Antenatal (Pregnancy) care & After Birth care,
When planning a family or expecting a baby, it’s important to understand the various pregnancy and birth care options available to you. Here are some choices:
* Midwifery-led care
Most of your antenatal care is provided by a team of midwives. If you are healthy and experiencing a low-risk pregnancy with no complications, this may be an option for you.
* Obstetric care (public or private)
Women with more complex care requirements or complications may be referred to an obstetrician. If you have private health insurance, you may also opt for obstetric care. One benefit is that you get to choose your obstetrician to provide all your pregnancy care.
* Shared care
This is where we come in. Shared care involves splitting your antenatal care between your GP and a hospital or birthing centre. If you already have a great relationship with your doctor and are experiencing a low-risk pregnancy, shared care may be a great way to go.
What are the benefits of maternity shared care?
- Continuity of care throughout your pregnancy and beyond
- More time to discuss your needs and concerns
- Reduced wait time in a familiar GP environment
- Ongoing postnatal care provided to you, your newborn and the rest of the family.
Providers we work with
At Bayside Family Medical maternity shared care occurs with the Royal Women’s Hospital (Parkville and Sandringham) with Dr Cora Mayer. The location of the public hospital where you’ll deliver your baby is based firstly on the type of care you require (low vs high risk care, which may change as the pregnancy progresses), and secondly on your residential location as pregnancy service hospitals are zoned by area.
How does shared care work?
Throughout your pregnancy most appointments will be with us, while a few will be at the hospital. Usually around 8-10 appointments are scheduled with your GP, of which 3-4 visits are at the hospital.
What kinds of tests are performed during pregnancy?
Your GP will recommend a variety of tests during your pregnancy to monitor the health of yourself and your baby. These can include (but are not limited to) the following:
- An initial blood test:
- Full Blood Count, Iron, Blood Group and Antibody screen
- Screen for infections including HIV, Hep C, Hep B, Syphilis
- Rubella and Varicella immunity status
- Urine test for bacterial or sexually transmitted infections – based on risk
- Thyroid or Vitamin D – based on risk
- An Ultrasound to confirm your due date (available from 6 weeks, ideally at 7-8 weeks, and often recommended for women who have experienced bleeding during early pregnancy or those who have a history of miscarriages)
- Genetic Screening tests from 10 weeks onwards, tailored to the individual
- Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing – taken anytime from 10 weeks
- First Trimester Screening test
- Blood test between 10 and 11 weeks combined with the ultrasound results at 12-13 weeks
- Ultrasound at 12-13 weeks (recommended even if not doing first trimester screening)
- Complete anatomical ultrasound survey approx. 19-20 weeks
- Blood test at 28 weeks
- Oral glucose tolerance test (fasting) checking for Diabetes
- Full blood count, Iron levels and Blood Group Antibody Screen
- Blood pressure checks and abdominal examinations throughout pregnancy
- Foetal heart monitoring after 24 weeks
We’ll refer you for any necessary tests mentioned and discuss the results with you.
- Supplements – Please note you may wish to start taking a pre-conception Folate supplement (usually 500mcg folate) and Iodine supplementation in the month prior to conception, or as soon as you see a positive pregnancy test until the end of pregnancy or as advised by your GP.
- If you eat a balanced diet, you are unlikely to require regular multivitamin supplementation during your pregnancy.
- Genetic Carrier Tests – You may wish to discuss with your partner and consider having a carrier genetic screening test (preferably done before they get pregnant), and women can organise this themselves via the Victorian Clinical Genetics Service (VCGS).
- Further general and reliable information at the Royal Women’s Hospital Website.
How is the information shared?
Information is shared between the GP and hospital via a patient care folder provided at the first hospital visit.
Our medical shared care team
Dr Cora Mayer
MBBS (Hons), FRACGP, DRANZCOG, MPH&TM
Dr Cora Mayer provides advice on fertility issues, prenatal planning and testing, antenatal shared care, travelling while pregnant, postnatal and newborn examinations.
Cora has worked at The Royal Children’s and The Royal Women’s Hospital and obtained her Diploma of Obstetrics there in 2001.
She has worked in pregnancy shared care at Sandringham Hospital since 2007, and has a Masters of Public Health with advanced training in Travel and Tropical Medicine.
Availability: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
More information at: Dr Cora Mayer
Ready to book an appointment? Please click here or Phone 9583 1630
Breastfeeding and Postnatal Care
As a new mother you may be having trouble with breastfeeding or other postnatal issues, we understand it can be a challenging time and can help if you need us. Bayside Family Medical offers a range of maternal and child health services to support you through those first few months and beyond.
Postnatal Care Services
- 6-week check-up for mother and baby
- Maternal mental and physical health
- Infant sleep issues assessments
- Childhood Immunisations
- Paediatric check-ups
- General medical issues of the mother and baby
Experience you can trust
At our sister clinic Bluff Road Medical Centre, we also have an experienced GP Lactation Consultant to help you with everything from feeding and sleeping problems.
- Antenatal lactation consultations (preparing for breastfeeding/discussing previous breastfeeding issues)
- Nipple and breast pain
- Nipple and breast infections, including mastitis, abscess and thrush
- Nipple vasospasm
- Blocked ducts
- Nipple conditions like cracks, white spot and dermatitis
- Position and latch issues
- Slow weight gain in the breastfed baby
- Breastmilk oversupply and undersupply
- Infant fussiness at the breast
- Infant oral assessment including release of tongue tie (where such a procedure may assist breastfeeding)
- Maternal medications in breastfeeding
- Induced lactation or re-lactation
- Issues related to the introduction of solids and weaning
MBBS(hons), FRACGP, IBCLC
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Dr Anita Bearzatto is one of the few doctors in Melbourne who is also a lactation consultant. Dr Anita can provide specialised advice to support new mothers to achieve their breastfeeding goals, while also diagnosing and prescribing medications where necessary. Dr Anita is happy to assist with any lactation issue, from positioning problems through to more complicated lactation issues requiring investigation and medical treatment. She can perform postnatal (6-week) check-ups for mothers and babies and advise about physical and mental health issues of new mothers. Dr Anita can also assess the baby’s concerns including unsettledness, hip, heart, skin or skull abnormalities.
Availability: Tuesdays and Thursdays at Bluff Road Medical
More information at: Dr Anita Bearzatto
Frequently asked questions about lactation and breastfeeding on our blog.
Ready to book an appointment? Please click here