramount during the pregnancy. From 28 weeks on, I will conduct regular formal growth scans. Having this continuous follow-up is one of the great benefits of private healthcare and of seeing a private obstetrician.
I will enter the results into a custom prepared growth chart specifically for you. This will not only show us the regular growth rate that is expected for your baby but also the parameters of what is classified as a normal pregnancy for you. You may be on the limits of these parameters and your baby may be at the 10th (small) or 90th (large) centile for your personal chart. This is all very useful information for planning the delivery. And even more important are any changes in the growth of your baby, if he or she is suddenly growing much quicker or if the growth rate has dropped off. In that case, it can signal an issue that will require closer monitoring and potentially earlier delivery of your baby.
In a normal pregnancy, we will commence these growth scans at 28 weeks of pregnancy. If there are no concerns, then a further growth scan will be performed at 34 weeks. Following this, a scan at 36 or 37 weeks will be followed by another one at 38 or 39 weeks and then by weekly scans.
It is important to note that the pattern of these growth scans applies to your pregnancy specifically. We focus on the best possible obstetric care for you and your baby, so these timescales can be changed if needed. We aim to predict and prevent complications before they arise, so any changes in the pattern are not something for you to worry about.
Twin pregnancies need more frequent scans, with the timing depending on whether they are identical or not. I have done a lot of twin pregnancy scanning during my training and subsequent career and I will be able to do the majority of this monitoring in my rooms.
In obstetrics it is well accepted that ultrasound cannot detect all problems and that it is not spot on for size estimates, but it is the best tool we have to monitor and it gives a good guide to the size of your baby.
Pregnancy ultrasounds before you see your private obstetrician
Your first view of your growing baby will normally be via an Early Pregnancy Scan, or a Fetal Well Being scan. This is usually something that your General Practitioner will refer you for.
If they have not done this for you, don’t worry. We can always organise this referral for you.
We recommend that you have your Early Pregnancy Scan between an estimated 7-8 weeks of pregnancy. This way, (if your dates are slightly out at this time), the sonographer should be able to pick up the baby’s heartbeat and avoid any undue worry. This scan will check that all is going well and it will confirm your due date. With that important information, we are then able to plan your early screening and organise your appointments at an appropriate time.
Once your dates are confirmed, either your GP or our practice midwife Marie will discuss early screening options with you. Alternatively you can come to see me if you are unsure about any of the early screening tests available to you. An Early Anatomy Scan is normally recommended between 13 and 14 weeks. This is when the sonologist will look more closely at your baby, as he or she will have grown significantly from your Early Pregnancy Scan.
At around 20 weeks of pregnancy, you will be referred for an Anatomy Scan. This scan will involve the sonologist looking at all of your baby’s anatomy, the heart and the head as well as measuring all of their limbs. They will also assess the position of your placenta. For me, as your obstetrician, this information is essential to planning and monitoring your pregnancy.
Importance of follow up with your obstetrician
Once you have had these scans, we will organise an appointment with us to review the results. Wherever possible, we will try and organise for you to have these scans at a speci
alist radiology department anywhere in the Perth metro area. They will be able to report quickly, so you can come and see me on the day of your scan, with the convenience of only one trip to the hospital.
Our team here at the practice are experts at keeping the process efficient and transparent for you. We know that your pregnancy is a very special journey and we give it our best to make things as comfortable as possible for you.
Your Anatomy Scan reports will generally give me a great deal of information. I will then discuss the information with you, and if or how it might affect your pregnancy.
Most scans are normal but there may be concerns about:
- The size of the baby
- The position of the placenta
With that extra information, we discuss how to manage the situation and make sure you always have the most up-to-date information.