Pregnancy Care Information

Pregnancy Care Information

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Pregnancy is a very exciting time for you and your family. This information sheet has been prepared to provide you with a summary of relevant information and answers to frequently asked questions.

First Visit

This visit involves:

  1. Recording your details and the expected date of your baby’s birth.
  2. Assessing and recording your health, previous pregnancy and birth and family details.
  3. Assessing the level of care you will require.
  4. Arranging recommended tests
    1. Antenatal screening tests (e.g. blood and urine tests)
    2. Ultrasound
  5. Answering your questions about the hospital services.
  6. Discussing your options in relation to the type or model of care which suits you.
  7. Discussing anything you would like to talk about.

A schedule of antenatal attendance will be explained to you. Usually you will be seen every 4 weeks till 28 weeks of pregnancy, every 2 weeks there after till 36 weeks and then every week till delivery. The frequency of visits will vary from person to person according to whether there are any problems apparent. These visits are to check the well being of you and your baby.

You will be given your hospital booking-in form, you should contact the hospital to organise a time for you and your partner to book and have a hospital tour.

You will also be given your Antenatal Record which you will bring with you each visit for updating and we would like you to show it to the Labour Ward Staff when you are admitted to the hospital.

Subsequent visits

These visits ensure monitoring of your health and your baby’s development and are a time when you can access information and have your questions answered. It involves measuring your Blood pressure, checking if you have any symptoms of concern and check the baby. A urine test is performed every visit to rule out infection and to check for protein (kidney disease and toxaemia) and for sugar (diabetes).

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any concerns or queries. The best thing to do is make a list and bring the list along on the day of your visit. If you have any urgent problems between visits then you could contact me in my rooms or should this be after hours then any of the Labour Ward staff of the hospital you booked in would be happy to advise you and if necessary they will contact me.

Tests during Pregnancy

Routine tests during your pregnancy include:

  1. Blood tests for anaemia, blood group and antibodies. Rubella (German measles), Hep B, Hep C, HIV and Syphilis.
  2. Mid stream urine test to rule out urine infection.
  3. Dating scan to confirm the viability of the pregnancy and your expected day of delivery. This should be done early in pregnancy, as earlier ultrasounds are more accurate in estimating your due date.
  4. Nuchal Translucency scan between 11-13 weeks of pregnancy is an optional test. Its purpose is only to estimate the risk of your baby having Down’s syndrome, as opposed to a diagnostic test, such as CVS or Amniocentesis, which will give you a definite diagnosis (but also carries a small risk of miscarriage).This scan also involves a blood test.
  5. All pregnant ladies should have an ultrasound scan between 18-21 weeks of pregnancy, it is called “Morphology scan”. The ultrasound is to assess fetal structural development, early fetal growth and placental position. Your husband can be present when you have the scan.
  6. A glucose blood test will be performed between 24 and 28 weeks to check for pregnancy (gestational) diabetes. A blood test is taken an hour after a sugar drink. You don’t need to be fasting for that test. However, if the result was abnormal, you will need to have a more detailed test.
  7. A vaginal swab is usually done at 35-36 weeks of pregnancy to test for Group B Streptococcus bacteria. It is a common vaginal bacterium; however, it can cause serious neonatal illness. If you tested positive, there is no need to treat it during pregnancy, however, you will require antibiotics in labour.
  8. Other tests may be necessary in some patients because of special considerations.

Results for any tests will be available at the following appointment but you will be notified immediately about any abnormal results.

Diet during Pregnancy

The biggest rule throughout your pregnancy is to ensure that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. You should keep in mind at all times that your baby is getting all of his/her nutrients from you.
A good approach is to eat to satisfy your appetite and continue to monitor your weight. A normal weight gain over the course of a pregnancy is around 10–13kg for women who have a healthy pre-conception weight.
Try to eat:

  1. Lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals.
  2. Moderate amounts of low fat dairy foods and lean meats.
  3. Small amounts of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
  4. Lean meat, chicken and fish.
  5. Dried beans and lentils.
  6. Nuts and seeds.
  7. Green leafy vegetables.

Quick food safety checklist

  1. Ensure all meats, poultry and fish are thoroughly cooked.
  2. Ensure meat is thoroughly defrosted prior to cooking. Do not allow raw meat or eggs to come into contact with other foods.
  3. Eat only pasteurized dairy products.
  4. Avoid pre-packed salad, pre-cut fruits and pre-cooked chicken.
  5. Avoid raw seafood and smoked fish.
  6. Avoid soft cheese (such as brie and camembert) and processed deli-meats.
  7. Caffeine in coffee, chocolate and tea and Tannin in tea affect iron absorption. The recommendation is to avoid caffeine if possible, but if you can’t get by without that morning cup of coffee, then limit intake to one cup per day. Most herbal teas do not contain tannin but check packaging to be sure.

For more information visit the following web site:


This is caused by bacteria which are widespread in nature and can contaminate food. It has been found in many fresh and unprocessed foods such as unpasteurised milk, soft cheeses, cold processed meats, pate, raw seafood and smoked seafood. If contracted during pregnancy it has a high fetal death rate (30-50%).
The best advice is to avoid the above products, carefully wash raw vegetables, thoroughly cook all food of animal origin, and reheat leftover foods and ready-to-eat food until steaming hot and always thoroughly clean utensils after preparing uncooked food.


This is a parasite with a similar effect to listeria. It is acquired by close contact with infected cats or eating uncooked or undercooked meat. Pregnant women should get another person to clean cat litter boxes daily, wear disposable rubber gloves for handling soil likely to be contaminated with cats’ faeces and carefully wash hands after gardening or handling raw meat.

Activity and exercises

Activities that can be continued right up until the birth may include walking, swimming, yoga, aqua aerobics or belly dancing. While other activities like running, high impact aerobics, bicycling, contact and competitive sports, weights or martial arts may need to be modified, reduced or stopped as your pregnancy progresses.

Smoking, Alcohol and recreational drugs

Just as nutrients and oxygen flow across the placenta from the mother to the fetus, so can harmful chemicals. The following web site provides information about the effects of smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs during pregnancy.


Not all medicinal substances are safe during pregnancy, even if they are prescribed or natural.  Any medicine is to be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary.

“Mothersafe” is a FREE service. It provides comprehensive counseling for women concerned about taking medication during pregnancy and lactation.

Calls can be made MONDAY to FRIDAY 9am to 4pm (EST):
Toll free:  1800 647 848              Phone: (02) 9382 6539

Fetal movements

Some can feel their babies move as early as 13-16 weeks of pregnancy. These first fetal movements are called “quickening” and are often described as flutters. Some moms, especially those in their first pregnancy, may not feel movement until 18-20 weeks. Beginning with week 28, it is beneficial to begin counting your baby’s movements if there are less than ten movements in 12 hours during the day, it might be easiest to lie on your left side and record how long it takes to feel 10 movements. If you do not feel 10 movements within 2 hours then inform the Labour Ward at the hospital you are booked at. Reduce fetal movements usually indicates a change in baby’s position and there being less room in the uterus for the baby to move, but occasionally it can indicate a reduction in baby’s oxygen level.

Common Symptoms You MAY Feel During Pregnancy

  1. Nausea, vomiting and heart burn
  2. Breasts enlargement and tenderness
  3. Constipation
  4. Urine frequency
  5. Aches and pains and restless legs
  6. Braxton Hicks contractions
  7. Stretch marks
  8. Bleeding gums
  9. Metallic taste
  10. Skin, hair and nail changes
  11. Swelling, fluid retention
  12. Haemorrhoids and varicose veins
  13. Vaginal discharges
  14. Changes in Libido

Although most of these changes are normal and most resolve after pregnancy, please do not hesitate to ask if you have any concerns or queries.

Also you can find more information on the following web sites:

Your queries are best answered over the phone, our friendly reception staff would be happy to assist you with your enquiry, contact us on +02 8824 4998

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