Antenatal Care at Various Clinics
Antenatal clinic for check-ups & appointments
Being pregnant is both exciting and scary at the same time. That’s why when it comes to your antenatal care, St John General Practice offers a variety of services by seasoned health professionals, who take both your physical and mental wellbeing into account.
St John General Practice in Cannington has a midwife and an onsite CTG machine and doppler – specialised pieces of equipment that can measure your baby's heart rate. Book online or call our Cannington clinic on 9350 8000.
Armadale, Cockburn, Joondalup and Midland GPs can manage antenatal patients until they are 20 weeks pregnant and then will refer patients to be seen at the hospital. However they are still available for appointments right up until birth.
Starting your antenatal care
You can book an appointment with your doctor or midwife as soon as you know that you’re pregnant. At your first visit to our antenatal clinic, your health practitioner will advise you on your various antenatal care options, and help you plan your next medical visit.
You will be given information about:
- Folic acid and vitamin D supplements
- Nutrition, diet and food hygiene
- Lifestyle factors that may affect your health or the health of your baby, such as smoking, recreational drug use and alcohol consumption
- Antenatal screening tests
When you find out you are pregnant, it’s best to book an antenatal check-up with a doctor at St John General Practice or one of our nurses as soon as possible. If you have special health needs, your midwife, doctor or obstetrician may opt for shared responsibility regarding your maternity care, which means they may all decide to meet with you during your pregnancy.
Hospital bookings can be made by your health care professional. We can provide antenatal care until 20 weeks and refer you from there.
For more information download our Pregnancy Care Schedule for a basic guideline of who you will see, when, and what will occur.
What happens at your first antenatal visit?
At the end of your first visit, we will schedule your next antenatal appointment, which will be when you are 10-16 weeks pregnant. The midwife or doctor will ask questions to gather more information, this is to make sure you’re given the support you need, and allow us to identify any risks early on.
It’s important to tell your midwife or doctor if:
- You’ve had any complications or infections in a previous pregnancy or delivery, such as pre-eclampsia or premature birth.
- You’re being treated for a chronic disease, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- You or anyone in your family have previously had a baby with an abnormality, such as spina bifida.
- There’s a family history of an inherited disease, such as sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis.
You’ll be offered some tests to check for anything that may cause problems during or after your pregnancy. We’ll discuss these tests with you and you can choose whether to have them or not. If you haven’t already had a general health check-up, your midwife or doctor might recommend:
- A check to make sure your heart, lungs and blood pressure are functioning well.
- A urine test to make sure your kidneys are healthy, and to check for any signs of infection.
- A pap smear test.
- A mammogram.
From around 24 weeks, your antenatal appointments will become more frequent. However, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated and you are in good health, you may not need to be checked as often as someone who needs to be more closely monitored.
Later visits are usually quite short. Your midwife or doctor will:
- Check your urine and blood pressure.
- Feel your abdomen (tummy) to check the baby’s position.
- Measure your uterus (womb) to check your baby’s growth.
- Listen to your baby’s heartbeat if you want them to.
You can also ask questions or talk about anything that’s worrying you. Talking about your feelings is as important as all the antenatal tests and examinations.
Antenatal questions you might be asked
Throughout your antenatal care, the midwife or doctor might ask about:
- The date of the first day of your last period.
- Your current state of health and any previous illnesses and operations.
- Any previous pregnancies and miscarriages.
- Ethnic origins of you and your partner, to find out whether your baby is at risk of certain inherited conditions, or other relevant factors, such as whether your family has a history of twins.
- Your job or your partner’s job, and what kind of accommodation you live in to see whether your circumstances might affect your pregnancy.
- How you’re feeling, any signs of depression etc.
It’s up to you whether you want to answer these questions. We are not here to judge you, but your answers will allow your St John Medical midwife in Perth or obstetrician to gather more information and better support and care for you and your baby’s health.
Anything you say will be kept in confidence and the information will only be shared (with your permission) with any other health workers on a need-to-know basis.