Antenatal care

The number of antenatal visits you have during pregnancy depends on your particular needs and the choices you make.  Most women would have between 7-10 appointments. At each visit, depending on your stage of pregnancy, your care provider will most likely record the following:

  • Your blood pressure,
  • How many weeks pregnant you are (gestation),
  • How your baby is growing and moving
  • How high the top of your uterus is (fundal height)),
  • Which way the baby is facing and which way up (baby’s presentation),
  • Where the baby’s presenting part is in relation to your pelvis (station)
  • Your baby’s heart rate.

You will also be offered a number of tests and screens including blood tests, vaccinations, scans and ultrasounds, the Glucose Tolerance Test and a test for Group B Streptococcus (GBS). All tests, screens and interventions offered to you during your pregnancy are optional and will only be undertaken if you have given your informed consent. It is therefore important to discuss these options with your care provider so you are well informed about what is being offered to you and can make the best decision for you and your baby.

Your first antenatal appointment is a good time to discuss your beliefs and preferences for pregnancy care with your care provider. This discussion will help you establish a relationship with your care provider and will help you decide if they are the best care provider for you. It is important to have confidence in your care provider and to trust their advice so you need to be able to communicate honestly with them and be happy with their experience, judgement and attitude towards you and your pregnancy.  Your antenatal appointments are an opportunity for you to ask questions, raise concerns and request information to help you stay informed and involved throughout your pregnancy.

Source: (ACT Health – Your antenatal care)