Obstetrics

Nurturing your growing family

At Women’s Health Specialists, we are passionate about the art of obstetrics. We welcome a natural approach to childbirth but are committed to supporting the choices that suit your needs throughout your pregnancy.

We are skilled in high-risk pregnancies and complex vaginal deliveries, such as twins, breech, and vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC). 

We provide comprehensive antenatal appointments throughout your pregnancy including an extensive first visit, specific risk counselling as your pregnancy progresses and individualised planning of your birth at a hospital of your choice.

Our team at Women’s Health Specialists look forward to caring for you and your family during a most important and precious time for you. Call us on (08) 8239 2811 to arrange your appointment.

What is Antenatal Care?

Antenatal care is designed to ensure that yours and baby’s health is at its best throughout your pregnancy. You can expect as few as 10-12 antenatal appointments (and as many as are required!) where you will see the midwife and doctor. The standard schedule of visits are at 10-12 weeks, 15, 19, 24, 28, 32, 34, 36 weeks and weekly thereafter.

At your first visit, you will meet with the midwife who will begin your care journey with us. You will have blood pressure, height and weight measured as well as routine pregnancy blood tests performed. An ultrasound is often performed and with this your Agreed Due Date is confirmed. First Trimester Screening and Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing is discussed and offered. Your cervical screening test will be performed if due.

Other important assessments include at around 20 weeks when the Morphology ultrasound is performed and reviewed, and at around 28 weeks when the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is performed to exclude diabetes of the pregnancy. At 36 weeks a vaginal swab for Group B Streptoccocus is offered.

Hospitals for pregnancy and delivery

We provide private pregnancy care and labour management at Ashford Hospital, Calvary North Adelaide Hospital and The Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The midwives will guide you to make a booking at the hospital of your choice, usually before 20 weeks.

Should any aspect of your pregnancy require hospital admission, we can review you daily in the hospital required for your care.

Antenatal Classes

Each hospital provides their own antenatal, labour and parenting class program and these can be accessed after booking at the hospital. If you have further interest, there are several other classes available through independent organisations and independent midwives.  Please ask our midwives or your doctor for more information about these services.  

Healthy eating

Eat a healthy varied diet which includes fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, dairy and lean meats or protein alternatives.  Intake of omega-3 fatty acid in pregnancy improves the health of yourself and your baby, it is recommended you have 2-3 serves of safe fish per week (such as canned tuna and salmon).

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2769

High risk foods to avoid

  • Unpasteurised milk or food made from raw milk
  • Pate, dips and soft cheese
  • Raw eggs in food: mayonnaise, mousse, batter
  • Raw or precooked meats or poultry
  • Uncooked, smoked or chilled pre-cooked seafood
  • Pre-prepared salads and coleslaws
  • Large deep sea fish with high levels of mercury

Use safe food handling practices

  • Keep it cold: refrigerate all foods
  • Keep it clean: wash hands, fruits/vegetables, instruments properly
  • Keep it hot: reheat foods to steaming
  • Cook foods completely

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2778

Alcohol

High levels of alcohol during pregnancy can affect the development of your baby.  There is no safe level of alcohol intake in pregnancy and so it is recommended to avoid alcohol completely.

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2771

Caffeine

High levels of caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, cola drinks) can increase early miscarriage rates.  It is recommended to limit caffeine during pregnancy.

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2776

Vitamin supplements

It is recommended that all women take Folate 500mcg per day (5mg per day for specific high risk women) and Iodine 150mcg per day.  Other supplements may be recommended depending on your specific situation.

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=455&id=2734

Weight gain

Every woman’s weight gain in pregnancy varies but the average weight gain is between 11.5-16kg over the course of the pregnancy.  Your optimal weight gain will vary depending on your pre-pregnancy weight: 

  • If you are underweight, you will need to gain more than average
  • If you are overweight, you will need to gain less than average

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/weight-gain-in-pregnancy

Exercise

Regular aerobic exercise and strength training with light weights, body resistance or resistance bands is beneficial for your pregnancy.  For women with an uncomplicated pregnancy:

  • If regularly exercising à continue moderate exercise for 30mins most days
  • If not regularly exercising à begin exercising, 15-20mins 3 times a week and increase slowly

You should listen to your body and adapt your exercise throughout your pregnancy, ensuring to avoid exercises lying flat on your back after the first trimester.

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2770

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/yoga-and-pilates-during-pregnancy

Smoking

Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of preterm delivery and growth problems.  It is recommended that the quit smoking before or during pregnancy.

  • For assistance with quitting, call Quitline 13 78 48

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2772

Nausea and vomiting

  • Eat small, frequent, low fat meals
  • Eat before or as soon as you are hungry as an empty stomach can aggravate nausea
  • Sip cold fluids frequently – try icy half strength Gatorade/Powerade, weak cordial, diluted juice, ginger ale or lemonade
  • Avoid spicy or fatty foods
  • Have a lolly or favourite taste to get the ‘yuck’ taste out of your mouth – butter menthol, butterscotch, boiled sweet
  • Try to sleep and rest when you can
  • Useful over the counter medications include:
  • Vitamin B6 25mg 3 times a day 
  • Doxylamine (Restavit) 12.5-25mg at night 
  • Talk to your doctor about other prescription medications that might be appropriate for you

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=462&id=2782

Constipation

Constipation is extremely common in early pregnancy and is often made worse by dehydration from nausea and vomiting and by certain medications used to treat your vomiting.  Try to stay well hydrated and eat some extra fibre or fruit such as prunes and pears.  Many medications are available over the counter at your pharmacy:

  • Benefibre or Metamucil sachets twice a day
  • Coloxyl 1-2 tablets twice a day
  • Lactulose 20ml 1-3 times a day

What if I have bleeding in pregnancy?

Bleeding is understandably distressing but does not always mean you are having a miscarriage or there is a problem with your baby.  It is important that you contact the rooms or hospital so that appropriate investigations can be arranged.

  • Monday-Friday: Women’s Health Specialists on 8239 2811 
  • After hours/weekends: The Women’s and Children’s Hospital on 8161 7000
  • If you feel your bleeding is an emergency, please go directly to hospital

What if I have pain in pregnancy?

Abdominal discomfort and pain in pregnancy can be common.  Depending on your stage of pregnancy, the causes and treatments will differ.

Early pregnancy

Pain in early pregnancy can have many causes.  It is important that you see a doctor to assess your pain, especially if you are yet to have your first ultrasound scan showing where the pregnancy is located.  It is important that you contact the rooms or hospital so that appropriate investigations can be arranged.

  • Monday-Friday: Women’s Health Specialists on 8239 2811 
  • After hours/weekends: The Women’s and Children’s Hospital on 8161 7000 

If you feel your pain is an emergency, please go directly to hospital.

Musculoskeletal/ligamentous pain

During pregnancy, the ligaments in your back and pelvis become softer and stretch in preparation for birth.  As a result, it is common to have more stress on your pelvis and lower back leading to pain or discomfort.  Simple exercises, physiotherapy, pilates or yoga can be extremely beneficial for caring for your body and preventing some of the discomfort.

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2929

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=438&np=460&id=2773

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/backache-in-pregnancy

Braxton Hicks contractions

Are a tightening feeling in the abdomen that comes and goes.  These are sometimes called ‘false’ or ‘practice’ contractions.  They are a normal part of pregnancy and help to get the uterus ready for birth.  

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/braxton-hicks-contractions

Antenatal care is designed to ensure that yours and baby’s health is at its best throughout your pregnancy. You can expect as few as 10-12 antenatal appointments (and as many as are required!) where you will see the midwife and doctor. The standard schedule of visits are at 10-12 weeks, 15, 19, 24, 28, 32, 34, 36 weeks and weekly thereafter.

At your first visit, you will meet with the midwife who will begin your care journey with us. You will have blood pressure, height and weight measured as well as routine pregnancy blood tests performed. An ultrasound is often performed and with this your Agreed Due Date is confirmed. First Trimester Screening and Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing is discussed and offered. Your cervical screening test will be performed if due.

Other important assessments include at around 20 weeks when the Morphology ultrasound is performed and reviewed, and at around 28 weeks when the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is performed to exclude diabetes of the pregnancy. At 36 weeks a vaginal swab for Group B Streptoccocus is offered.

We provide private pregnancy care and labour management at Ashford Hospital, Calvary North Adelaide Hospital and The Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The midwives will guide you to make a booking at the hospital of your choice, usually before 20 weeks.

Should any aspect of your pregnancy require hospital admission, we can review you daily in the hospital required for your care.

Each hospital provides their own antenatal, labour and parenting class program and these can be accessed after booking at the hospital. If you have further interest, there are several other classes available through independent organisations and independent midwives. Please ask our midwives or your doctor for more information about these services.

Eat a healthy varied diet which includes fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, dairy and lean meats or protein alternatives.  Intake of omega-3 fatty acid in pregnancy improves the health of yourself and your baby, it is recommended you have 2-3 serves of safe fish per week (such as canned tuna and salmon).

CYH – Healthy eating

  • Unpasteurised milk or food made from raw milk
  • Pate, dips and soft cheese
  • Raw eggs in food: mayonnaise, mousse, batter
  • Raw or precooked meats or poultry
  • Uncooked, smoked or chilled pre-cooked seafood
  • Pre-prepared salads and coleslaws
  • Large deep sea fish with high levels of mercury
  • Keep it cold: refrigerate all foods
  • Keep it clean: wash hands, fruits/vegetables, instruments properly
  • Keep it hot: reheat foods to steaming
  • Cook foods completely

CYH – Safe food handling

High levels of alcohol during pregnancy can affect the development of your baby. There is no safe level of alcohol intake in pregnancy and so it is recommended to avoid alcohol completely.

CYH – Alcohol in pregnancy

High levels of caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, cola drinks) can increase early miscarriage rates. It is recommended to limit caffeine during pregnancy.

CYH – Caffeine in pregnancy

It is recommended that all women take Folate 500mcg per day (5mg per day for specific high risk women) and Iodine 150mcg per day. Other supplements may be recommended depending on your specific situation.

CYH – Vitamin supplements in pregnancy

Every woman’s weight gain in pregnancy varies but the average weight gain is between 11.5-16kg over the course of the pregnancy. Your optimal weight gain will vary depending on your pre-pregnancy weight:

  • If you are underweight, you will need to gain more than average
  • If you are overweight, you will need to gain less than average

Weight gain in pregnancy

Regular aerobic exercise and strength training with light weights, body resistance or resistance bands is beneficial for your pregnancy. For women with an uncomplicated pregnancy:

  • If regularly exercising, continue moderate exercise for 30mins most days
  • If not regularly exercising, begin exercising. 15-20mins 3 times a week and increase slowly
  • You should listen to your body and adapt your exercise throughout your pregnancy, ensuring to avoid exercises lying flat on your back after the first trimester.

CYH – Exercise in pregnancy

Yoga and pilates during pregnancy

Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of preterm delivery and growth problems. It is recommended that the quit smoking before or during pregnancy.

For assistance, call Quitline 13 78 48

CYH – Smoking in pregnancy

  • Eat small, frequent, low fat meals
  • Eat before or as soon as you are hungry as an empty stomach can aggravate nausea
  • Sip cold fluids frequently – try icy half strength Gatorade/Powerade, weak cordial, diluted juice, ginger ale or lemonade
  • Avoid spicy or fatty foods
  • Have a lolly or favourite taste to get the ‘yuck’ taste out of your mouth – butter menthol, butterscotch, boiled sweet
  • Try to sleep and rest when you can
  • Useful over the counter medications include:

CYH – Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy

Constipation is extremely common in early pregnancy and is often made worse by dehydration from nausea and vomiting and by certain medications used to treat your vomiting. Try to stay well hydrated and eat some extra fibre or fruit such as prunes and pears. Many medications are available over the counter at your pharmacy:

  • Benefibre or Metamucil sachets twice a day
  • Coloxyl 1-2 tablets twice a day
  • Lactulose 20ml 1-3 times a day

Bleeding is understandably distressing but does not always mean you are having a miscarriage or there is a problem with your baby. It is important that you contact the rooms or hospital so that appropriate investigations can be arranged.

  • Monday-Friday: Women’s Health Specialists on
    8239 2811
  • After hours/weekends: The Women’s and Children’s Hospital on 8161 7000
  • If you feel your bleeding is an emergency, please go directly to hospital

Abdominal discomfort and pain in pregnancy can be common. Depending on your stage of pregnancy, the causes and treatments will differ.

Pain in early pregnancy can have many causes. It is important that you see a doctor to assess your pain, especially if you are yet to have your first ultrasound scan showing where the pregnancy is located. It is important that you contact the rooms or hospital so that appropriate investigations can be arranged.

  • Monday-Friday: Women’s Health Specialists on
    8239 2811
  • After hours/weekends: The Women’s and Children’s Hospital on 8161 7000

If you feel your pain is an emergency, please go directly to hospital.

During pregnancy, the ligaments in your back and pelvis become softer and stretch in preparation for birth. As a result, it is common to have more stress on your pelvis and lower back leading to pain or discomfort. Simple exercises, physiotherapy, pilates or yoga can be extremely beneficial for caring for your body and preventing some of the discomfort.

CYH – Caring for your body in pregnancy

CYH – Pelvic floor exercises

Backache in pregnancy

Are a tightening feeling in the abdomen that comes and goes. These are sometimes called ‘false’ or ‘practice’ contractions. They are a normal part of pregnancy and help to get the uterus ready for birth.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

The information provided is of a general nature and should not replace a full medical assessment. If you require further detailed information, please contact us