A healthy pregnancy in Mornington: everything you need to know
Pregnancy is a time filled with new experiences. The first scan, the first sound of a heartbeat, the first kick. For the first time, you don’t just have to keep yourself healthy, you’ve also got to think about the health of your growing little one. There’s a great network of specialists in the Mornington area to make sure you feel supported throughout your pregnancy. With this guide to doctors appointments and your general wellbeing, we’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to feel confident to traverse this time with ease.
HEALTHY EARLY PREGNANCY
You might take an initial test at home, but we’d advise visiting your doctor to double check. We have the Clinical Labs pathology team under the same roof in our Main Street, Mornington clinic.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed the doctor might also want to discuss diet, exercise and giving up smoking or drinking as these are all things they can advise and help with.
At Beach End Medical, we share antenatal appointments with Frankston hospital, which means you may be able to see your GP for checkups throughout your pregnancy. Your first antenatal appointment will outline a guide of how many appointments they think you’ll need, depending if you’re a high or low-risk pregnancy.
Your doctor may also organise blood tests to check:
What your blood group is and how your iron levels are
If you’ve got immunity to rubella (German measles)
If you’ve been exposed to hepatitis (a disease of the liver)
Any STDs like syphilis or HIV (this would be offered with pre and post-test counselling)
If the doctor thinks you might be at risk, they could also offer a test for:
Vitamin D levels
Urine test (to check for infection)
Pap test (if you’re due to have one, this is safe to do during pregnancy)
HARMONY TEST IN MORNINGTON
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that all pregnant women should have information about screening for Down syndrome.
The Harmony Test is a DNA based risk test for Down’s syndrome and other genetic conditions done through a simple blood screening. Women can have the test from as early as 10 weeks into their pregnancy. As a Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) it analyses the fragments of a baby’s DNA found in their mother’s blood. Beach End has a Clinical Labs onsite in our Main Street clinic which runs this test.
Down’s syndrome is a rare genetic condition that affects physical and mental development. It doesn’t typically run in families and can happen in any pregnancy. Although the risk increases with age, most babies with Down syndrome are born to women who are under 35. The test also screens for Edwards, Patau, Turner and Klinefelter syndrome.
Traditional blood tests can miss as many as 20% of Down syndrome cases in pregnant women. The Harmony Prenatal Test was developed to be a more accurate prenatal Down syndrome screening test for women of any age or risk category. Harmony has been shown in clinical testing to identify greater than 99% of Down syndrome cases and to have a false-positive rate of less than 0.1%.
If your test result comes back as high risk, you’ll be offered genetic counselling from your GP, Clinical Labs or another specialist.
If you’ve got a low-risk pregnancy, you’re likely to attend around 8 to 10 appointments. If your pregnancy is higher risk, it could be more, or if you’ve had a baby before it could be less. Early on, your doctor will talk this through with you, outlining the upcoming appointments you need for your specific circumstances and why.
At each appointment:
Have a supporting person in the room, whether it’s the other parent, a friend or family member. There can be a lot of information to take in, so they’ll help you remember what’s been said.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. It’s a time full of unknowns and your doctor appointments are a good opportunity to get some trusted answers.
Remember they can also be a time to confidentially share and get support for any family or mental health difficulties you might be going through. The doctor will always ask your supporting person to leave the room at one point to ensure complete confidentiality.
PREGNANCY VITAMINS IN MORNINGTON
Eating a varied, healthy diet will help you get most of the vitamins and minerals your baby needs. There are a few extra supplements that are hard to get from food though that you’ll be advised to take. We’ve got a Discount Chemist pharmacy right next door at our Main Street, Mornington clinic that’s handy to stop by after your appointment.
It’s hard to get enough Folic Acid from food alone, so pregnant women are advised to take a 400 microgram folic acid tablet up until they’re 12 weeks pregnant. This helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida.
Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphate and is really important during your pregnancy. You can get your levels checked by Clinical Labs through a simple blood test. It could be worth considering a supplement for Vitamin D as well as increasing time in the sunshine. Remember to protect skin with sunscreen too.
You’ll also need plenty of vitamin C, iron and calcium. Don’t take any vitamin A supplements or anything containing retinol as this can cause harm to your baby.
PREGNANCY EXERCISE IN MORNINGTON
In an uncomplicated pregnancy, you’ll likely be advised to take part in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises to maintain a good (though not peak) level of fitness. Always consult your doctor first to make sure you’re cleared to exercise.
We’re lucky in Mornington to also have plenty of specialists to keep you fit and healthy.
Just off Nepean Highway in Mornington, Plover has Prenatal Yoga classes or Mums and Bubs for you to bring your little one from when they’re 6 weeks to walking.
For improving the strength of your core, stabilising joints and preventing injury, Sanctuary in Mount Eliza offer pilates classes that are ideal for during or after your pregnancy.
Body bump specialises in pre and postnatal exercise classes, water aerobics or personal training for pregnant women and mums.
PREGNANCY MASSAGE AND PHYSIO
Then, when you’re worn out and tired, there’s always the local physio to take care of you. Mornington Peninsula Family Physiotherapy has a selection of services that aim to keep women pain free and active while they’re pregnant.
For a special treat, you can even have a relaxing, restorative pregnancy massage just nearby in Retreat You in Mt Eliza.
To book a doctor appointment with our friendly, professional team, please get in touch with us here.