Obstetric antenatal care is for Mercy Hospital for Women patients with previous or current pregnancy complications or certain medical conditions. Visits are scheduled for the same day each week with a specific team of obstetricians or doctors. If possible, we will book you with the same obstetrician for all appointments before your baby is born.
We aim to see you when you are about 10–14 weeks along in your pregnancy, and then at regular intervals until birth. Usually, this is every four weeks until you are at 28 weeks. After the 28 weeks, we arrange visits every two or three weeks until you are at 36 weeks. We will then see you once a week until your baby is born.
During each visit we:
- check your blood pressure and weight, and conduct a urine test
- check your baby’s heartbeat
- measure your baby’s growth (fundal height)
- ask you about your baby’s movements
- check how you feel physically and emotionally.
What to do before
Before your appointment please:
- review the information on the different models of care we offer
- mail back any information requested via post 10 days before your appointment. Alternatively, please bring this information to your first appointment.
What to bring
- your Medicare card (or your passport and private healthcare fund if you do not have a Medicare card)
- your appointment letter
- any pathology or ultrasound results. If you don’t have a copy, please bring the details for where the test was completed (location, name and number) so we can get a copy of the result.
What to expect on the day
Your first visit may take up to two hours. You will need to confirm your details with reception staff, see a midwife and, if needed, an obstetrician. Please allow about one hour for your regular visits.
Your care will mostly be provided by doctors, and also midwives.
If necessary you may also be cared for by:
- a fetal monitoring team
- a mental health team
- a diabetes educator
- social workers.
What questions should you ask
Please bring a list of any questions you may have.
Opportunities to be involved in research
We regularly participate in research projects and you have opportunities to be involved. Talk to your care team for more information, including how you can participate, and how the research may benefit other babies, mothers and families.
For health professionals
Obstetric antenatal care is for women with previous or current pregnancy complications or certain medical conditions. Visits are scheduled for the same day each week with a specific team of obstetricians or doctors. If possible, we will book patients with the same obstetrician for all antenatal appointments.
Please provide the following information:
- a full referral, including model of care choice
- any relevant pregnancy and medical information
- any tests, scans, results or patient information
- social supports and any external agencies involved in your patient’s care.
How to prepare the patient
Please prepare you patient by:
- explaining alternative models of maternity care that may be suitable
- encouraging your patient to ask questions
- suggesting she book into a childbirth and parent education class if she is first-time mother.
What/when you should refer to us
Refer your patient if:
- there are previous obstetric complications
- there are known medical conditions
- there is a possibility of DCDA twins.
Mercy Hospital for Women is a public hospital. Women must live in our catchment area. Our services can also be accessed as a private patient.
What/when you should not refer to us
Please do not refer your patient if:
- they have a low-risk pregnancy
- they have very complex obstetric or medical needs. If this is the case, please refer them to our perinatal medicine service.
Additional contact details
For additional details, please contact the OPD nurse or a midwife unit manager on 03 8458 4203.
Mercy Hospital for Women
163 Studley Road
Heidelberg Victoria 3084
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