Antenatal Care
Dr O’Neill’s antenatal care is structured to provide safe, high quality care throughout your pregnancy.  Through regular appointments the health of you and your baby  is monitored and you  will be offered timely  information and advice.   As pregnancy progresses, there is ample time to plan the labour and delivery you anticipate.

Dr O’Neill is very happy for you to bring your partner to any of your appointments; however, she is very understanding that partners are not always able to attend due to work commitments.   If your partner is having trouble taking time off work the most important appointments to attend will be: Initial appointment with Dr O’Neill, 12-13 week ultrasound, Fetal Anatomy Ultrasound at 19 weeks gestation and the last few weeks of pregnancy, to ensure you’ve both had the opportunity to discuss labour and delivery. 

Dr-Melissa-ONeill-17-72dpi
   Initial Appointment

Dr O’Neill prefers to see you at approximately 9-10 weeks gestation for your first appointment, ensuring an ultrasound  can be performed at your appointment.  Any care before this time should be directed by your GP.  Your GP is welcome to call Dr O’Neill should they require advice.

The first appointment will take approximately 45 minutes and there will be ample opportunity to ask questions.  If you have any particular concerns regarding your pregnancy or delivery please feel free to raise them, as it is helpful if Dr O’Neill can begin to understand your expectations, hopes and concerns. 

At your first appointment the midwife will see you initially.  In addition to discussing the general aspects of your health prior to, and during, pregnancy, she will also take your weight, height and blood pressure.  The practice midwives have many years of experience and will be able to answer any of your general obstetric concerns (e.g. diet, exercise and supplements).  You will also be given your antenatal card and information regarding pregnancy.

Once you have seen the midwife Dr O’Neill will complete your appointment by discussing any known medical problems, so please bring along any relevant information to the first visit.  The various options for antenatal screening for abnormalities of your baby will be discussed in detail.  An ultrasound will also be performed to ensure your pregnancy is progressing well and to confirm dates.  This ultrasound is easier if you have a moderately full bladder.

There are a number of blood tests that are routinely referred for in early pregnancy.  Often these have already been arranged by your GP; however, if not Dr O’Neill will refer you for these at your first appointment.

Subsequent Antenatal Appointments

Subsequent appointments are usually four to six weekly until 30 weeks gestation, two to three weeks until 36 weeks gestation, and then weekly until delivery.  The frequency may vary depending on how pregnancy is progressing. 

At these visits the midwife will perform the tests to monitor your wellbeing in pregnancy, and Dr O’Neill will assess the growth of your baby and perform an ultrasound.  Regular checks are important to make sure you are not developing signs of complications in pregnancy, such as Pre-Eclampsia or Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR).  You are always welcome to ask questions and discuss aspects of your pregnancy.  

Regular antenatal visits will guide you through pregnancy and all changes along the way.  As your due date approaches, planning your labour and delivery begins. Most couples find the parent education program through the hospital provides a helpful foundation for planning labour and delivery; Dr O’Neill is passionate about ensuring you have  had ample opportunity to discuss labour and delivery in an empathetic and supportive setting, before the big day arrives.  

Postnatal Appointments

One of the practice  midwives will call you at around two weeks postnatal to check everything is going well.  Your postnatal appointment will also be booked, if you have not done this already.

Dr O’Neill will see you again at your postnatal appointment (six weeks after delivery).  This is an opportunity to discuss contraception and ensure your Pap smear is up to date.  It is also a good time to discuss your labour and delivery, and ask any questions you may have.  You are not required to bring your baby to this appointment; however, Dr O’Neill and her team  always love to have a look at the finished product.

If you have any concerns about your health prior to six weeks you are welcome to phone the office and Dr O’Neill will see you as required.