FIRST ANTENATAL CONSULTATION
Ideally, your first consultation should be 7-8 weeks after your last menstrual period. In order to accurately estimate your delivery date, Ken will ask you the first day of your last menstrual period, details about the regularity of your menstrual cycle, when contraception was ceased and the dates of any positive or negative pregnancy tests. If IVF was used to conceive, the date of embryo transfer is important. Ken will also ask about your general health and family medical history.
A general physical examination will be performed, including checking blood pressure and weight, and usually a bedside ultrasound. If a pap smear is overdue, this will be performed (this does not jeopardise a healthy pregnancy). At this visit any blood tests that your GP has arranged will be reviewed. Further blood tests may be necessary and these will be discussed together with arrangements for further ultrasounds.
This common event is often both sad and frustrating. Fifteen percent of women with a diagnosed pregnancy will suffer loss of the pregnancy typically during the first 10 weeks. In most of these cases the pregnancy never developed into a normal fetus (e.g. no heartbeat detected). Pregnancy loss after 12 weeks is less common (1.5%).
SUBSEQUENT ANTENATAL VISITS
Antenatal visits are to check on your health and the baby’s growth. Visits are scheduled 4-6 weeks apart until 28 weeks gestation and more frequently thereafter (depending on clinical circumstances). The third trimester (28 weeks onwards) is the ideal time to discuss most delivery issues.
Dr Roper recommends expectant parents go to antenatal classes. They are not compulsory but help prepare expectant parents for the events of pregnancy, pre-labour, labour and the immediate postnatal phase. Common topics covered include the nature and duration of labour, options for pain relief and techniques for settling the newborn baby. The hospital you have booked at offers classes, but the classes below have been highly recommended by past parents.
Food safety in pregnancy
There are some concerns for your baby during pregnancy with regards to food safety. The NSW government has an excellent website that outlines what these concerns are.
Specific information about Listeria is also available.
Medications during pregnancy
Pregnant women will occasionally need medications at some time during their pregnancies and may be concerned about their safety for their unborn baby. Mothersafe has comprehensive information regarding medications and also exposure to environmental agents.