Antenatal Shared Care (Pregnancy)
Many of our doctors provide shared antenatal care with Gold Coast University Hospital (Southport) and Tweed Hospital.
What is Antenatal Care?
Antenatal means ‘before birth’ and Antenatal Care refers to the regular check-ups you have with your doctor, midwife and/or obstetrician to ensure you and your baby are healthy throughout your pregnancy. It is important to keep check on things that can cause problems during pregnancy – these are uncommon but mostly preventable.
Confirmation of Pregnancy
If you suspect you are pregnant, we are able to do urine pregnancy tests on the spot. The urine test is usually reliable if a few days has passed since your period was due. A blood test can be useful if you are seeking earlier confirmation.
On confirmation of pregnancy we discuss the steps necessary to plan your Antenatal Care. The initial GP appointment is 30 minutes and then may be 15-30 minutes afterwards with a Practice nurse. When booking an appointment, inform Reception that an antenatal consultation is required.
We will advise and organise appropriate blood and other tests and arrange a longer visit to complete a Pregnancy Health Record and organise referrals to a public hospital or private obstetrician as required.
Areas that need to be checked at Antenatal visits include:
- Blood count
- Blood grouping and Rhesus antibodies (Rh factor)
- Immunity against infections that may affect the baby (e.g. rubella, hepatitis B)
- Size and state of your pelvis
- Blood pressure
- Urine test (for evidence of diabetes or pre-eclampsia)
- Cervix (pap smear test)
- Progress of the baby (size of uterus, heartbeat, movements)
- Progress of the mother, including emotional state
- Any concerns
Most of our GP’s provide Antenatal Shared Care with Tweed Heads Hospital, and Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport. Shared care means the number of hospital visits is reduced and many of the health checks recommended during pregnancy can be carried out by your regular doctor. Your GP and Midwife/Obstetrician will share your antenatal record to keep track of everything.
Frequency of Antenatal Visits
- Pregnancies normally lasts 38-42 weeks.
- Antenatal visits are monthly until week 28, each two weeks from week 30 to 36 and weekly thereafter.
- Hospital visits usually occur for an initial assessment and then at week 32 and week 41.
- More visits may be necessary if there are any health problems with you or your baby, or you have any concerns.
Not pregnant yet, but planning to become pregnant? Visit our Pre-Pregnancy Planning page.