Pregnancy Care

Pregnancy and birth can be both an enormously challenging and enormously rewarding time for women, their partners and families.
The pregnancy care provided by Dr Hughes is aimed at easing the stress of the challenges, and allowing maximum enjoyment of the rewards.

Pregnancy is natural, physiological condition; albeit, a condition that may be prone to complications and occasionally, poor outcomes. Experience has shown us that involvement of specialist doctors can improve outcomes that may otherwise have been adverse.

To balance the care of pregnancies with normal (expected) outcomes whilst recognizing the benefits of specialist medical care, Dr Hughes has adopted a collaborative care model involving regular and routine midwifery consultations for pregnant women booked to deliver under his care. Donna Mansell, South Australia’s first Medicare accredited collaborative care midwife, provides up to 50% of antenatal visits for Dr Hughes’ patients. Her care extends to the postnatal period, allowing continuity of care, including home visits, for appropriate families.

The first antenatal visit involves medical assessment, and initial pregnancy assessment by Dr Hughes. This will often include ultrasound examination to confirm well-being of the fetus, so please hang on to that full bladder! A plan is agreed for investigation (ie tests) of maternal and fetal health, and for future antenatal visits.

Generally, visits will alternate between Dr Hughes and Donna; circumstance may dictate another pattern, for instance medical complication may increase the doctor appointments, or other issues may mean more midwife checks. Regardless, Dr Hughes and Donna have regular and reliable communication about patient needs, as well as using the same pregnancy record, so that continuity of care is assured. Each carer is highly skilled in the ordering and interpreting of routine pregnancy tests, ensuring high quality care throughout pregnancy. Antenatal visits generally occur 4 weekly until 30 weeks, fortnightly until 36-7 weeks, and weekly at the very end of pregnancy.

Ultrasound assessment of the pregnancy will commonly occur at first visit, at 12 weeks if Downs Syndrome screening is undertaken, and at 20 weeks for fetal morphology assessment. Late pregnancy ultrasound maybe required in some cases. Maternal blood tests are usual at about 12 weeks, and again at 26 weeks. A vaginal swab test is often taken at 36 weeks.