You need to have a referral from your GP to see an obstetrician. This referral lasts 12 months. Alternatively you can get a referral from another specialist (e.g. an IVF consultant) but this will only last for a period of three months.
Because home pregnancy tests are very sensitive and accurate, most women find out about their pregnancy at an early stage. Once you have found out that you are pregnant you should arrange to see your GP who will often order a range of blood tests and possibly an ultrasound scan. Your GP will also arrange for you to see an obstetrician.
Ideally, we would like to see you fairly early in your pregnancy (by about 10 weeks’ gestation), but if this is not possible then give us a call and we will advise if you need to see your GP for any further tests before your first visit with us.
If this is your first pregnancy there is a lot of information to take in at your first antenatal visit.
Both the practice nurse and Dr Etherington will see you. We will discuss the results of tests that may have been ordered by your GP and will order any extra tests that need to be carried out. We will also discuss whether you want to have a screening test to assess the risk of your baby having a chromosome abnormality such as Down syndrome. If your partner can’t be with you for all your visits you might wish to bring someone else with you and are most welcome to do so.
At each visit part of the examination will include an ultrasound scan of the pelvis. At your first visit the scan will confirm your expected date for delivery as well as count the number of babies inside! As your pregnancy advances we’ll be able to monitor the baby’s growth and well-being.
The purpose of antenatal clinic visits is to assess your well-being and that of your baby. The number of visits you have with us will vary according to your individual needs and we will discuss this with you at your first visit. Some women have shared care with their GP – especially if they live far from Rockhampton – but others choose to have all their antenatal visits with us. We will let you know if shared care is an appropriate option for you.
As your delivery date approaches we will discuss with you when you should move closer to Rockhampton if you live further than one hour’s travel from the Mater Hospital.