Antenatal care Perth

Everything you need to know about your pregnancy journey

antenatal care Perth Women's Health

In a nutshell

When you are expecting, you usually start seeing your obstetrician around week 8 of your pregnancy. On this page, you will learn what you can look forward to, how often you will see us, and why antenatal appointments are so important. 

Antenatal care Perth

What is antenatal care?

At Perth Women’s Health we understand the exciting journey to parenthood. We know that every question or little worry you might have, matters deeply. That’s why we view your antenatal appointments as a time to really get to know each other. 

“Think of your appointments as your safe space to ask anything. It’s all about open dialogue. We are here to listen, to understand and support you every step of the way. We want to share in your joys and address your worries. Our aim is to ensure that your path to parenthood is as rewarding and joyful as it can be.” 

Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Perth obstetrician

Typically, antenatal care starts around week 8 of your pregnancy. At your first consultation, we organise a dating scan to check and confirm how many weeks pregnant you are and then estimate your due date. We will also plan your routine tests and set up a schedule. 

“Pregnancy ultrasounds are a big part of your antenatal care. They are part of the routine checks, and they are crucial to make sure all is going smoothly or to detect any early complications.”
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Perth obstetrician
  • 4 to 8 weeks: Schedule initial blood tests and dating scan.
  • After 10 weeks: NIPT test for assessing risk of Down syndrome, trisomy 18, trisomy 13, and determining baby’s gender. If you don’t want to know the gender, we can skip this step.
  • 13 weeks: Detailed obstetric ultrasound focusing on baby’s anatomy. This scan is performed at a specialised obstetric ultrasound practice.
  • 14-20 weeks: CVS or amniocentesis if initial tests indicate abnormalities.
    20 weeks: Comprehensive foetal anatomy scan; discuss pregnancy vaccines. The anatomy scan is performed at a specialised obstetric ultrasound practice.
  • 26 to 28 weeks: Diabetes screening, blood level and blood group check; arrange iron infusion if necessary.
  • 28 and 34 weeks: Anti-D immunoglobulin for Rh-negative women to prevent Rhesus disease.
  • 32 weeks: Growth ultrasound.
  • 36 weeks: Group B strep swab to prevent newborn infections.
  • 36 to 41 weeks: More frequent visits or ultrasounds for additional monitoring if needed.

At all antenatal appointments, we will monitor your blood pressure and perform a urine test to screen for preeclampsia. 

What is a high-risk pregnancy?

In high-risk pregnancies, things can get a bit more complex, and at Perth Women’s Health your are in excellent hands. High-risk pregnancies need closer monitoring because 

  • You may have an existing medical condition,
  • You are expecting multiples,
  • You have a history of pregnancy loss, preterm birth or other complications,
  • You’re an older mum,
  • You developed a medical condition during pregnancy for example gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

We have extensive experience in this field and offer advanced monitoring and personalised care. You can trust Perth Women’s Health to guide you with expertise and compassion through every step of your unique pregnancy journey.

antenatal care Perth Women's Health

Obstetrics Perth

Vaginal birth? Induction? C-section?

When it comes to choosing your delivery method, the internet and social media are flooded with discussions and opinions. At Perth Women’s Health, we start with listening to what you want so we understand what a positive birth means to you. 

“Every conversation starts with a blank slate. As every pregnancy is unique, so is every mother. That’s why we start with a chat first. Then, we will provide you with information and take a close look at your personal circumstances and options.” 

Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Perth obstetrician

There are many options: here’s an overview.

  • Vaginal birth: This is the natural process of delivering a baby through the birth canal. Vaginal delivery is often chosen for being the most natural and least invasive method, allowing for a more immediate mother-baby bonding experience. A vaginal delivery typically involves a shorter hospital stay and recovery period.
  • Caesarean section (C-section): A surgical procedure where the baby is delivered through an incision made in your abdomen and uterus. A C-section is often used when vaginal delivery would put you or baby at risk.
    • Emergency c-section: Sometimes things don’t go as planned. If complications arise, our team is ready to provide expert emergency care with a focus on keeping both you and your little one safe and sound. For example, a C-section can be a life-saving procedure when the baby is breech or distressed during labour.
    • Elective c-section: Understanding that every mum’s journey is unique, we respect your choice for an elective C-section. Our commitment is to listen, engage in open and honest conversations, and support you in making informed decisions that feel right for you.
  • Induced labour or induction: This means we use medications to stimulate labour contractions before they begin naturally. The decision to induce labour often comes down to weighing the risks of continuing the pregnancy against the possible risks of an early delivery.

It’s important to understand that our top priority is always the safety and well-being of you and your baby. Situations may change last-minute and informed decisions need to be made. This is where the expertise of your obstetrician becomes invaluable.

“We often deal with unexpected changes. It is our job to ensure that the best possible obstetric care is provided under any circumstance.” 

Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Perth obstetrician
antenatal care Perth Women's Health

Obstetrician Perth

How do I choose the best obstetrician?

When you are reading this because you don’t have chose an obstetrician yet, here is what you need to know about the main differences between public and private obstetric care:

Public obstetric care:

  • In the public system, care up to 20 weeks is typically provided by your general practitioner, followed by visits to the antenatal clinic at a public hospital.
  • You may see a range of healthcare professionals, including midwives, GP obstetricians, or hospital specialists.
  • Public care is known for longer waiting times and less time for personalised discussion.
  • Partners or support persons often cannot stay overnight in the hospital post-delivery.
  • Midwives provide postnatal home visits for breastfeeding support and early motherhood guidance.
  • Public care is generally covered by Medicare, with no out-of-pocket costs for eligible individuals.

Private obstetric care:

  • Private care allows you to choose your private obstetrician and the hospital where you will deliver.
  • Offers continuity of care throughout the pregnancy, with regular consultations and ultrasounds performed by the same people.
  • Provides more flexibility and time to discuss your preferences and concerns regarding childbirth.
  • In private care, partners are usually encouraged to stay with you in the maternity ward post-delivery.
  • Postnatal care is more extensive, often including a longer hospital stay with 24/7 midwife support.
  • Private care involves out-of-pocket costs, though some may be covered by your private health insurance.

In summary, the choice between public and private obstetric care depends on personal preferences, medical needs, and financial considerations. Both systems have their benefits, and the decision should align with what feels most comfortable and reassuring for you and your family.

antenatal care Perth Women's Health

Postnatal care Perth

What is postnatal care?

After you have delivered your baby, we still support you. Some of you might refer to this period as ‘the fourth trimester’.

“Postnatal care is all about giving you the support you need as you step into parenthood. It’s a mix of looking after your physical health and taking care of your emotional well-being.”

  • Physical care: If you had a vaginal birth, we’re here to help with any discomfort or healing, especially if things got a bit complicated. If you’ve had a caesarean section, we’ll guide you through the recovery process, making sure you heal well while adapting to life with your new little one. We also focus on strengthening your pelvic floor to avoid issues like prolapse or incontinence
  • Breastfeeding support: Breastfeeding can be new territory, so we provide all the support and advice you need.
  • Emotional care: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or just need someone to talk to, we’re here for you. The first few weeks are a big adjustment, and we want to make sure you’re feeling as good mentally as you are physically.

Perth obstetrician

Perth Women’s Health for antenatal care

When you are choosing an obstetrician for antenatal care, you want a place that feels right. That is what Perth Women’s Health is all about. Safety is our number one priority. We make sure you and your little one are in good hands, every step of the journey. Compassion is at the heart of what we do. We understand that your pregnancy is a journey filled with ups and downs, joy and worries, and we are here to support you through this.

“What patients often tell us is that they appreciate our open and honest communication style. They will always know what is going on and why we believe that is the best choice or option for them.”

At Perth Women’s Health it is not just about the best medical care. It’s about creating a safe, caring and honest experience for you and your baby.

Perth Women's Health

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