Maintaining your antenatal appointment schedule ensures that your healthcare team can check in with your developing baby on a regular basis. During your first appointment you will discuss the schedule with your healthcare practitioner, to determine if it will suit your needs, and to ensure that all necessary tests and checks will be done at the most appropriate times.
At Sirius Health we look forward to building relationships with our patients, to offer an intimate level of antenatal care that extends into support for your family and newborn baby. While we realise it is not always possible we do recommend expecting mothers come to their antenatal appointments with a partner to offer support.
Your First Antenatal Appointment
Your first appointment is the longest antenatal session because your medical history needs to be recorded, and certain tests will need to be performed. It’s the start of a long relationship and sharing all the right information provides a good foundation for your developing baby.
Some of the tests you can expect include
- Blood pressure
- Diabetes test
- PAP smear
- Blood profile tests
- Routine screening tests for mother and baby
Your healthcare practitioner will discuss any risk factors with you and may recommend follow up tests if required. They will ask you questions and give you advice related to:
Your thoughts and plans around your pregnancy
You will discuss whether your pregnancy was planned, how you will make lifestyle changes to accommodate your new baby and how you feel about the pregnancy itself.
Your healthcare practitioner will also note the date of your last menstrual period and scan you for an age assessment.
Nutrition and lifestyle advice
Nutrition and exercise are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Your healthcare practitioner can provide useful advice on how to look after yourself and your growing baby.
Your pregnancy support structure
You will be asked about your family, extended family and social structure and the role it plays in supporting your new baby.
During your antenatal appointments your healthcare practitioner can give you guidance on your birth plan, including recommendations for a location to birth, as well as any other support you may need.
As you advance through your pregnancy your healthcare practitioner will check in on your developing baby.
- Your baby’s length (and size of your belly) will be measured
- Your baby’s heartbeat will be listened to
- Your urine will be tested
- The position your baby is laying in will become of greater interest, the closer you get to your due date.
How You Can Prepare For Your Antenatal Appointment Schedule
It is a good idea to read as much as possible, and to follow the advice of your healthcare practitioner. Write down any thoughts and feelings as they happen and discuss them with your healthcare provider at your next appointment.
Expecting mothers often find they have strange dreams and sometimes discussing these can ease their fears about the birth and / or becoming a mother.
What To Ask At First Antenatal Appointment
Ask as many questions as you can during your appointment and, if there are any areas that concern you, try to raise them as soon as possible, so you can have them resolved.
Again we’d like to reiterate how useful it can be if your partner can be present – because if there are any aspects of home living that need to be addressed, your healthcare practitioner can assist.
How Often Will You Have Antenatal Appointments?
You will discuss the schedule with your healthcare provider at your first appointment but most pregnant mothers have between 8 and 10 appointments during pregnancy.
Until week 28 you will have an antenatal appointment every four to six weeks. From week 28 to week 36 most mothers have checkups every two to three weeks, and then once per week until their delivery date. Mothers who are at high risk, or whose babies are considered high risk will probably have more frequent antenatal appointments. Mothers who have had pregnancies without complications in the past, may have fewer appointments.
Would you like to find out more about the antenatal appointment schedule and how often you should be seeing your healthcare provider? Please contact us for the soonest available appointment: (02) 9159 6903