What is pregnancy care?
Care for yourself and your baby from the start of your pregnancy until after the birth. When you are pregnant you have a number of choices about your care during pregnancy and where you would like to give birth. Pregnancy care includes providing support and information, monitoring you and your baby’s health and wellbeing and identifying any special medical need.
What support is available across pregnancy?
Pregnancies are divided into three trimesters. The care that you receive differs across trimesters.
First trimester (conception – 13 weeks)
During your first trimester your care will focus on your health and the health of your growing baby. During this time you will also be making choices about the type of care you want for the remainder of your pregnancy.
This stage of your pregnancy is most crucial as it provides important indicators of how your pregnancy will evolve.
It also provides an important window for screening for both mother and the baby of some vital conditions and offering treatment to prevent adverse outcomes.
This includes screening for:
- Preeclampsia ( raised BP during pregnancy)
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes developing during pregnancy)
- Adverse fetal outcomes including growth restriction ( small baby due to placental dysfunction)
- Chromosomal and genetic problems
- Infection screening
- Triaging pregnancy and determining a care plan for the rest of your pregnancy
Second trimester (14 – 27 weeks)
During your second trimester your care will focus on monitoring your baby’s growth and on tracking and ensuring your wellbeing.
Third trimester (28 weeks – birth)
Your third trimester lasts until you give birth which typically happens between 40 and 42 weeks gestation. During this period you will have more pregnancy visits and more frequent monitoring of your baby’s growth. Care will also focus on your wellbeing and preparing you for birth and the postnatal period immediately following birth.
We support attendance in antenatal classes
Intrapartum care (care during labour and birth)
We provide support and guidance to you and your support people towards your birth plans. We will discuss the different pain relief options and help you meet your expectations towards a good birth experience.
Postnatal care (care received after birth)
After you give birth you will probably be transferred from the birth suite to the postnatal ward. During this time we will:
- Monitor you and your babys’ well being
- Offer midwifery support for breastfeeding and how to best look after your newborn baby
- Encourage you to rest
- Discuss what is normal and what you can expect as a new mother
Frequently asked questions about pregnancy care
What should I do to look after myself during pregnancy?
Across all trimesters of your pregnancy you should:
- Avoid foods that may contain listeria bacteria as this can cause fetal death (unpasteurised milk, soft cheeses, cold processed meats, pre-cut fruit and salads, pâté, raw seafood and smoked seafood)
- Wash raw vegetables and thoroughly cook all foods from animals to avoid listeria
- Avoid eating uncooked or undercooked meat to avoid toxoplasmosis
- Avoid cleaning cat litter boxes
- Quit smoking, alcohol and other drugs
- Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Discuss all over-the-counter drugs you take or are prescribed with your doctor or pharmacist
- Eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of water
- Regular low intensity exercise at least 3 times a week