If you’re lucky enough to have a low-risk, uncomplicated pregnancy, then you can expect to have between eight and ten antenatal appointments over the course of your pregnancy. Your appointment schedule may look something like this:

  • 12-28 weeks: visits every 4-6 weeks
  • 29-36 weeks: visits every 2-3 weeks
  • 36 weeks-birth: weekly or fortnightly visits.

This is just a guide though, so check in with your obstetrician’s rooms for more specific information that fits your situation. You will also have the opportunity to book an appointment with an Epworth Pre Admissions Midwife, to talk through any queries or concerns about your physical or mental wellbeing.

In addition to your regular obstetric appointments, you may also have:

Blood tests - Blood tests form part of your regular health check during pregnancy. Your blood group, Rhesus (RhD) factor, iron levels and various other immunity levels are tested to help guide your care.

Blood sugar test - Between 26-28 weeks of pregnancy, your obstetrician will request you have a test for gestational diabetes. For this test you will be required to fast from midnight the night before and a number of blood tests before and after drinking a sweet drink (similar to lemonade) is needed. A minimum of 2 hours is required to complete this test in full. If any of these results comes back with a high reading, you may have gestational diabetes and your obstetrician will discuss your diet and care for the remainder of your pregnancy. 

At Epworth Freemasons, we have a dedicated service for women with gestational diabetes. Our Credentialed Diabetes Educator is here to provide ongoing support, and answer any questions, right up until your baby arrives. To book into our clinic or find out more information, call 03 9418 8162. The service is free of cost, needing only a referral from your obstetrician.

Foetal heart rate monitoring - It’s always wonderful to hear your baby’s heartbeat but monitoring your baby’s heart rate gives obstetricians and midwives valuable information about the health of your baby at the time of monitoring. We will check your baby’s heart rate regularly throughout your pregnancy. We will also monitor your baby’s heart rate closely during your labour and birth.  

Cardiotocography (CTG) - Also referred to as electronic foetal monitoring, CTG is used to help assess a baby’s wellbeing. This is done with the aid of a transducer that is positioned on your stomach where the signal from the baby is the strongest.

The CTG also monitors any contractions or uterine activity (including your baby’s kicks) and prints out your baby’s heart rate for the midwife and obstetrician to track and observe. While CTGs are common, they’re not routine. If you do need monitoring during your pregnancy or birth, your obstetrician or midwife will discuss this with you. If your labour is induced, continuous CTG monitoring is required. 

If you are concerned at any time during your pregnancy, please call your Epworth birthing suite.  Trust your intuition. You are not overreacting by calling.

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